Ozzy Osbourne is still a metal star at 71 years old. Without a doubt, the musician from Birmingham is a rock legend and one of the last survivors of a whole generation of irreverent artists who marked the sound of the 20th century.
Among his colleagues who died in previous years is Lemmy Kilmister, leader of Motörhead who was also one of his best friends. During a recent dialogue with Classic Rock, the “Prince of Darkness” recalled he had spoken with Lemmy on Dec. 28, 2015, just prior to the musician’s death:
“He was a good man, Lemmy was,” said Osbourne, then reflecting, “All the guys from Motörhead have gone now, from the original band.”
“It’s hard to lose anyone you love,” he continued. “I was talking to Lemmy on the morning that he died, but I couldn’t understand what he was talking about. I wanted to talk to someone else who was there, but they kept giving the phone to Lemmy.”
In 2016 Sydney Morning Herald interview, Ozzy revealed that he actually had a final conversation with the Motorhead leader two days before his death:
“I couldn’t make head nor tail what the fuck he was talking about, he was so ill,” said Osbourne. “And two days before I spoke to him he just had a birthday, his 70th … I mean, there’s nothing fucking good about fucking dying at any age, you know? But as he said to me, in one of the last conversations I had with him, he says, ‘Well, I lived my life the way I wanted to live it. Who wants to live to 85? You’re gonna be bored shitless.'”
“So I got back, and he goes, ‘What do you think about these?’ And I go, ‘Oh, great,'” recalled Ozzy. “He then goes, ‘What about these?’ I go, ‘Oh, you got two…?’ He goes, ‘No, I got another one – three.’ I go, ‘You had written three sets of lyrics?!’ He said, ‘Yeah, and that book was crap!’ I said, ‘What book?’ He says, ‘The book you gave me.'”
As Ozzy tells it, “He was a speed-reader! He could read really fast. He was amazing! You look at people like Lemmy and you think, ‘Oh, he’s a yob.’ But he was very well-educated.”
Ozzy and Lemmy would collaborate together on four songs included on the former’s 1991 album No More Tears: “Mama, I’m Coming Home”, “I Don’t Want to Change the World”, “Desire” and “Hellraiser”. For the album’s 30th anniversary, a special duet remixed version of “Hellraiser” featuring vocals from Ozzy and Lemmy was released (see animated music video below).