Ozzy Osbourne recalled being “more than shocked” when his song “Suicide Solution” became the subject of a lawsuit in 1986.

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Two years earlier, 19-year-old John Daniel McCollum shot himself to death while listening to the first side of Osbourne’s Blizzard of Ozz album, which concluded with the track. McCollum’s parents later sued the singer and his record label, claiming the lyrics were a “proximate cause” of their son’s death.

In an upcoming episode of Ozzy’s Boneyard on Sirius XM, host Billy Morrison asked about the tragedy. “Well, that was all taken out of perspective,” Osbourne said. “We were all doing some serious pounding of the booze back then. I’d been drinking heavily for a long, long time. And it’s like, ‘Suicide Solution’ means ‘solution’ being liquid – not a way out. People get the fucking thing wrong.”

He remembered receiving a call at home in England from wife and manager Sharon, who was in the U.S. at the time: “She said, ‘Get on a plane. You’ve got to come out.’ I said, ‘Tell me what I’ve got to come out for.’ She said, ‘I’ll tell you when you get here.’ I said, ‘Is it problems?’ She said, ‘Just get on a fucking plane.’ I get to LAX, come to the terminal and there must have been 200 cameras. I’m looking over my shoulder, I’m standing, and about 15 microphones [are] in front me. ‘What do you think about this lawsuit?’ And I’m going, ‘What lawsuit?’”

Asked if he was shocked to discover the details, Osbourne replied: “More than shocked.” You can listen to the interview below.

The case was dismissed two years later, with a State of California court ruling that McCollum’s suicide was not a foreseeable consequence of the song’s contents.

That was the first of three lawsuits over “Suicide Solution.” Parents claimed the song played a role in the deaths of 16-year-old Michael Waller in 1986 and 17-year-old Harold Hamilton in 1988. Those cases were also dismissed.

 

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