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2.5 Suicide Solution (The Osbournes)


This article is from the The Osbourne FAQ, by Mike L. with numerous contributions by others.

2.5 Suicide Solution (The Osbournes)

"I swear on my kid's life I never said 'get the f***ing gun'"
...Ozzy on his Suicide Solution song

"They know what they are putting out. There are people who are out there
trying to make money, and they have no hesitation to sell your kids down the
drain. You see a perfectly normal kid there who doesn't show any signs of
depression at all. Then six hours later, he's dead. Nobody can explain it.
The only thing we know is that he was listening to this music."
...Father of suicide victim who listened to Ozzy

A song on Ozzy's first solo album, "Blizzard of Ozz" would cause a lot of
trouble. The song "Suicide Solution" from the start, would have a very
misleading title and this was understandable. Ozzy wrote the song after the
singer for AC/DC (Bon Scott) died after drinking heavily one winter's night
and passing out in his car, dying of hypothermia as a result. Ozzy's
intentions were to talk about alcohol as a DEADLY LIQUID ('solution'
meaning mixture) but the word 'solution' was looked upon as "an answer"
instead. If you are not familiar with Ozzy's lyrics and true intentions, I
strongly suggest before you pass judgement, to read the meaning behind the

Suicide Solution:
Wine is fine
But whiskey's quicker
Suicide is slow with liquor
Take a bottle drain your sorrows
Then it cuts away tomorrows

Evil thoughts and evil doings
Cold, alone you hang in ruins
Thought that you'd escape the reaper
You can't escape the master keeper
'Cause you feel life's unreal and you're living a lie
Such a shame who's to blame and you're wondering why
Then you ask from your cask is there life after birth
What you saw can mean hell on this earth
Now you live inside a bottle
The reaper's traveling at full throttle
It's catching you but you don't see
The reaper is you and the reaper is me
Breaking laws, knocking doors
But there's no one at home
Made your bed, rest your head
But you lie there and moan
Where to hide,
suicide is the only way out
Don't you know what it's really about

The song is clearly about the dangers of alcohol, but the song title could
be misinterpreted just as well. Try as I might, I just can't see anything
which tells a person to commit suicide. The only misleading words are in
the song title. In October 1984, a nineteen-year-old teenager named John M.
shot himself in the head, while listening to Ozzy Osbourne's "Suicide
Solution". When the coroner entered the room, he found the headphones still
on John's head.

In 1986, Ozzy had just gotten off a plane at LAX airport when people began
asking him about the "lawsuits". Ozzy knew nothing about any lawsuit but
the details quickly emerged. Three lawsuits had been launched against Ozzy,
claiming that his lyrics had caused youths to commit suicide. The family of
John hired attorney Thomas Anderson in a lawsuit against Ozzy. Mr. Anderson
claimed on the "Don't Blame Me" Ozzy video, that the song contained tones
known as 'hemisync' and would cause a person to be unable to resist what
was being said in the song. On Jan. 13, 1986 the parents of John, sued Ozzy.
The lawsuit was thrown out on Dec. 19, 1986 by a California Superior
Court judge. On July 18, 1988 an appeals court uphold the decision to
dismiss the lawsuit.

The Institute for Bio-Acoustics Research, Inc. (IBAR) was hired to evaluate
the song. They found subliminal lyrics that weren't included in the lyrics
sheet. These subliminal lyrics were sung at one and one-half times the
normal rate of speech and are not recognized by a first time listener. The
IBAR institute claimed the subliminal lyrics, "are audible enough that
their meaning and true intent becomes clear after being listened to over
and over again." The subliminal lyrics in question were "Why try, why try?
Get the gun and try it! Shoot, Shoot, Shoot", followed by a hideous

Further analysis by IBAR revealed the hemisync tones, which result from a
patented process that uses sound waves to influence an individual's mental
state. The tones have been found to increase the rate at which the human
brain assimilates and processes information. IBAR claimed these tones made
John vulnerable to the suggestive lyrics which Ozzy sang.

