Ozzy Osbourne has opened up about the controversy that surrounded his 1980 song Suicide Solution – which saw him sued by the grieving family of a suicide victim.
The 71-year-old rock star was blamed by the parents of a teenager named John McCollum who took his own life allegedly after listening to the song – five years after it was released.
Discussing the controversy while appearing as a guest on Rock Classics Radio on Apple Music Hits on Thursday, Ozzy opened up about the origins of the song and the ensuing court case.
The rocker claims the song was actually a reflection on his own struggles with alcohol – and recounted the dramatic moment he flew into a media scrum in Los Angeles after the parents of John McCollum launched their legal action.
Reflecting on the song, Ozzy said: “Suicide Solution wasn’t written about, ‘Oh that’s the solution, suicide’.
“I was a heavy drinker and I was drinking myself to an early grave. It was suicide solution. Wine is fine but whiskey’s quicker. Suicide is slow with liquor. That’s what I was doing for a long while. I just sort of stopped.”
He went on to discuss the court case that was filed in 1985.
He recalled: “I got a phone call and Sharon said, ‘Pack your bag. Get on a plane to Los Angeles. You’ve got to get out here right now.
“I said, ‘Wait a minute. What’s happened?’ She goes, ‘Just do it. Just get on the god damn plane.’
“I want to know what the hell is going on. What’s happened? So I get on the plane and I’m flying for 11 and a half hours, get to LA, go through the customs and I come out the customs, not knowing any of what’s going on and there are 200 cameramen there.
“So as I’m coming through the gate, I’m thinking I’m walking in front of some film star or something else. I’m looking over my shoulder like, ‘What’s going on?’ And so somebody pokes a mic in my face and goes, ‘What have you got to say about the suicide?’
“I’m thinking, ‘What are you talking about?’ So I’m getting the car, it’s right there, and Sharon tells me.”
The case ended as the plaintiffs failed to prove that Ozzy had any responsibility for the suicide of Mr McCollum.