January 14, 1986

Jan14On this day in 1986, a court case against Ozzy Osbourne was thrown out of court.

Osbourne was taken to court by the parents of John McCollum, a depressed nineteen-year-old teenager who shot himself while listening to Osbourne’s song, ‘Suicide Solution’. The parents claimed that their son was driven to suicide by the lyrics in Osbourne’s song.

Found by his mother, McCollum was still wearing his headphones plugged into his turntable – playing Osbourne’s album – after shooting himself.

McCollum’s father pointed out that these lyrics in particular were what must have provoked his son to commit suicide:

“Made your bed / Rest your head / But you lie there and moan / Where to hide / Suicide is the only way out / Don’t you know what it’s really about”

Mr. McCollum also misquoted a lyric from ‘Paranoid’ during a television interview. He changed the lyrics from “Think I’ll loose my mind / If I don’t find something to pacify / Can you help me occupy my brain” into “…blow my brain”.

Osbourne replied in a television interview on the subject, saying, “The boy must have been messed up before he heard an Ozzy record, and I mean, I can’t help that, you know. I feel sad for the boy and terribly sad for the parents. As a parent myself I’d be pretty devastated if something like that happened. You know, I thought about this and if the boot were on the other foot… I couldn’t blame the artist.”

Osbourne further explains that the song isn’t about the positive effects of killing yourself. It was the complete opposite. Written about alcohol being a substance that you can kill yourself with by overindulgence and addiction. It was meant to be an anti-suicide song.

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