The divide between the Maiden frontman and the famous music manager occurred in 2005 when Dickinson’s vocal unhappiness during Ozzfest touring resulted in the band being egged by the audience as their power was cut off during one show on the run, with Sharon allegedly instigating the act against Dickinson. Now, some 17 years later, the subject of Dickinson came up during an Ozzy Osbourne feature story with Consequence, with Sharon once again not holding back concerning her feelings towards the Maiden frontman.
Osbourne had initially taken exception to what she viewed as disrespect towards Ozzy levied by Dickinson during the festival run, stating at the time, “From day one, Bruce Dickinson started berating Ozzy and belittling the Ozzfest audience. He stated he ‘didn’t need a reality show to give him credibility;’ ‘We’re not just some fucking reunion band;’ and continuously complained about the sound system, saying that when he comes back to America, he’ll have a better one.”
She later added, “Might I say, the rest of the band are gentlemen and have a great professional attitude. The crew [is] absolutely great. But how sad it was, after 10 years [of Ozzfest], that this little man tried to ruin it for everyone.”
Bruce Dickinson Gets Egged at Ozzfest 2005
Within the new Consequence interview, Ozzy was not directly asked about the incident, but rather whether he felt he had been underrated when compared to metal singers such as Dickinson, Rob Halford and Ronnie James Dio from the same era. Ozzy offered a diplomatic answer, stating, “Bruce Dickinson is a great singer, but as a person, I’ve worked with him, and he’s not very nice. Ronnie James Dio is no longer alive. He was a great singer. I didn’t really know him so well. I’m not one of these guys who says many things about people. The truth is the truth. I met Ronnie James Dio a couple of times. He took my [Black Sabbath] gig. But at the same time, I can’t complain because I did great on my own.
“I don’t sing for a judge. I sing for my fans,” Osbourne continued. “If my fans don’t buy my music, that would tell me my singing isn’t any good anymore, but they’re still buying my records. I’m my own worst critic. I don’t rate myself more than Ronnie James Dio or Bruce Dickinson. That’s not my gig. I don’t care. I have fun doing what I do. My goal is to turn my fucking audience on. And that’s what I try to do. I’m not interested if someone thinks I’m a fucking joke. That’s fine. That’s their opinion.”
But with Osbourne mentioning Dickinson to be “not very nice,” the subject was then broached with Sharon Osbourne for the same wide-spanning feature. Now 17 years removed from that Ozzfest incident, she stated, “Bruce Dickinson is a fucking prick. Well, no, he’s not a prick because a prick’s nice. He’s a fucking asshole. Because the situation is he was on a tour called Ozzfest. And Ozzy Osbourne was paying him every night to perform. He accepted the gig. He knew what he was doing. He accepted the gig. And every night he would go onstage and say bad things about Ozzy. And the crew and everybody in all the other bands would be like, ‘Are you letting him get away with it?’ And I’m like, ‘I sure am.’ But the last gig was [just outside of] L.A. And I thought, ‘You motherfucker, now you’re gonna get it.’”
She continues, “So I had about 20 people in the audience and a lot of them were nurses from Cedars Sinai, because I had cancer at that time. And they were all my chemo nurses. And they all came down, and they fucking pelted the shit out of him. And my thing is, you play, you pay!”
“The thing is, if you’re being paid to do a gig, but you don’t like the person, then fuck off. But don’t stay, take the money, take all the good that’s coming to your band through being on a festival, doing 24 shows and still slagging the person that’s paying you,” she adds. “It’s like, ‘No, that makes you a fucking asshole.’ And he is. And he’s never apologized, he never even went up and said hello to Ozzy. The thing about him is that he is just so jealous. And always has been of Ozzy. And that’s his problem.”
Further delving into the Dickinson-Ozzy dynamic, she continued, “The thing is about Bruce Dickinson, he’s hugely successful. He’s got a great fan base, a great fan base that have been loyal. The band are great guys. All the band are great. And they do great. You know, they’re a great band, you can’t take it away, and neither would I take that away from them. But the thing about Bruce is, he is unknown to the public. Bruce Dickinson could walk into anywhere and nobody would know who the fuck he is. Do you know what I’m saying? He’s a faceless singer to the general public. People aren’t scrambling to get him for an interview. And the thing is, he’s not interesting. But the thing is, Ozzy is original and Bruce isn’t and that’s what eats Bruce away.”
While years have passed since the incident, it doesn’t appear that Dickinson is too much of a fan of Sharon Osbourne either. Back in March of this year, Dickinson took a shot at the longtime music manager when asked at one of his spoken word shows whether or not Black Sabbath could exist without drummer Bill Ward.
While initially saying he was a “massive lover” of Ward’s drumming style, he concluded his thoughts on the question by stating, Does Black Sabbath exist without Bill Ward? Well, it’s not a matter of… I don’t think Black Sabbath exist at all now. I think Sharon’s made sure of that,” referencing Ward’s absence from Sabbath’s farewell tour over a contractual dispute.