(Photo: Image: Retna Ltd.)
Extreme acts were not uncommon for the "Prince of Darkness," but one case that occurred in 1981 was probably the "founding event" that was the trigger for the "bat incident."
Ozzy came to a meeting with CBS executives, to sign a recording contract. He carried two doves hidden under his coat, with the good intentions of releasing them after the signing ceremony. But then something went wrong. Ozzy was so "high" that when he felt the PR woman present at the meeting was not nice to him, he forgot the original plan, pulled one of the doves out of his pocket, and bit her head just to silence her. He repeated the shocking act with the other dove spitting their heads on The table to the sound of the PR woman's screams.
This event was publicized in the media and made waves, not least thanks to Don Arden - Osborne's manager (Sharon Osborne's father), who thought the matter would help boost Ozzy's solo career.
Following that, Osborne's fans began throwing objects and plastic dolls of animals at the stage, during his performances. Ozzy cooperated and bit them to the applause of the audience.
This became a regular occurrence during the "Prince of Darkness" live performances, but on January 20, 1982, something was still different. A 17-year-old fan named Mark Neal threw a dead bat carcass on the stage. It fell at Ozzy's feet and he thought it was a rubber toy again. He put the head of the bat in his mouth and bit it very hard. But this time Ozzy immediately felt that something was wrong. He noted that after the bite his mouth filled with hot liquid that had a terrible aftertaste. He said he felt his head twitching inside his mouth and then realized he bit a real bat.
Ozzy wrote about the historic event in his book "I Am Ozzy":
"Immediately, though, something felt wrong. Very wrong. For a start, my mouth was instantly full of this warm, gloopy liquid, with the worst aftertaste you could ever imagine. I could feel it staining my teeth and running down my chin. Then the head in my mouth twitched. Oh fuck me, I thought. I didn't just go and eat a fucking bat, did I?"
By the way, Neal said the bat had been dead for some time and had begun decaying, but Ozzy has always insisted that it was alive.
It does not really change the severity of the incident, as immediately after Ozzy was rushed to the hospital to receive a series of shots against rabies.
This horrific event did not bring about a change in the extreme behavior of Ozzy, who about a month later, on February 19, 1982, was arrested for urinating at the Alamo Memorial in Texas and later sniffed a long line of ants.
Years later Ozzy mentioned that mentioning this event in almost every interview with him, really pissed him off, but one can not ignore the fact that he also very much enjoyed it, as evidently, the live album "Speak of the Devil" released several months after the incident, included a photo of him with liquid Blood-like in his mouth with a drawing of a bat over his head.
What’s more, even today Osborne continues to sell bat dolls with a removable heads in his memorabilia store. This pleasure will cost you less than 100 NIS.
This insane incident has garnered a host of jokes and mentions, one of which included a guest appearance of Ozzy Osborne, himself, in Adam Sandler's 2000 film "Little Nickey":