So many artifacts of rock and roll history are lost to time. Whether due to carelessness, desperation, or outright theft, many pieces of irreplaceable rock and metal memorabilia will never see the light of day again. But every so often, someone manages to unearth one of these talismans and get them to their rightful owners. Such is the case with the original gold record of Ozzy Osbourne‘s Blizzard of Ozz, which was recently returned to Ozzy by a superfan after it was stolen.
As reported by Loudwire, in 2010 Ozzy fan Mark Sandwell was hunting for records when he found a gold copy of Blizzard of Ozz at a junk sale. He assumed it was a replica, not knowing that the original had been stolen from Ozzy a few years before.
“I found it in a car boot sale on a table of random junk,” said Mark. “It was still in the frame, but the glass was missing. I asked how much they wanted – a tenner! It didn’t cross my mind it was actually an original – I was used to finding all the cheap replicas you can buy.”
Mark had the record for years, thinking nothing of it — until he posted it on Instagram.
“Within ten minutes a music promoter friend of mine in Manchester got in touch,” says Mark. “He told me the disc was stolen, that he was friends with the daughter of Ozzy’s current manager and that he would contact her. I thought, ‘Bloody hell!’, deleted my post and wondered what the next step would be. I knew I’d have to give it back – it’s like having someone’s trophy, someone’s war medals; what I didn’t expect was [Ozzy’s management] to be so cool about it.”
Not only did Ozzy thank Mark profusely, they also made a trade with him for the record. “I was expecting an autographed record, something to remind me of the whole crazy story, but they’d had an official gold disc of Blizzard Of Ozz made for me with my name on it, and an autographed copy of [2020’s] Ordinary Man. I’m completely over the moon… It’s definitely my favourite record trade ever!”
Words by Chris Krovatin