Disclaimer: Ozzy Osbourne speaks in a colorful, if profane manner that might offend some readers. In order to preserve the authenticity of his verbal flair, we have edited his frequent use of a common, Germanic-based obscenity by noting whether he uses it as an (adjective) or an (adverb). Just (adverb) deal with it.

It was a dark, rainy afternoon in Los Angeles. I was tucked in a modest corner suite at the Sunset Marquis with Foreigner’s Mick Jones, working up historical background material for the liner notes to the band’s multi-disc Anthology.

As my tape recorder whirred, Jones recalled that when the Beatles played a stand at the Paris Olympia just before heading off to America, Ed Sullivan, and unparalleled world conquest, he was onstage opening for them as guitarist for French pop chanteuse Sylvie Vartan. His gigs backing Vartan would go on to make a favorable impression on her husband, Johnny Hallyday, better known as the “French Elvis,” and Hallyday soon hired Jones on for his own band. Given Hallyday’s clout and budget, Mick found himself working with many of his idols but feeling very much the foreigner in the midst of it all—a sentiment he would well remember when it came time to form his own band a decade later.

Mick was well into this tale when something behind him caught my eye. Through the patio window I could see a tall, thin figure in a hooded fatigue jacket darting frantically to and fro in the rain, dodging soggy chairs and recliners as he navigated his way haphazardly around the pool. As the hooded stranger shambled towards the room’s sliding glass door Mick seemed puzzled at first. But when the soaked figure began tapping insistently on the glass, Mick’s face broke into a grin of recognition: “Oh, it’s Ozzy!”

Sure enough, seconds later I was being introduced to rock’s vaunted Prince of Darkness.

Lest anyone had doubts, “O-Z-Z-Y” was tattooed conveniently across his knuckles—a show of pride and a helpful reminder. He was dripping wet and gaunter than I’d ever seen him, yet surprisingly healthy-looking, even as his hands trembled a bit. Ozzy had been working up demos with Jones in recent days, but there were other things on his mind that afternoon.

“I was at home, trying to enjoy a (adjective) day off,” the agitated Osbourne groused in his beefy Birmingham accent. “And then my (adjective) wife and daughter get into a huge (adjective) fight. Then my daughter (adverb) stomps off and locks herself in her (adjective) room and my wife is (adverb) yelling at me that I’ve got to go (adverb) talk to her.”

“So I go upstairs and start banging on her (adjective) door,” Ozzy continued, his eyes widening. “And there’s no (adjective) answer! So now I’m getting (adverb) worried—I start playing a video in my head that she’s hanging in the (adjective) closet, while my wife is yelling at me that I’ve got to (adverb) do something.”

Mick seemed bemused and supportive as he asked Ozzy what happened next.

“I went out to the garage and got a (adjective) axe,” Ozzy continued. “Then I went back up and started smashing in the (adjective) door. Just then my daughter comes ’round the corner and says, ‘Daddy, if you want to get in my room, I’ll give you the key!’”

Taking Ozzy’s pop-in, and story, in stride, Mick calmly explained to Ozzy that he’d had problems with his own teenager. In fact, he’d found a book that had helped him deal positively with those issues and asked if Ozzy would like to read it. “That would be (adjective) great!”

Mick disappeared into the hotel bedroom to fetch the book, as a dripping wet Ozzy and I shared a few awkward minutes of silence. Then Mick returned with the book that had helped him navigate the turbulent years of his child’s adolescence—a $1.49 supermarket check out paperback called How to Reason with Your Teenager. The still-damp metal icon tucked the book into his jacket, profusely thanked Mick, politely bid me well, and left.

As Ozzy zig-zagged back around the hotel pool in the rain, Mick arched an eyebrow and flashed a sly smile.

A few short years later, when friends began enthusing over Ozzy’s variously harrowing and hilarious reality series The Osbournes, I found myself having recurring bouts of déjà vu. And when they asked if I watched it, I would just say, “No, but I did see the pilot.”