As a youngster, comedian Jim Norton became a huge fan of Ozzy Osbourne. Fast forward through the years and as it would turn out, little Jimmy is now actual friends with the “Prince of Darkness” himself and is more of a “fanboy” than ever. Hey, if that doesn't teach the kids that dreams really can come true then nothing will. With a three-day stint at the Ontario Improv (March 6th through 8th), we knew that the perfect topic to hit this funny man up for would have to be related to pumping up some hard rock. Since Ozzy's Boneyard is so popular on SiriusXM and Jim also hosts “Norton's Obsessed on Ozzy's Boneyard” on the channel, we decided to get his picks for a “Five Song Ozzy's Boneyard Playlist.” Makes perfect sense right? Kind of like it makes perfect sense for you to grab your tickets now to see Jim in Ontario before it sells out. Seriously, this guys sells out everywhere so you better hurry up!
Jim Norton: Choosing my five favorite metal songs is virtually impossible. It's like choosing my favorite blowjob or picking the funniest time I've ever seen a person fall down stairs. These are five songs I truly love and play often on my nightly show on Ozzy's Boneyard on SiriusXM.
5. Motorhead, “We Are The Road Crew”
Favorite line: Another town I've left behind. Another drink completely blind. Another hotel I can't find.
Motorhead has to be the most underrated band of all time. There are three guys and they sound like 50. Every song is heavy, has an amazing beat, and sounds different from the next. In 2008, I hosted a four-part show on HBO called “Down and Dirty With Jim Norton” where I introduced younger comics to the HBO audience and had one more established headliner to close the show. Lemmy was the “musical director” for the show, which really meant that Lemmy just kind of stood next to some musical equipment and looked cool while introducing me to the stage. “We Are The Road Crew” was the theme song, which we wound up shooting a video for in the Village for the opening of the show. I got to hang with Lemmy for four days and ride to the city in a limo with him while he smoked approximately 350 cigarettes. Amazing fucking four days.
4. Black Sabbath, “Under The Sun”
Favorite line: People hiding their real face, keep on running their rat race. Behind each flower grows a weed, in their world of make believe.
One of the main reasons terrestrial radio sucks and satellite radio is excellent is because of songs like this. Sabbath almost never got commercial airplay, with the exception of “Paranoid,” “War Pigs” and occasionally “Iron Man.” Great songs but, there are so many that were just totally ignored by the hack music jocks all over the country. On Ozzy's Boneyard I play this one a lot. The guitar riff is tremendous and it's lyrically brilliant. I never thought I'd live to see Sabbath do this song live but since they've reunited, they've added it to the set list. The first time I saw it live I was so happy I almost fucking cried. In classic Sabbath fashion, it starts off with a heavy and consistent riff, changes to something faster, and then goes back to the original riff for the final verse.
3. Mercyful Fate, “Satan's Fall”
Favorite line: Craniums high on stakes, it's Satan's epigraph. Something you can't erase, six hundred and sixty-six.
Another drastically underrated band was Mercyful Fate. I doubt they ever got one song on commercial radio, possibly because they sang about devil worship and King Diamond, the lead singer, has an upside down cross on his face. They were all excellent musicians and King Diamond's voice had more range than Mariah Carey's. “Satan's Fall” is over eleven minutes long, which means it's great to play when I am on the air and have to shit. There are very dark lyrics in this song, as there are in most Fate songs, as well as multiple tempo changes. You'll only hear this one on Ozzy's Boneyard.
2. The Ramones, “We're a Happy Family”
Favorite line: We ain't got no friends, our troubles never end. No Christmas cards to send, daddy likes men.
There are many things I'm embarrassed about in my life; from my lack of formal education to the inadequate size of my genitals. The most embarrassing admission however, is how late in life I got into The Ramones. I totally missed the boat on them growing up. It wasn't until a few years ago that I had sex with a girl who was a Ramones fan. She insisted on watching a documentary about them, which I wanted nothing to do with. Ten minutes into it I was intrigued, and by the end of it, I loved them. This is probably my favorite song by them.
1. Black Sabbath, “Damaged Soul”
Favorite line: Born in a graveyard adopted by sin, I cultivate evil that's living within.
Black Sabbath's newest album, 13, was released in June of last year. It was produced by Rick Rubin and I think it's a masterpiece. He somehow got the band to record the way they did in the early days and the result is an album that sounds like it was recorded in 1971. “Damaged Soul” was something they were just jamming in the studio to warm up and they had no intention on putting it on the record. I think Rick just told them to go with it and they wound up creating what became my favorite new song. (Same thing with the song “Paranoid.” They needed a couple of extra minutes to fill the album and wound up recording the biggest song in the band's history). I interviewed the band and talked about this song and Ozzy said the lyrics were kind of primitive because they had no idea it was being recorded for the album. The guitar riffs in this are vintage Tony Iommi and I would gladly give Rick Rubin a handjob for putting this on the album. Ozzy's voice slightly cracking on the word “soul” in the opening verse is an imperfection they were brilliant to leave in.
Catch Jim Norton at the Ontario Improv March 6th through March 8th, 4555 Mills Circle Ontario Mills Ontario, CA 91764, (909) 484-5411. For tickets go to www.Improv.com. You can listen to Ozzy's Boneyard and Opie & Anthony on SiriusXM. For all things Norton and to download his newest special “American Degenerate” for only $5, check out his website www.JimNorton.com and follow him on Twitter @JimNorton.