Ozzy Osbourne Was ‘Paranoid’ and Thought Eric Clapton Was Stalking Him, Recalls How Guitarist Treated Him When They Met

Geezer Butler, who wrote the lyrics to Black Sabbath’s biggest song, didn’t really know what “paranoid” means at the time. The song, instead, is about the depression he felt in the band’s early days. But it’s still pretty damn funny to know that Ozzy Osbourne actually felt paranoid about Eric Clapton.

Black Sabbath feat. Ozzy Osbourne - Paranoid (Live Aid 1985)

In a recent interview conducted by Billy Morrison, the former Sabbath singer recalled weird unexpected encounters with Clapton, eventually making him believe that the guitarist was following him around. He recalls (via Blabbermouth):

“Many, many years ago, me and Sharon [Osbourne, Ozzy’s wife] were in New York and we had to go to an award show. Everybody was there. And I was still doing drugs and alcohol and I was freaked out. So, we go to this award show and afterwards there’s me, Grace Jones, that chick I did the award show with.

“Me, Grace Jones, and I wanted a picture of Eric Clapton, me and Grace Jones together. I thought, ‘He’s gonna think I’m a…’ And he’d just come out of some place. So, he was freaked out, which I didn’t know. And I’d convinced myself that he was gonna stop this photograph from being [released]; I’d never seen it for the longest time.”

“And then I went to an AA meeting in the valley many years later; it was like 10 years later. I turn around in this AA meeting and there at the back was Eric Clapton sitting there. And I’m, like, ‘Fucking hell.’ I’m thinking, ‘He still remembers.’ Not thinking of what he’s done in the last 10 years. … I’m thinking, ‘All he’s done, he’s still thinking how much he hates me.’ So I’m thinking, ‘At the end of the meeting, I’m gonna go out that door. I’m fucking legging this.’ I’m thinking, ‘He hates me. He’s gonna call me the biggest cunt he ever met.’ So, I’m just going back to cross the road. I’ll get in the car and drive off.’

“A couple weeks later, I go again. There he is again. I’m thinking, ‘This fucking guy…’ Yeah. I’m paranoid as fuck. So, I’m just about to cross the road and get in my car and drive off. He goes, ‘Ozzy.’ I go, ‘Here we go.’ And he goes, ‘Good to see you in the room.’

“We had a chat and I thought, ‘Wow, what a nice guy.’ The fucking next week, I go to a music stand and that photograph [from the award show] was in the magazine, the first magazine I picked up.”

In other news, Ozzy has just released a brand new solo track, featuring none other than his Black Sabbath bandmate Tony Iommi on guitar. Titled “Degradation Rules,” it brings some serious Birmingham four vibes. You can check it out below.

Ozzy Osbourne - Degradation Rules (Official Vizualizer) ft. Tony Iommi

Photo: John Bauld (TIFF 2017 Eric Clapton (36334522194)), Kevin Burkett (Ozzy Osbourne-2010)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.