In 1982 the idea of music television was still very much in its purile infancy. MTV was not yet hitting the upcoming dizzy heights that beckoned and the now-usual connection fans have with their musical heroes via social media was a mere science-fiction dream.
One place you could catch the biggest stars of the day though was ‘Night Flight’. We’re revisiting a legendary interview from the TV show of the legendary Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne.
Some years before MTV created a monopoly on music television, there was one show which actually started a few months before the iconic network launched; ‘Night Flight’. It grabbed attention and highlighted the need for a new view of music.
The show ran from 11 pm – 7 am and gave their audience a double-showing of their most recent and interesting interviews and magazine pieces. It still remains to this day as a visual-art magazine online.
One particular interview has us rolling around the office, Night Flight‘s iconic and candid 1982 interview with the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. In the recording, the interviewer was keen to find out the legends which swirled around the “wild man” Ozzy. One headline that had been following Ozzy not so long before the clip was accusations of Ozzy biting the heads off animals on stage—a great PR stunt but not one that brought good attention.
“What head did you really bite?” she asks with unstoppable glee. He responds between toothy grins and sparkling eyes, “I bit my own head off”.
The interviewer then delves further into finding out about the validity of claims that Ozzy bit the head off a bat. Ozzy details that it only happened because he thought it was a fake bat, saying that people threw animals on stage all the time at his gigs, but did reveal “the taste of bat is very salty”.
Amid the joviality, the interview also offered a slightly sadder view of the Prince of Darkness who shared not only his fight against the persona he created nor the drink and drugs that littered his life, but a peek into his home life with Sharon. “My wife Shazzy’s the best”.
The clear division between Ozzy and John Osbourne and what Ozzy calls a “split personality” is a theme throughout the interview and offers some of the most candid moments of Ozzy at this age.
After speaking about the addictions which threatened to corrupt his “God-given talent” Ozzy is then asked about his inspirations, musical or otherwise. The interviewer ponders whether working in a mortuary at 15 had inspired his darkened songwriting, but Ozzy gave another incendiary answer instead.
“Adolf Hitler,” he answers with the interviewer agog, “he had a lot of charisma, in a bad way, and I kind of admired him.” He reiterates “it was terrible what he did, but he had something about him, y’know. I admired him, not for what he was, but for people… hey, man, if someone put this in the right way…” The singer begins to trail off, possibly imagining the headlines already.
The interview finishes with the lasting declaration from Ozzy, which really caught us, saying “I’m here for you guys, I’m here for people, to give enjoyment, to give them my life, my soul, my everything”.
Watch the full interview with Ozzy Osbourne from a 1982 episode of Night Flight below.