Entry for July 14, 2006

by

RETURN OF THE NATIVE

OZZY OSBOURNE:The Ultimate Ozzy

(CBS Fox Music Video)

So, like, I guess I died, right? And I’m in this teeny little room where there’s a bunch of chairs and gray walls with lots of religious posters all over. It sucks! What’s worse is that I don’t even know I’m dead or anything.

This dude walks in through the door with this great big ol’ grin on his face and he stares at me. “So,” he says, “you’re DiMartino, right?”

Yeah, I tell him.

“You’re dead, you know that?”

No, I tell him, I didn’t.

“Yeah, you must’ve got in a car wreck or something. I know that stuff, but it takes me awhile. Want me to check?”

No. Who are you?

“I’m God, dude! Dig it!”

Gimme a break.

“No, really, I mean it. I’m a happenin’ dude, man! I can do anything, be anywhere! Really! It’s great!”

I start to laugh. He gives me a dirty look.

“Don’t you believe, man?”

Yeah, sure. Sure I do. So what’s up, pal? Is this Hell or something?

“Hell? HAAAA-HAAAA-HAAAA!” The mofo nearly blows out my eardrums. “Not yet, sucker!” He’s got this weird look on his face, like he’s checking me out or something. Oh yeah, he sort of looks like Kenny Seger or Bob Seger or someone. “I gotta make the judgement,” he says.

The judgement?

“Yeah. Like, you know, where you’re gonna end up.”

Heaven or Hell?

“Yeah.” He’s quiet for a minute. “You’re Catholic, aren’t you? I mean, I made your dad come from Italy, so, like, you better be, right?”

Yeah.

“OK. Then you might go to Purgatory, too.”

Christ.

“Nope, he’s out eatin’.” He’s got this look on his face so I can’t tell whether he’s joking or not. “Maybe he’ll call you when he gets back from lunch.”

Right.

“OK,” he says, and he looks down at this big watch he’s wearing. “Let’s do this quick. You do anything weird up there?”

What do you mean?

“You know. Weird.”

Like what?

“You know.”

I’m, like, quiet for a minute, too. The whole thing’s screwy.

“So?”

I give the guy–God, I guess–a dirty look. He gets pissed.

“I don’t have the time,” he says. “I got things to do.”

Yeah?

He shakes his head. It looks like he’s got food in his beard. It moves. “OK, babe, let’s Random Screen you.” The wall behind him turns into this TV set, like, but it’s got really great resolution–you can’t even see the lines or anything. I see this big logo that says “DiMartino–Last Day,” and the lettering’s like the logo on CREEM. Laff riot, right? And I’m in the picture, sitting on my couch. I’m drinking a Labatt’s Light, watching Ozzy Osbourne on TV. I guess my underarm’s itching, too.

“So,” says this guy, “you like Ozzy or something?”

I hear this kind of stuff all the time. Like, just because I work for a music magazine, everybody thinks they know what I like. I hate it.

No, man, I don’t.

“So,” he says, pointing at the picture, “why were you watching that videotape of his?”

To tell you the truth, I’m kinda floored.

It’s my job, man, I tell him. I gotta watch this stuff. Even when I don’t want to.

He looks me up and down, like I’m some kinda bug or something. “You think I like doing this?” His eyes get sort of, you know, mean. “You think I get to do stuff I always wanna do? HELL NO!” Then he calms down and starts grinning again. “Get it?”

Like, his jokes are lousy, too, right?

“So tell me, little Italian boy,” he says. It bums me out. “What’s your opinion of this Ozzy Osbourne dude?”

Between you and me, I used to be an altar boy. God talking like this really screws me up, you know? So I guess I kinda blow it. I don’t say anything.

“Wanna know what I think, pal?” God’s got this kinda smug, holier-than-thou look–which I guess he should have, things being the way they are and all. “I think the dude rocks!”

You think the dude rocks.

“You got it, man! And how! Like, I mean, the guy’s all show-biz, you know? Listen to him!”

Even though I’ve already seen the video–and now I’m watching myself watching the video–I kind of get into it again. We watch for a while.

“The dude kicks, you know? And dig the rapport! ‘There’s some party animals out there!’ ‘Everybody go crazy! I love you!’ Talk about stage patter! The guy’s got it down! Presley, Liberace and Ozzy! In their own way, a trinity–can you dig it?”

I’m still sort of looking at the guy.

“It’s true!” he says. “This tape’s got it all–the new hits, that hot chick from the video, ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Paranoid,’ Jake E. Lee’s killer guitar riffs…” God looks kinda dreamy for a minute, then looks me right in the eyes. “Frankly, I dig the guy more than Randy–but don’t ever tell him that when you see him.”

Right.

God keeps raving for a couple of minutes and misses the part where Ozzy dresses up like J.R. in Dallas. I thought it was kinda corny when I first saw it, but decide not to say anything. Like, what if he disagrees?

“All told,” says God–and here he’s got this sorta pompous look in his eyes, like a lot of rock critics I know–“this tape you were watching is far out whether you dig Ozzy or not!

Yeah, I tell him. I know. That’s just what I was gonna say.

“So why didn’t you?”

The TV screen shuts off, and it’s like it’s just a small room with gray walls and religious posters again. Me and God. Too weird.

I guess I will say that, man, I tell him. If I get the chance to do it.

God stares at me, like I’m saying something real important. He’s quiet, so I keep talking.

Yeah, I say, that’s just what I’d say, if I could get the chance to do it all over again.

I kinda look at God wide-eyed and sorta innocent here, which usually works for me, you know?

“Tell you what, dude,” God says. “Let’s go out for pizza and talk about Dio for a while.”

Like, man, I wasn’t even hungry, but I went, you know?

(CREEM, November 1986)

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