A thought that has never crossed my mind: Man, I could really use some help with this pressing life matter—what would Ozzy Osbourne do in this situation? I mean, I’m a big Black Sabbath fan, but Ozzy is not exactly the first person I’d think of to impart wisdom (that person would be Roseanne Barr, which is totally convenient because she just happens to be BUST’s new advice columnist). The Sunday Times of London apparently thinks otherwise, because they gave Ozzy his own health-advice column, which quickly became a hit and was reprinted in Rolling Stone magazine. Trust Me, I’m Dr. Ozzy (Grand Central Publishing) is a compilation of the queries posed by readers—and it’s also more or less a memoir, because Ozzy has an anecdote for every answer. He mentions again and again (seriously, the disclaimers are almost as heavy as the intro riff of “Into the Void”) that he is not a medical professional, and that his advice is based on personal experience and should not be taken seriously.
I had doubts about Ozzy being coherent enough to write a book, but apparently he is quite healthy and doing well these days—in fact, he seems pretty grateful to be alive. While Trust Me, I’m Dr. Ozzy has moments of humor and insight, it’s a lot of the same ol’ “one time I bit the head off a bat and pissed on the Alamo and many, many times I got blackout drunk and did drugs” stuff we’ve heard a million times. Now, though, these stories are meant to serve as cautionary tales—and while Ozzy can laugh about them, he soberly mentions more than once that he should be dead (a 2010 mapping of his DNA revealed that he is actually something of a medical miracle) and urges readers to see a real doctor for their serious struggles. He does not mince words for readers seeking help with addiction issues (he deems cigarettes “evil, man”), and sings the praises of vegetables, jogging, and tea.
So did I find enlightenment within the pages of Trust Me, I’m Dr. Ozzy? Well, um, no. The book’s main weakness is that it tries to be so many things at once that it falls short of being any of them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the advice isn’t actually all that helpful. The section about “Sex, Romance, and Ballcare” is especially out of touch and frustrating, with Ozzy taking a less-than-progressive stance on issues such as fetishes and the female orgasm. The most informative parts of the book are the trivia quizzes at the end of each chapter, which are full of bizarre medical facts (and probably weren’t written by Ozzy himself). There are definitely some laugh-out-loud lines among Ozzy’s repetitive recollections and TMI overshares, and the book shines most when you can actually hear his voice; for example, a chapter called “Have a Fucking Egg,” and his response to a guy who fears his four-year-old daughter is addicted to Angry Birds:
I don’t understand a single word of this question. Why do you have birds on your iPad, and why are they pissed off? The only thing I can think of is that this is some kind of video game…[try] distracting her with something else instead…like ice cream, heh-heh-heh.
Oh, crazy Uncle Ozzy!
Trust Me, I’m Dr. Ozzy is a quick, fun read, but I recommend Osbourne’s 2010 memoir I Am Ozzy to the dedicated fan who doesn’t want to know waaay too much about Ozzy’s bowel movements. Personally, I think I’ll stick to my handy old medical encyclopedia (the one with the awesome color photos of skin rashes!) the next time I’m awash in hypochondria, and my Sabbath records (from Black Sabbath up to Sabotage only) for my dose of the Prince of Darkness.
Trust Me, I'm Dr. Ozzy
And now, a gratuitous photo of a young, hunky Ozzy to help me forget about his colon: