Before rock legend Ozzy Osbourne took the stage at the closing ceremonies of BlizzCon 2009, he didn't know "what the fuck to expect" from an audience full of gamers.
Ozzy Osbourne took the stage around 7:45 PM at the Anaheim Convention centre to help bring BlizzCon 2009 crashing to a close. Thousands of fans screamed along as he burned through classic songs like "Iron Man", "Paranoid", "War Pigs", and the song featured in Blizzard's World of Warcraft ad, "Crazy Train." Ozzy seemed to be having a great time on stage, bowing to the crowd when he wasn't spraying them with a fire hose, but he wasn't so sure about the BlizzCon gig going into it.
"Coming here (unintelligible) to the show tonight I thought, "They're all gonna be like scientists and fucking brain brain (unintelligible) fucking audience." Glasses wearing spectacles and coke bottles. I didn't know what the fuck to expect. I kept saying to my wife Sharon, "Sharon, do you think you'll like me? Do you think they'll understand what I'm about?" And it was even better than some gigs I've done. It's a gift that I've had a good life through music."
The audience definitely understood what Ozzy was all about, singing along with all of his music...songs that were released before many of them were born. I was ushered behind the stage halfway through the set, where Ozzy's enjoyment of the crowd was evidenced across the countless video monitors scattered about the control area. Some time after the music went silent I was ushered into a well-furnished back room, where the aging rocker sat court in a chair that might as well have been a throne for the man's presence. As he talked, he's hands shook, but his eyes never wavered behind his tinted circle shades.
I marveled with the man over the fact that his music has been embraced by the gaming culture - one that didn't even exist when he started his career.
"This video game where they play the guitar - my son is like "Hey dad, you gotta play this game." He's up for three days playing this game. The Rock Band people told me that up to a billion people play that game. A billion fucking people. That's a lot of fucking mouths. It's incredible. If doubt that many would by my albums. You've gotta embrace it or you'll fall by the wayside."
An embrace it he has, though I'm not so sure he wasn't already one of us, if only in spirit. When I asked about the people wandering about it costumes - the scantily clad girls in blue paint and horns?
"I think it's fucking great. It's like the Star Wars bar."
Did Ozzy just make a Star Wars reference? Perhaps we're not so different after all.