Ozzy Osbourne Photographer Remembers Difficult ‘Bark at the Moon’ Photo Shoot
Rock fans know Ozzy Osbourne as heavy metal's "Prince of Darkness" who makes time for his puppy Pomeranian. So it's a hoot to learn the rocker was apparently "terrified of dogs" on the Rottweiler-filled photo shoot for his 1983 solo album, Bark at the Moon.
That's how the acclaimed rock photographer Fin Costello, who snapped the iconic Bark at the Moon cover, remembered the arduous shoot with the singer at England's Shepperton Studios.
On the album cover, Osbourne appears in costume made up to look like a werewolf — the singer's own horror-inspired idea. But it took over six hours to capture and cost around £50,000 to complete when factoring in equipment such as lights and fog machines.
READ MORE: Greatest Ozzy Osbourne Stories Ever Told
"It was hilarious, and like shooting Ben-Hur," Costello tells Classic Rock in an interview. "The original idea was to have Ozzy looking like something from a Roman epic, wearing a wolf skin on his head like a cloak."
However, "Ozzy had met the guy who did the make-up for the movie [A] Nightmare on Elm Street," the photographer continues. The singer "was impressed with his work, so we decided to do a spoof of all the werewolf movies instead."
Werewolf or no, Costello explained the canines on set caused some consternation for Osbourne.
Ozzy Was Scared of Dogs?
"In one of the shots, Ozzy was playing a wolf, on his hands and knees with these Rottweilers behind him," Costello says. "What I didn't realize was that Ozzy was terrified of dogs. Now, when he could see the dogs, he could deal with it. But when they were behind him, it was completely different!"
The shoot dragged on overnight. "It was five in the morning," the photog remembers, "and eventually [Osbourne] got up and said he couldn't do it anymore."
Costello adds, "We ended up having this bizarre, early-hours conversation with him dressed like a werewolf, his wife, Sharon, who'd just given birth about two days before, a nanny holding the baby in a Moses basket and with a tea lady wandering around the set."
Ozzy in the Present
Almost exactly 40 years later, Osbourne released his latest album, the Grammy-winning Patient Number 9. Last month, the 74-year-old rocker and former Black Sabbath singer who's struggled with health issues canceled his 2023 tour and announced his retirement from touring.