Despite the facade he presents, Ozzy Osbourne has always tried to remain the same person as he was when growing up in Birmingham. He’s attempted to not let fame change him, and the singer has witnessed first-hand how people such as Andy Warhol have been absorbed by their own self-importance.
In truth, it’s unsurprising that Osbourne and Warhol didn’t see eye to eye, especially considering their different approaches to life. It’s likely that the artist was just as bemused by the metal pioneer, and it would have been unexpected for him to become a regular frequented of The Factory, although stranger things have happened.
Osbourne opened up about his encounter with Warhol during a conversation with The Daily Mail in 2010. In the article, the frontman revealed the secrets to his success and how he’s never lost “sight of what it’s like to be a normal person”.
When you’ve been lauded as a hero by thousands on stage every night for decades, it can be easy to let your ego go out of control and fully immerse yourself into believing the world revolves around you. However, his negative encounter with Warhol provided Osbourne with a glimpse behind the looking glass and taught him a vital life lesson.
Ozzy explained: “When I met Paul McCartney, I knew what some of my fans might feel. To me, the Beatles were just it. My bedroom wall was covered in Beatles pictures. I was Beatles-mad. He was an absolutely lovely guy. It was a TV awards show, and Sharon asked me, ‘Did you ever think you’d meet him?'”
He added: “I met Andy Warhol, but he was a weirdo surrounded by eccentrics. Every so often he would take out his Instamatic and take a picture of what was happening around him. He would never say a word. He was a very strange dude.”
Warhol’s eccentricity was the ingredient which made his art so special, and if he was an ordinary guy, it would have made his work feel somewhat disingenuous. What you saw was what you unapologetically got with Warhol. His off-the-wall character was an integral part of his brand, and although he wasn’t the world’s most welcoming host to Osbourne, the American let his art encompass every fibre of his body and had no time for niceties.
However, not everyone can be as naturally acerbic as Andy Warhol. Thankfully, when he met Paul McCartney, Osbourne was relieved to discover how normal the former Beatle had remained despite the preposterous amount of success he’d acquired in his career. In short, Ozzy’s life lesson is a simple one: ‘Be more Macca’.