Ozzy Osbourne Signing At Amoeba, Friday February 21st 2020
Some people had camped in front of Amoeba for hours, even for days. I talked to a few people standing in line around 4 pm and they told me they had been there since Wednesday! Ozzy Osbourne was doing a signing inside the mega record store late Friday afternoon, and the scene was incredible but very peaceful. People were waiting serenely, anticipating the meeting with the Prince of Darkness. Around 9 am, Amoeba posted a message on social media(while the store only opens at 10: 30 am) warning people there was no reason for fans to get there as the event had already sold out, but I am not sure everyone got the message.
Today, Ozzy was releasing his new album ‘Ordinary Man,’ and after announcing a month ago he had to cancel his North American tour to deal with his health issues, after canceling his appearance in Jonesy’s Jukebox this morning, this Amoeba signing was certainly the only chance to see the 71-year-old rocker, who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Despite the fact there was only one signing per person (with the purchase of ‘Ordinary Man’ and no signing of additional items), despite the fact that no photos with Ozzy were allowed, fans of all ages had gathered in a very large number for this unique event. Ozzy looked good and appeared to be in great spirit, in spite of his health problems, he was sitting on a gothic throne and was posing for photographers before his marathon signing. The last time rock NYC met Ozzy (in 2018 here) we managed a few words as well, and probably many more than any of the fans waiting have ever got. This time, less than two hours before the signing I was told by Ozzy people I was on the list to the signing whereas people had been in line since the crack of dawn.
‘Ordinary Man’ is Ozzy’s first solo music in almost a decade, and the album truly crosses genres as it features collaborations with Elton John (the title song), Post Malone (‘It’s A Raid’) and Travis Scott (‘Take What You Want’). ‘Straight To Hell’ also features Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, while plenty of famous names are part of the project: producer Andrew Watt is on guitar, Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses) is on bass, Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is on drums while Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) is also on guitar on some songs. The sound of the album is pure Ozzy with plenty of genre exploration from pop to hip hop, while his powerful vocals seem to be kicking back against fate. His voice is still a raging fire.
Even though Ozzy sings ‘I don’t want to die an ordinary man’ in the title song, the album is turned toward the future with a large variety of genres covered, but I will always prefer Ozzy rocking hard than singing a piano ballad. ‘Straight to Hell’ is a pure fun headbanging all the way to Black Sabbath territory, and who knew Post Malone could go heavy metal like this? Iman reviewed the song here.
‘It was a lot of fun to do though it’s a lot different from my other albums,’ declared Ozzy about the album. ‘We recorded it quickly, which I haven’t done since the first Black Sabbath album. This made it a different process, which I actually enjoyed.’
‘It all just came together, Slash is a dear friend of mine, as is Elton. When I was writing ‘Ordinary Man,’ it reminded me of an old Elton song and I said to Sharon, ‘I wonder if he would sing on it?’ We asked and lo and behold, he agreed and sings and plays piano on the song.’
I would bet that Ozzy went beyond his close circle of friends when he chose to collaborate with Post Malone and Travis Scott. This genre exploration is a testimony of the longevity of the heavy metal icon, while the endless line of fans in front of the store was without any doubt a love declaration made by many of his loyal fans.