Both Metallica and Ozzy have suffered tragedies in regard to their band members. In March 1982, Randy Rhodes, the lead guitarist for Ozzy’s band, died in a plane crash. This was not something that anyone, let alone Ozzy, would have thought would happen. Randy was afraid to fly, but he was convinced by the pilot of the plane that it would be a safe flight, and he would not perform any crazy stunts like he normally did when flying the band.
However, the pilot couldn’t resist doing a “fly by” and when the plane buzzed by the home, the pilot got too close and the wing clipped the house causing the pilot to lose control and crash the plane. This tragedy devastated Ozzy; Randy was like a family member to him. For a while Ozzy was not sure he wanted to continue in the music business and almost ended his career. However, he eventually realized Randy would want him to continue and so Ozzy continued to make music.
Metallica also lost a band member in a tragic accident.
In September 1986, while the band was on tour in Sweden, the driver of the tour bus lost control causing it to crash and flip several times. Band member, Cliff Burton, was asleep in the back of the bus and when the bus began to flip he was thrown out of one of the windows. The bus landed on top of him and he died instantly. Cliff was the bassist for the band and they loved him like family, but they believed the band must continue so he was replaced. Despite continuing with their lives, the rest of the band will always remember Cliff, and he will live on in their hearts and also in their music.
As with many heavy metal bands, Metallica and Ozzy have also dealt with alcohol and drug addiction. This led to legal and personal issues within their lives. Ozzy was banned from the city of San Antonio for urinating on the Alamo while inebriated. During another one of his drunken binges, he tried to strangle his wife, Sharon. Metallica’s problems with alcohol did not lead to expulsion from any public place, or any form of attempted murder, but at one point they did treat one of their band members, Jason Newsted, very badly.
The explanation from every band member, for their mistreatment of him, is that they were mourning the death of Cliff Burton, and this was therapy for them. They did often treat him as if he were an outsider and not a true member of the band. They hazed him terribly and treated him as if he were their lackey rather than a true band member. On one the albums, And Justice For All, they went as far as to turn down his bass, so he is not even heard on the album. The hazing, drinking, and drug abuse lead to strife within the band, and contributed to Jason leaving.
Eventually the lead singer of Metallica, James, went to rehab and spent three months working on getting sober. Both Metallica and Ozzy have been sober for over five years now. Another way in which the bands are similar is that both Metallica and Ozzy have had their share of controversy, furthering the belief in the heavy metal band stereotype. Ozzy was known for theatrics and stunts during his concerts which furthered the public’s perception that he was a devil worshipper. At one point in his career, Ozzy bit the head off of a bat at one of his concerts.
It was thrown onto the stage and he maintains that he was not aware the bat was real until after he bit off the head. He also bit a doves head off, while intoxicated, during a meeting with some record company executives, furthering the belief that he is a Satanist. Metallica is not known for wild theatrics during their concerts but their behaviors after their concerts, as well as their professional dealings, have been a source of controversy within their career. They were the first band to sue Napster for piracy which really angered their fans.
Their excessive use of drugs and alcohol, as well as their sexual promiscuity while married, also altered fan’s view of them. The drugs, alcohol and loose morals have all led to changes within the band’s lives. When Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield became parents, they decided to change their ways, become sober, and believe in more than money. When one thinks of heavy metal music and artists, they often think of devil worshipping and substance abuse. While in some cases this is true, that is not the case with Metallica and Ozzy.
In fact, what most people do not realize is that both bands and their members are Christians. Ozzy always has been a member of the Church of England. It is well known that he prays before each performance as well as professing his beliefs in several of his songs. Metallica members are born again Christians and they profess this in many of their songs as well. While it is true that Ozzy and Metallica both have song lyrics that contradict their religious view. Songs such as Jump in the Fire by Metallica, with lyrics such as “Follow me now my child.
Do just as I say. Jump by your will or be taken by force, I’ll get you either way”, are primarily for shock value. Many metal bands completely fit the stereotype of being drug addicted, alcoholic, and Satan worshipers. However, some bands, such as Metallica and Ozzy Osborne, have managed to overcome these addictions and are Christians. They love the metal sound, music, and beat and continue to make the type of music they are known for without the lifestyle of most metal bands.
Both bands have had their share of controversy throughout their careers but have overcome this controversy and continue to have a large fan base, even after all these years. These two bands are very similar in many ways: they have stood the test of time and continue to have their fans despite some of the crazy things they have done. Metallica continues to make music while Ozzy now focuses more on family for various reasons, but their music continues to touch the lives of their fans, and no matter what happens, that will never change.