How Black Sabbath Got Its Cocaine

Ozzy Osbourne and bandmates recall the old days
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2013 9:58 AM CDT
How Black Sabbath Got Its Cocaine
Members of Black Sabbath, from left, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler arrive for the Kerrang Awards 2012, at a central London venue, Thursday, June 7, 2012.   (AP Photo/Jonathan Short)

Black Sabbath is back, with 13—its first album featuring Ozzy Osbourne since 1978—out Tuesday. So, of course, there's a massive profile in the Guardian featuring tons of drug tidbits and references to the occult as Osbourne, Terry "Geezer" Butler, and Tony Iommi wax nostalgic. Choice quotes:

  • "We were young blokes, doing what young blokes do," says Iommi. "Nobody could control anyone else. I was doing coke left, right, and center, and quaaludes, and God knows what else. We used to have [cocaine] flown in by private plane."
  • What finally got Butler to "start going off drugs"? When someone spiked his drink with acid, and he tried to jump out the hotel window. "Tony and Bill [Ward, the original drummer] had to hold me down," he says.

  • Osbourne would frequently go AWOL, his bandmates remember. "I didn't believe it when they said I had blackouts," says Ozzy. "I'd look at my watch and it would say four o'clock. Then I'd look again and it would say 9.30. I'd totally forget where I'd been or what I'd done."
  • Ultimately, Osbourne says, "I ended up losing my mind." His bandmates say he would have died if he hadn't left the band 35 years ago.
  • Despite the crazy rumors, "We were never really into the occult," Osbourne says. "It was a hobby, until we started getting invites to black-magic rites in cemeteries. Then I got accused of doing this and biting that and there would be people picketing the arena with banners."
Click for the full profile. (More Tony Iommi stories.)

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