OZZY OSBOURNE 70. How he influenced FAITH NO MORE

The Prince of Darkness, aka the Godfather of Heavy Metal, aka John Michael Osbourne celebrates his 70th birthday today. To mark the occasion we thought we would explore how Ozzy influenced the members and music of Faith No More.
Before we attempt to convince you of anything let's rule out Mike Patton.......

"Most of us weren't really weened on Black Sabbath. Just like two big Black Sabbath devotees, Jim and the drummer Mike. I f* * kin' hate those guys, to tell you the truth. I never really got into 'em. I never even owned one of their albums before I joined this band, and then we went to Warner Brothers and they gave us all these Cd's. I didn't like most of them so I traded them in! I mean I like that song, and I have a couple of the albums and there's some good songs on 'em, but ... I don't know, I Just can't relate to a lot of it." - Patton 1990

And unsurprisingly Roddy Bottum.....

"Jim and Mike Bordin are really into Black Sabbath, but I've never listened to them in my life except for [one] song. Mike and Jim were little Heavy Metal Monsters. Jim's grown up into a big Heavy Metal Monster."

Ozzy rose to fame in the 70s as frontman of iconic originators of UK heavy metal Black Sabbath. Like for many young musicians Ozzy’s unique tone had a profound effect on two members of FNM in particular, Jim Martin and Mike Bordin.

For 'heavy metal monster' Jim Black Sabbath's Paranoid was the first album he ever bought. 

".... we had a small building we'd built in my friend's the backyard called The Shack. None of us drove, of course, we were far too young, so we'd go there to drink liquor, smoke weed and fuck chicks. We had this tape deck in there, and we'd play this Black Sabbath tape. I loved it so much it was the first record I ever bought." - Martin 1992

Puffy discovered a love of guitar music at an early age but it wasn’t until he heard Black Sabbath that he would truly find his passion. 

"Their music wasn't being played on the radio, it wasn't on jukeboxes at the pizzeria you had to go to a friend's house and discover it in the basement. It was an underground thing, which made it more special. It's no joke that Black Sabbath saved my life. I always dreamed of meeting Ozzy and telling him that." - Bordin 1992

Like Jim the first album he bought was by Black Sabbath. 

"Once I heard Sabbath, everything else was in second place. The first album I bought was Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and to me it was wow, wow, wow." - Puffy 2017 [Small Victories : The True Story Of Faith No More]

It was Jim and Puffy's devotion to Black Sabbath that prompted the band to add a note for note faithful version of War Pigs to their set in 1986. Chuck Mosley has also cited Ozzy as an early influence, however Bill Gould has an alternative explanation as to why the song was covered.

"We did 'War Pigs' as a cover initially to piss off the punk bands we played with, and we did 'Jump' by Van Halen live to annoy the f* *k out of people. But Jim was starting to feel so proud playing 'War Pigs' that I didn't want to give him that pleasure, so we thought doing 'Easy' would be the perfect antidote. We always liked to do things that we could never imagine ourselves doing because it would open you up to musical possibilities." - Gould 1990

Whatever the motives were, in 1989 a stunning version of the song, complete with tongue in cheek powerhouse vocals by Patton, was recorded and added to FNM's album The Real Thing

"[Jim] is a victim of the 70s. He says nothing since then has really interested him that much. He's got pretty far-reaching roots. What made him play guitar was Black Sabbath, and if it wasn't his idea to cover 'War Pigs' on the album, he was probably the happiest when we decided to do it! To the people who were coming to see us at the time, 'War Pigs' was a real clash to our audience." - Gould 1990

Puffy's dream of connecting with his hero was realised on November 9th 1990, when FNM were joined onstage by Ozzy for a performance of War Pigs at the forth birthday party gig for RIP Magazine at Hollywood Palladium. 

"My recollection was that we were starting to get popular with The Real Thing and the videos were on MTV, and I think Ozzy was at home, retired,  watching Perry Mason on morning TV and I think he saw us and heard the sound, and we orbited closer and closer. We did 'War Pigs' on The Real Thing, then he heard that and was intrigued, or confused, and the first time we played the RIP [magazine]  party. He came and sang it [Ozzy jumped up on stage to sing it with the band] and that was the first time we met. Black Sabbath was really important to me as a kid, growing up, I don't want to overstate it, but we sat and talked, and he said, 'You guys are so different, why did you do War Pigs? Are you taking the p**s?' And I said, 'No, Black Sabbath are super-important to my life and I owe a lot if not all of the path I've taken to that early influence and he remembered that." - Bordin 2015

In 1995 Puffy would reconnect with Ozzy when he and FNM were both on the Monsters Of Rock stadium tour line up together in South America. During the next year all the individual members of FNM went their separate ways pursuing different projects, Patton toured with Mr. Bungle, Roddy recorded with Imperial Teen and Bill lost himself in foreign culture. When Ozzy decided to freshen up his band he called up Puffy  and asked him to join him on tour.

".....he was coming out of retirement on that Ozzmosis tour and we were just finishing the King For A Day tour and we played shows together in South America, and he remembered we were pretty strong on stage and so he liked what we were doing, we talked a little more. And we were going home and he was just starting, and he called after we went home, a couple of weeks later, and said, 'Do you want to come and play?' and I said yes of course, I'd love to." - Puffy 2015

 At a time when FNM were struggling to remain a band it was his dream job.

“I was destined to play with Ozzy Osbourne. I had prepared for it all my life. I remember the phone call as plain as day. I didn’t freak. I didn’t get nutty – it just seemed normal in a way. Not that I wasn’t excited; of course I was excited. But there’s just certain things that are meant to happen in life, and for me, this gig is it.” - Puffy 2015

The Ozzy touring commitments during 1998 and a brief stint filling in for Bill Ward in Black Sabbath (who was suffering from health issues) interfered with FNM's plans, and after FNM broke up Puffy found full time employment with Ozzy for the next 12 years. FNM comically (?) placed the blame of Puffy, "Puffy started it" . 
He was part of Ozzy’s band on four world tours and recorded drums for three studio albums Down to Earth (2001), Under Cover (2005) and Black Rain (2007). As well as Live at Budokan (2002) and re-recordings of Blizzard of Ozz (2002) and Diary of a Madman (2002). If you look carefully you will catch a glimpse of Puffy on The Osbourne's TV show!
Puffy only left employment with Ozzy when FNM reunited in 2009. 


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