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Ever since the late 1960s, Ozzy Osbourne has been a cultural enigma. He quickly established a career built on the persona as one of music’s princes of darkness.
Ozzy’s career is riddled with tall tales and legends that will be told for a century. But have you ever wondered if this rock vocalist could play the guitar?
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Can Ozzy Play Guitar?
While we could spend days pontificating Ozzy’s achievements, it’s best to get straight to the point. Does Ozzy Osbourne, a man known for his vocals, possess the capability of playing the guitar?
To answer this, we’re actually given a firsthand account of Ozzy’s answer to that very question. The video provided above features an interview with Ozzy, conducted by his son, Jack.
During this interview, Jack asks Ozzy whether or not he can play the guitar. Ozzy quickly says that he cannot in the most matter-of-fact way that he possibly could.
What’s interesting is that Jack actually denies Ozzy’s response, claiming to have seen him strum some chords. In fact, Ozzy denies having the capability each time that Jack insists that he can play the guitar.
If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking that this particular segment of the interview doesn’t clear things up. Rather, it makes the entire possibility that Ozzy could play guitar that much murkier.
At best, we’re left with a guess as to what the truth actually is. This is especially the case when someone’s word is the only evidence available, as is the situation here.
Applying some logic to this scenario can actually clear some things up. Let’s go down the rabbit hole and see where a train of logic-driven thought can lead us….
Analyzing & Assessing The Interview
The first thing you might have noticed is that Ozzy seemed to look slightly uncomfortable when asked the question. Or, at least, he became so when Jack accused him of being able to play the guitar.
You might be wondering why Ozzy gave the response in the way that he did. But, if you take a look at his past, it isn’t hard to see why he reacted this way.
And no, this isn’t referring to the legacy surrounding the antics of his fast lifestyle during his younger years. You have to take a second and realize that Ozzy utilized some of the guitar’s biggest names.
Ozzy Osbourne was never known for being a guitarist, but he is known for having excellent guitarists in his band. This includes Zakk Wylde and the legendary Randy Rhoads (who is consistently ranked as one of the greatest ever).
In fact, it was an honor of the highest degree to fulfill the role of guitar duties in Ozzy’s band. This all started with Black Sabbath and working with Tony Iommi, who is a legend in his own right.
Black Sabbath essentially pioneered the metal genre. This made Ozzy musical royalty forever.
Because of all of this, it’s easy to see why Ozzy denies having any guitar capabilities. Compared to those in his band, he probably doesn’t consider himself actually able to play the guitar.
Claiming he can play is like saying he is a skateboarder without being able to pop an ollie. Such a claim wouldn’t make his presence any larger-than-life than it already is.
In a way, it’s refreshing to see such a legendary music icon be so brutally honest in his modesty. If you wanted to accept Ozzy’s answer, it would probably be safe to assume he doesn’t play.
Assessing Jack’s Claim
If you’re wondering why Jack looks so familiar, you’ve probably seen him on The Osbournes. This reality TV show pumped Ozzy and his family into the living rooms of the entire United States.
The Osbournes show was actually far more successful than anyone probably imagined it would be. Despite only having 4 seasons, the show was placed on continual syndication, ensuring you wouldn’t miss an episode.
Somewhere along the way, the public’s perception of Ozzy started to shift a little. His past with the rock and roll lifestyle was no mystery, but its effects became highly publicized.
The show portrayed Ozzy as a mumbling burnout who had trouble completing the simplest of tasks. In a way, it kind of left a massive stain on the pop culture icon’s legendary notoriety.
It takes a little bit of effort to cast aside that societal perception and look below the surface. Ozzy seems to have always been a jokester at heart and has always known how to entertain a crowd.
His entire reputation and legendary career are built on the ability to be entertaining. Ozzy might very well have been playing into his “role” for the sake of entertaining his audience.
Therein lies Ozzy’s genius, and because of this, it isn’t too difficult to believe he could play the guitar. Like most vocalists, he has probably learned how to play some simple chord shapes along the way.
Most singers need a reference point to begin singing from, establishing the key of the song. It wouldn’t be unrealistic to think Ozzy could play a D chord for the sake of writing a melody.
Like the TV show role, Ozzy knows his role is a vocalist, letting someone else play the role of guitarist.
Does Ozzy Osbourne Play Guitar? Final Thoughts
With a career spanning well over 50 years, Ozzy has been around some incredible talent on the guitar. It’s almost a certainty that Ozzy is being humble and modest in his response to whether he can play guitar.
After being around the guitar for that long, it’s almost inevitable to at least try it out once or twice. Surely somebody would have shown Ozzy how to play some basic chords at some point in his career.
Granted, there's probably a good chunk of Ozzy material where the music was written by his band. But still, it’s hard to imagine Ozzy not being able to give some basic strums on some cowboy chords.
Until we’re given another answer from Ozzy directly himself, we’re left to our own conclusions. We’re probably never going to see him on stage with a guitar strapped on his shoulder.
Side note, do you want to learn to play guitar songs the easy way? Learn how here – results are guaranteed!