Rivers Cuomo is an avowed metalhead. If you couldn’t tell from his current mullet or his naming an entire album Van Weezer, the emo pioneer originally got his kicks listening to Kiss and dreaming of owning a shredder guitar. That inclination towards the heavier side of music never really went away, even as his day job is to embrace alt-rock, pop, and even dance music.
Some of Weezer’s more aggressive songs, from the bridge of ‘Say It Ain’t So’ to the intro of ‘The End of the Game’ and quite a few moments in between, have retained that metal-adjacent sensibility. But one of the band’s biggest hits was originally written for an actual full-time metal legend – Ozzy Osbourne.
In an interview with Guitar World this year, Cuomo recalled Osbourne inquiring about Rivers possibly writing him a song during the early 2000s. “I think it was in 2000, he asked if I had any songs for him, and I just happened to have written ‘Hash Pipe,'” Cuomo remembered. “I sent it to him, but he didn’t end up using it. In another reality, it might have been interesting to hear him singing that song.”
First off, this leads to many questions. How did Ozzy Osbourne and Rivers Cuomo get into contact? Does this make Ozzy Osbourne a big Weezer fan? Did someone in Weezer know Zakk Wylde or Robert Trujillo at the time? They weren’t on the same label, and they didn’t even seem like they occupied the same universe.
It was probably in Cuomo’s best interest that Osbourne wound up passing on recording ‘Hash Pipe’. Weezer were returning from a five-year hiatus and took a critical walloping from their previous album Pinkerton. They needed some surefire gasoline to fire back up the Weezer engine, and ‘Hash Pipe’ was the perfect fuel to do so. Still, it’s never too late for Ozzy to gift us with a cover.
Cuomo brought up the connection mostly because a track off of Van Weezer, ‘Blue Dream’, contains an interpolation of ‘Crazy Train’. Like I said: Cuomo = metalhead.