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Summertime Blues

Gonna raise a fuss, gonna raise a holler: rock & roll books

Reviewed by Richard Whittaker, June 11, 2010, Music

I Am Ozzy

by Ozzy Osbourne with Chris Ayres
Grand Central Publishing, 416 pp., $26.99

Considering the world has seen everything about Ozzy Osbourne except the footage from his last endoscopy, what's left to say? As this autobiography proves, not much. I Am Ozzy puts all the drugs and touring and drugs and midget hangings and drugs and dead doves into context, and if this bleary-eyed confessional is light on personal insight or untold anecdotes, that's not surprising considering that the author is a black-out drunk. As Ozzy admits, if someone tells him he snorted ants with Mötley Crüe or punched a clown at his daughter's birthday party, who is he to tell them he remembers better? That said, the book's disappointing because the drug abuse overshadows the music. Even through all the booze, mountains of cocaine, and an abortive experiment with roofies, he's still the man that sang on Black Sabbath's first eight albums, then knocked out Blizzard of Ozz. What shines is the story of a failed petty criminal from Birmingham with a heart of gold and zero impulse control. Ozzy's still the Beatles-obsessed working-class kid that went from scraping the puke out of cow guts in an abattoir to renting Don Johnson's L.A. mansion. Just don't ask him how he did it. He's a bit blurry on the details.

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