There are some illuminating revelations in the new A&E biography special The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne, premiering Monday, September 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. But what about the urban legend that rock legend Ozzy Osbourne bit the heads off of a bat or a dove? Well, one of those is 100 percent true.
Ozzy Decapitated Two Doves With His Teeth in a CBS Board Meeting in 1981
In March 1981, after having been kicked out of Black Sabbath for his hard-partying ways, Osbourne and his future wife, Sharon Arden, had a meeting with Epic Records, which was owned by CBS Records. They brought two doves along as a gesture for the executives.
“There was this boardroom meeting set up for the head of every department to meet Ozzy and I,” recalled Sharon in the A&E biography. “What are we gonna do that they’re never gonna forget? So we thought we’ll go in and we’ll give them doves of peace. Everybody loves doves.”
Ozzy added, “The original idea was I had brought these two doves to throw up in the air sort of like, ‘I’m here!'”
Sharon said it had been a really happy morning, the meeting was going really well, until… Ozzy bit the doves’ heads off and threw the carcasses on the boardroom table.
“The dove [incident] was a total freak of nature, if you like. I was absolutely drunk and I was being introduced to the head of the L.A. branch of CBS,” said Ozzy, adding, “It was not a publicity stunt, I was just out of my f*cking face on drugs and alcohol. It shocked the sh*t out of everybody.”
Security Promptly Kicked Them Out, But Sharon Said They Had the Last Laugh
“They called security, the security guard ushered us out. The head of legal was on the phone for me and he said if you ever do that again, we will absolutely destroy you. And we’re like, ‘F*ck you!'” said Sharon with a laugh.
But she recalled how the stunt just earned Ozzy more publicity for his Blizzard Tour and his album Blizzard of Ozz started shooting up the charts.
“It just spread like wildfire. The reviews were unbelievable. Who doesn’t love ‘Crazy Train’? It’s a classic. Everybody in America had an Ozzy album and knew of Ozzy. It was just a miracle,” said Sharon.
As for the bat incident, the winged creature in question was already dead at the infamous 1982 concert in Des Moines, Iowa, where Mark Neal, then 17, threw the bat on stage and Osbourne bit its head off.
“It really freaked me out,” Neal told the Des Moines Register at the time, adding, “I won’t get in any trouble for admitting this, will I?”
In addition to recounting the dove incident, the A&E biography features exclusive interviews with Ozzy as he reflects on the many phases of his journey, the intimate details of his successes, failures, and his unique ability for survival and perseverance. The documentary also features interviews with Sharon, Kelly, and Jack Osbourne as well as friends and fellow musicians including Rick Rubin, Ice-T, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Jonathan Davis, Post Malone, and more.
The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne airs Monday, September 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on A&E.