Ozzy Osbourne Details Staph Infections That Halted Tour: "I Could Have Been Dead" | Revolver

Ozzy Osbourne Details Staph Infections That Halted Tour: "I Could Have Been Dead"

Singer "85 or 90 percent" recovered after surgeries for serious bacterial infections
ozzy-osbourne-getty-2016-mondadori-portfolio.jpg, Mondadori Portfolio / Getty
Ozzy Osbourne, 2016
photograph by Mondadori Portfolio / Getty

Ozzy Osbourne has opened up about the mysterious infection (which his wife and manager Sharon recently addressed) that forced the singer to reschedule several dates of his final solo tour. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Osbourne explained that after he experienced difficulty putting on a thumb ring that's a normal part of his wardrobe, he noticed the finger became ten times its normal size overnight. Sharon insisted on an emergency room visit, during which the doctors discovered Osbourne had contracted a potentially deadly combination of three separate staph infections. Doctors were forced to operate to prevent the bacteria from entering Osbourne's bloodstream and becoming fatal.

"They went in by the side of the nail on the left side for the flesh under the nail," the singer told Rolling Stone of the procedure. "They cut all this stuff out. Even with the numbing stuff, it was agony. It wasn't pus, but it was the stage after pus, when it gets in the blood and goes in your body and fucking kills you." 

As he wasn't feeling too physically ill during the whole process, Osbourne cracked jokes about the situation until Sharon and his doctors made it very clear it was no laughing matter. He recalls, "They're all extremely, deadly serious about it. I judge it based on the expression and the body language of the doctor. If he comes in with a really solemn face, I go, 'Oh, OK. My time to go is up.'" As the doctor attempted to identify the cause behind the infection, Osbourne told him he shakes hands with about 200 fans a day at his meet-and-greet events, which likely exposed him to the bacteria. 

Fans will still be able to catch the singer when he's made a full recovery soon, of which he's about "85 or 90 percent," after a heavy antibiotic treatment. He's excited to get back at it on the next run of shows, concluding with ""I was really looking forward to doing the Hollywood Bowl. I'm going to make those shows up next year. It could have been a lot worse. I could have been dead."