When Consequence recently interviewed Ozzy, the site asked the metal icon if he felt he was underrated as a singer, compared to other legendary vocalists like Dickinson, Rob Halford and the late Ronnie James Dio.
“Bruce Dickinson is a great singer, but as a person, I’ve worked with him, and he’s not very nice,” Ozzy responded. “Ronnie James Dio is no longer alive. He was a great singer. I didn’t really know him so well. I’m not one of these guys who says many things about people. The truth is the truth. I met Ronnie James Dio a couple of times. He took my [BLACK SABBATH] gig. But at the same time, I can’t complain because I did great on my own.”
“But I don’t sing for a judge. I sing for my fans,” he continued. “If my fans don’t buy my music, that would tell me my singing isn’t any good anymore, but they’re still buying my records. I’m my own worst critic. I don’t rate myself more than Ronnie James Dio or Bruce Dickinson. That’s not my gig. I don’t care. I have fun doing what I do. My goal is to turn my f**king audience on. And that’s what I try to do. I’m not interested if someone thinks I’m a f**king joke. That’s fine. That’s their opinion.”
Sharon, who was interviewed for the same Consequence cover story, was far more harsh towards Dickinson, saying: “Bruce Dickinson is a f**king prick. Well, no, he’s not a prick because a prick’s nice. He’s a f**king a**hole. Because the situation is he was on a tour called Ozzfest. And Ozzy Osbourne was paying him every night to perform. He accepted the gig. He knew what he was doing. He accepted the gig. And every night he would go onstage and say bad things about Ozzy. And the crew and everybody in all the other bands would be like, ‘Are you letting him get away with it?’ And I’m like, ‘I sure am.’ But the last gig was [just outside of] L.A. And I thought, ‘You motherf**ker, now you’re gonna get it.’
“And so I had about 20 people in the audience and a lot of them were nurses from Cedars Sinai, because I had cancer at that time. And they were all my chemo nurses. And they all came down, and they f**king pelted the sh*t out of him. And my thing is, you play, you pay! And the thing is, if you’re being paid to do a gig, but you don’t like the person, then f*ck off. But don’t stay, take the money, take all the good that’s coming to your band through being on a festival, doing 24 shows and still slagging the person that’s paying you. It’s like, ‘No, that makes you a f**king a**hole.’ And he is. And he’s never apologized, he never even went up and said hello to Ozzy. The thing about him is that he is just so jealous. And always has been of Ozzy. And that’s his problem.”
“Because the thing is about Bruce Dickinson, he’s hugely successful. He’s got a great fan base, a great fan base that have been loyal. The band are great guys. All the band are great. And they do great. You know, they’re a great band, you can’t take it away, and neither would I take that away from them. But the thing about Bruce is, he is unknown to the public. Bruce Dickinson could walk into anywhere and nobody would know who the f**k he is. Do you know what I’m saying? He’s a faceless singer to the general public. People aren’t scrambling to get him for an interview. And the thing is, he’s not interesting. But the thing is, Ozzy is original and Bruce isn’t and that’s what eats Bruce away.”
In March this year during Dickinson‘s Q&A portion of his spoken-word show at at Palace Of Fine Arts in San Francisco, California, IRON MAIDEN frontman was asked if BLACK SABBATH can exist without its founding drummer Bill Ward.
“I’m a massive lover of Bill Ward‘s drumming style; I think it’s inspired,” Bruce responded. “‘Cause he’s not really a rock drummer; he’s more like a jazz drummer playing rock. And I love that kind of style; it’s kind of like drums that kind of wander around the rhythm and everything else. But he’s on it; he’s brilliant. And I met him. He’s a lovely bloke as well. Slightly mad, but very nice. But then aren’t we all? All of us are on the madness spectrum a little bit.”
Circling back to the original question, Bruce said: “Does BLACK SABBATH exist without Bill Ward? Well, it’s not a matter of… I don’t think BLACK SABBATH exist at all now.” He then took a swipe at Sharon Osbourne, the wife and manager of SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne, saying: “I think Sharon‘s made sure of that.”
In 2005, Sharon allegedly arranged eggs to be thrown at IRON MAIDEN while they played at the Ozzfest, supposedly because Dickinson had made some comments on stage that she disliked. Sharon reportedly took exception to comments that Dickinson had allegedly made about the Osbournes‘ MTV reality series. And ordered interference with MAIDEN‘s PA system and delayed the stage entrance of the band’s mascot Eddie.
In a conversation with Attitude magazine after the incident, Sharon said she didn’t liked Dickinson, saying he “has a chip on his shoulder”, but respected Iron Maiden, saying that the rest of the group were really nice guys. IRON MAIDEN manager Rod Smallwood criticized Sharon after what happened, saying that in 30 years in the business he never saw anything so disgusting and unprofessional like what she did.