Ozzy's lawyer claimed that this was nonsense and relied upon the First
Amendment of the Constitution to argue that Ozzy could write about anything
he wanted. Three people had now taken their lives, and in each case it was
Ozzy's 'Suicide Solution' song which was the focus as the cause of the
deaths. Mr. Anderson claimed that the words, "shoot shoot, get the gun, get
the gun" were audible in the song. There is an effect which can be heard on
the song, that could be interpreted as that. The sounds were just Ozzy
dicking around with the soundboard. There is the very real possibility
which we must consider, that the record company wanted to promote publicity
and placed these tones in purposely, but this is not for me to prove or

Throughout the world, this problem would occur only in America. People were
forced to now take a look at the family life instead of the actual music.
Rather than blaming the music, families should have realized it was up to
the parents to be strong role models and have good communication with their
children. In all cases, Ozzy was found not at fault and has sworn that this
was never the true meaning behind the song. Heavy metal seems to be a scape
goat in which to blame teenagers problems such as drug abuse on. Yet
teenagers who may listen to punk, jazz, or blues music may also suffer from
substance abuse or commit suicide. As a parent, you should be keeping not
only a close eye on the type of music your child is listening to, but get
involved in their lives. Talk to them, ask them how are they doing, try to
forge some kind of a relationship. When kids turn to heavy metal, sometimes
though not always, it is a form of rebelling against a society or education
system they dislike.

What follows is an article written by a group calling themselves "Truth
About Rock":

'' One teenager who unfortunately succeeded in committing suicide was 14
year old Eric A. of St. Louis Park, Minnesota. His favorite groups were Van
Halen, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, Quiet Riot, and Motley Crue.
Eric's mother said, "He watched it (MTV) day and night. He... watched
intil(sic) six o'clock in the morning." Eric and his friends were so
obsessed with the rock scene that, the very night before he died, they held
a seance and attempted to contack(sic) the spirits of dead rock stars. At
2:30 the next afternoon, with his eyes filled with tears, he said to his
father, "Dad, I just can't cope with the pressure." He then went into his
room, took his .22 rifle off the wall rack, and killed himself. ''

[Right here we have some problems. If a kid is spending all his time in
front of the television, it might be a wise idea for the parents to
intervene. If you just let him soak up videos all day, there may be a
problem. Hosting a seance is also not a normal social activity for a
teenager. Why did the father not talk to his son?]

'' Apparently, he had followed the deranged advice of one of his favorite
rock singers, Ozzy Osbourne, who preaches in "Suicide Solution", "Suicide
is the only way out/...Why don't you kill yourself 'cause you can't escape
the Master Reaper..." {3} ''

[This is bullshit. Ozzy never says "Why don't you kill yourself". This is a
prime example of a religious group portraying Ozzy as a menace to society.
If you read the lyrics of his song you would see otherwise.]

'' Though Ozzy preaches such deadly lyrics, he defends himself saying,
"Parents have called me and said, 'When my son died of a drug over-dose,
your record was on the turntable.' I can't help that. These people are
freaking out anyway, and they need a vehicle for the freakouts." {4} ''

[I am not a long hair rock freak. I live a conservative life and am
neutral in my views towards the church and Ozzy. I am not under the devil's
influence, though some religious person could easily claim so for my
negative views, but from my perspective this religious group is trying to
blame the actions of this 14 year old on Ozzy. Drug abuse may be higher
among the 'headbanger' heavy metal crowd, but to shift the blame to the
music itself seems to suggest the person is all too easily influenced by
music. Shouldn't television and newspapers also be censored then?]

I will leave the closing words to the remainder of the groups article:

'' Pathetically, Rock Stars themselves are being caught in the devastating
grasp of suicide. Peter Townshend, formerly of The Who, acknowledged, "Rock
is going to kill me somehow. Mentally or physically or some thing, it's
going to get me in the end." {5} I myself spent 6 months contemplating
suicide every day. The influence of Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll had almost
destroyed my life. Until, with a knife in my hand, after trying to cut my
wrists, I cried out "God help me!" From that moment on He began to change
my life, and a short while later I became a 'born again' Christian. Whether
you like it or not, you are in a battle for your life. The Devil wants to
destroy you and he is using Rock music as a primary agent. But God has not
given you life, only to have it choked out by the demented obsessions of
Rock musicians. There is only one solution to your problems. Begin to live
for God and not for yourself. Because Jesus loves you, He came to Earth to
give His life in your place, so that you wouldn't have to die for your own
sins. If you give your life back to Him, He will give you the peace you're
looking for. ''

For more information on Rock n'Roll, write to: Truth About Rock,
Box 9222, North St. Paul, MN. 55109
Note: Since there is a constant turnover of new Rock groups some of
those mentioned above may not currently be "hot". However, be assured
that other groups have taken their place and continue to present a
similar message.
FOOTNOTES: {1} National Center For Health Statistics
{2} Aurora Mackey, "The Frightening Facts About Teen
Suicide"< Teen, 10/83
{3} Truth About Rock Report, June/July '85, p. 6
{4} "Heavy Metal Mania", Anne Fadiman, Life magazine,
12/84, p.112
{5} Time magazine Dec. 17, 1979, pg. 94


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