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Music on the Road

Ozzy Osbourne on money, music and Merry Mayhem

By Jodi Ross
CNN Entertainment Correspondent


NEW YORK (CNN) -- Ozzy Osbourne hasn't put out a solo record in 6 years but it seems as if nothing has changed for the 52-year-old godfather of heavy metal. His latest album, "Down to Earth," is like so many before it -- a mix of hard rock and softer melodies.

About 1,000 fans lined up to see the Ozz-man at a recent record store signing. Bejeweled and bedecked in his trademark black, Ozzy was joined by daughter Kelly and wife Sharon, who is also his manager.

"One thing about Ozzy," Sharon notes, "is that he doesn't follow trends, he's just always been himself and that is what's so great about him. What you see is what you get."

CNN followed the metal man to Tower Records in Hollywood, California, and then to the set of his new music video for the album's second single, "Dreamer." With Ozzy, we talked money, music and Merry Mayhem.

CNN: You've got enough money to hang it up. You can retire.

Ozzy Osbourne: It's not the point of money, it's what I do, you know. I couldn't imagine myself sitting home in a pair of slippers watching TV for the rest of my life.

CNN: Are you wondering where you fit in to the big [music] picture now?

Osbourne: It's been 6 years between my last album and I said to my record company, "Where does Ozzy Osbourne fit in this day and age?'" All they said was "Just be Ozzy," and that's all I can be, you know.

CNN: You are on tour.

Osbourne: It's called the Merry Mayhem Tour with Rob Zombie and Mudvane and it's an indoor arena tour -- which I haven't played indoors for 7 years now so it'll be good.

CNN: I hear there's an interesting side show attached to this, too.

Osbourne: I'm not gonna say anything cause I don't want to give the trick away too early. Come along and see it yourself, it'll be a lot of fun.


CNN: Do you think heavy metal is dead?

Osbourne: Never. They keep telling me it's dead and I keep proving them wrong, you know.

CNN: What do you listen to at home?

Osbourne: Dogs barking, buildings drilling holes, my wife undoing boxes and unpacking -- my house at the moment is like a bomb zone. It's Ozzy -- the way I live, you know.

CNN: Why did you decide to have Rob Zombie (front man for White Zombie) direct your video ("Dreamer")?

Osbourne: Most video directors haven't got a clue about rock n' roll people. They think they're making the next epic movie and it's only a three- or four-minute song. I'd heard about Rob making a horror film. He made a horror film, I don't know why. I had talked to him one day and said, "I never knew you were into making movies." And he said, "My dream was to make movies before I made music." Then he talked to my wife ... and then he agreed to do it and it's been great.

CNN: Any fear putting an album out with all the pop music that's out there? Is your audience still there?

Osbourne: No, my album stands on its own legs. I have my own following, a loyal fan base.

CNN: What does Ozzy do when he's not on stage or making a music video?

Osbourne: My wife manages me, I have three raving mad kids, I have seven or eight dogs -- you'll soon find out because I've got MTV doing a real world thing, living with me for the last couple of months. Soon you can turn on your TV and see what Ozzy gets up to when he's not working. I think it's quite normal but the crew thought it was nuts ... I watch the History Channel. I like documentaries. I'm not watching the news as much lately cause it's depressing ... My wife and I were in New York when the World Trade Center got hit. That's one of them things -- you'll remember where you were, what you were wearing, what you were doing and all that.

CNN: How have you changed since September 11?

Osbourne: The world has changed so indirectly you have to change with it. This morning when we were in the trailer I was saying, "People won't fly to (Las) Vegas for the weekend or San Francisco for the weekend." The whole idea of flying and traveling will forever be changed. It was just horrific.

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4:30pm ET, 4/16