This article is from the The Osbourne FAQ, by Mike L. with numerous contributions by others.
After getting out of jail, Ozzy decided he did not want to go end up going
back. At this time, The Beatles were becoming increasingly popular and
becoming the craze. Ozzy thought that this would be the way to go. There was
money to be made in singing as opposed to crime. In fact the Beatles were
of his main influences. Even to this day he still listens to the Beatles
before going out on stage. It is of interest to note that this would not be
his first musical experience though: earlier at the age of fourteen he
had already been in a band named 'The Black Panthers'.
A band by the name of "Music Machine" needed a singer because theirs was
sick. Ozzy liked the idea of being able to travel to gigs and meeting women
so he filled in. Later on he joined a band named "Approach" but didn't like
the band so he quit. He then decided to call himself "Ozzy Zig" and placed
this ad in the local music paper/shop: "Ozzy zig requires gig. Ozzy's
father loaned him some money and together they purchased a 50 watt amp.
Ozzy placed an ad in a local record store reading, "Ozzy zig requires
gig. Owns own P.A.". Another 18 year old Brummie named Terence 'Geezer'
Butler had been playing guitar for just six months when he saw Ozzy's ad
on a shop bulletin board and decided to go look him up. After the two met,
they decided to form a band named "Rare Breed". Rare Breed lasted only two
shows before disbanding.
Elsewhere Ozzy's old schoolmate, Tony Iommi had teamed up with an 18 year
assistant truck driver named William Ward who had just quit his job. Tony
Bill also decided to form a band, "The Rest", and recruited a singer named
Chris Smith. The Rest eventually moved north to a small town named Carlisle
where they renamed themselves "Mythology" and gained a large following of
fans. They played mainly blues songs inspired by such groups as The
Yardbirds, Cream, The Beatles and John Mayal.
Mythology eventually split up; Tony and Bill returned to Birmingham and
went to the music shop where they also saw Ozzy's ad. Tony was hoping this
was not the same 'Ozzy' he had went to school with because that Ozzy could
not sing well and the two of them disliked one other. It turned out that it
was indeed the same Oz and decided it would not be a good idea to form a
together. Tony was also not impressed with Ozzy because he had very short
hair (really!). Since Ozzy and Geezer still needed a drummer they later
approached Tony to see if he knew of a drummer. Bill was at Tony's place and
agreed to join them but only if they'd let Tony join too. So along with a
slide guitar player named Jim Phillips and a saxophone player, they formed
a new band. The new band returned to Carlisle where Tony and Bill had been a
success and played some gigs. Not being pleased with a six piece band, they
broke up and then rejoined once the two extras had gone. This was a
polite way of getting rid of the two unnecessary members. The foursome them
learned 18 songs in their first week together. Ozzy named the band "Polka
Tulk Blues Band" after a tin of talcum powder. It has also been said that
the name came from a Pakistani clothing store named the 'Polka Tulk Trading
Company'. Geezer Butler switched to playing bass guitar since Tony was now
the lead guitar player. Unable to afford a bass guitar, Geezer simply took
two of the guitar strings off his guitar and re-tuned it to make a bass
guitar. Another name change ensued and the group was soon known as "Earth".
Ozzy Osbourne Geezer Butler Tony Iommi Bill Ward | | | | Black Panthers (1962) | Rocking Chevrolets | | | | | Music Machine/Approach | | | | | >>> The Rest <<< >>>> Rare Breed <<< | | | >>>>> Polka Tulk Blues Band <<<<< | Earth (Autumn 1967-August 1969) | Black Sabbath (Aug. 1969-1978) | Black Sabbath (1978-) [After Ozzy left, Ronnie James Dio left 'Rainbow' to replace him)