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Master of Reality’s Early Beginning

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Essay title: Master of Reality’s Early Beginning

John Michael Osbourne was born to John Thomas Osbourne and his wife Lillian on December 3rd, 1948. His residence was located at 14 Lodge Road, Aston, Birmingham, England. John Thomas was a professional tool maker and Lillian worked at the Lucas car factory.

John was one of 3 brothers and 3 sisters. His two brothers were named Paul, and Tony, and his 3 sisters were named Jean, Iris, and Gillian. He was born into a very poor family. He barely had any clothes. In fact, in a recent interview he said he only had one shirt, one pair of pants, and one jacket. His apartment had no indoor plumbing and no indoor bathroom. He slept in one bed with all 5 of his brothers and sisters. John was beaten quite a bit by his father, most of it for stunts like trying to kill his siblings.

In his spare time, John would watch television. He liked shows such as "I love Lucy", "Lassie" and "Roy Rogers". This was the lifestyle of Birmingham, a time where you went to work all day and then to the pub to drink and play darts until deciding to stagger home. For the Osbourne family, life was no different. It was all work and little time to enjoy the finer moments in life. While the Beatles were singing about flower power and loving one another, the people of Birmingham simply had to take a good look around them to see the reality of the world: it was hard. Life was no different for the Osbourne family.

While in school, other students called John, "Ozzie" or "Oz-brain" with respect to his last name. Quite the rebel, John did however take part in various school opera-plays such as H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance. There was one student at school named Tony Iommi whom he did not get along with. Tony and John were from two different crowds and there was no love lost between the two. Tony and his mates would make fun of John's high voice and compared his singing to that of a girl's. The two of them would later reunite later on, under totally different circumstances.

John did not do particularly well in school and wanted to get out as soon as he could. When asked on a school survey what his ambition was, he wrote that he wanted to become a plumber. John was kicked out from school. His parents argued often, and the main issue was their lack of money. John decided that he could fix this if he could go out and get a job. So at the age of 15, John took his first job as a plumber's assistant. He proceeded to cut the end of his thumb off, and it had to be reattached. He still bears a scar.

His second job was as a toolmaker's apprentice. John then went on to work in a slaughterhouse in Digbeth for two years, killing cows. Other jobs included an auto mechanic, house painter and even two weeks at a mortuary. His first musical job was working in the Lucas electrical plant tuning car horns. He later said, "I liked heavy metal better because it was louder".

Dissatisfied with the low income he is earning, John turned to a life of crime. He began robbing small clothes stores and private homes. The cops kept catching him though. Because he wore gloves who's fingers were cut out, his fingerprints were left all over the place! His longest sentence was 6 weeks in the Winson Green Prison, for burglary. During this 6 week sentence, armed with a needle and a slab of graphite, John placed the now famous tattoos on his body. O-Z-Z-Y across his knuckles, needles on his arms, the word "thanks" on his palm, and a happy face on each knee to cheer him up when he woke up in the morning. One happy face can be seen on his left knee on the "Diary of a Madman" album cover.

He would later be put in jail again for punching a police officer in the mouth. Shortly after his release from prison for burglary, he wound up in the hospital on glucose for 12 hours after being thrown through a glass window while fighting 3 men.

After getting out of jail, John decided he did not want to go end up going back. At this time, The Beatles were becoming increasingly popular and becoming the craze. John thought that this would be the way to go. There was money to be made in singing as opposed to crime. As a child, John loved the Beatles and always was admired by the way they commanded an audience. He made up his mind, he wanted to be just like the Beatles. It is of interest to note that this would not be his first musical experience: earlier at the age of 14 he had already been in a band named "The Black Panthers".


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