Although Ozzy Osbourne has faced daunting odds over the past year — recovering from a vicious fall and learning that he has Parkinson’s disease — he is in a peaceful state of mind.
“Do I ever think about when my time’s gonna come? I think about it [but] I don’t worry about it,” he said in a recent Kerrang! interview. “I won’t be here in another 15 years or whatever, not that much longer, but I don’t dwell on it. It’s gonna happen to us all.”
Just two years ago, though, he told Rolling Stone he thinks about death all the time: “If I’m alone in my head, it’s a bad area,” he said. “It’s always, ‘Dead. You’re gonna die. There’s gonna be a war. Donald Trump’s gonna send us all to hell.’ … He probably will.”
He tells Kerrang! that his perspective has shifted because he just wants to feel like himself again. “Am I happy now? No,” he said. “I haven’t got my health. That thing knocked the shit out of me, man, but I’m still here. In fact, I worried about [death] more when I was younger than I do now. I just try to enjoy things as much as possible, even though that’s so fucking hard sometimes.”
One thing Osbourne enjoyed in the last year was the making of Ordinary Man, his upcoming 12th solo album. He made the record with producer Andrew Watt, after they worked together on Post Malone’s “Take What You Want,” and recruited an all-star guest list of contributors. The rhythm section features Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, and its featured performers include Elton John, Slash, Tom Morello and Post Malone.
“If you saw me at the beginning of last year, you’d think I was fucked,” Osbourne said in his Kerrang! interview. “But I honestly think making this album is the best medicine I could have had. I was doing something, something I like to do. I wish I could do more, but it just felt great.”
Osbourne revealed his Parkinson’s diagnosis earlier this month on Good Morning America, explaining that his injuries originally obscured the sensations associated with the disease. “I got a numbness down this arm from the surgery; my legs keep going cold,” he said on the show. “I don’t know if that’s the Parkinson’s or what, you know, but that’s — see, that’s the problem. Because they cut nerves when they did the surgery. I’d never heard of nerve pain, and it’s a weird feeling.”
He told Rolling Stone last year that the pain from the surgeries was unbearable. “For the first, say, four months, I was absolutely in agony,” he said. “I was in agony beyond anything I ever experienced before in my life. It was awful. I’m taking physical and occupational therapy classes, but the progress is very slow.”
Despite the pain, he found solace in working on “Take What You Want,” and that’s why he decided to go ahead with the album. Post Malone told Rolling Stone after the Grammys that he had no idea Osbourne had Parkinson’s when they collaborated. “Working with him and hanging out with him and being around him, you can’t tell,” Malone said. “You can tell he has a little difficulty getting around, but he’s so strong.”
Osbourne is planning on resuming his No More Tours 2 trek this summer. He’s slated to get back on the road in late May with a gig in Atlanta. But he said on the Grammys Red Carpet that he intends to listen to his body and not make a hasty decision to return to touring if he’s not up to it. “If I’m well enough, I’ll work toward it,” he said, via Ultimate Classic Rock. “I’m having physical therapy every day, five days a week. I’m trying, doing the best I can.”