Here is a little interview I had with Helen Maidiotis, a die hard Ozzyhead from Australia about her campaign to Knight John Michael Osbourne. A knight is a person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a Monarch or other political leader for service to the Monarch or the country: In occurence his service to Music.
Ozzy-central: Tell me a bit about yourself.
I am married with 3 kids, I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia from a Greek background.
Ozzy-central: How long you have been an ozzyhead for???
I’ve been a Metal fan all of my life with a huge passion for Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne mostly. To me, Ozzy Osbourne is THE voice of Black Sabbath, though there are many out there that would agrue with me about this, saying that Dio was. As much as I respect and love Dio, I associate Dio with his bands ELF, RAINBOW, DIO and HEAVEN & HELL more than I would BLACK SABBATH.
Ozzy’s voice belongs to Sabbath, and will always be recognised as such. From the opening lines of their song ‘Black Sabbath’, right through to their classic ‘Never Say Die’ and let’s not forget their most highly recognised and loved track ‘Paranoid’. No one can sing these songs with the same feel and signature tones as Ozzy can. Ozzy is the heart and soul of Black Sabbath and without him it just wouldn’t be the same.
Ozzy-central: First time you listened to ozzy??
I can’t really pinpoint when it was that I first heard Ozzy sing, but as a child I remember hearing the song ‘Changes’ (from Vol.4) being played on the radio in the early 70’s and it ‘changed’ my life. His melodic voice transcends you to a better place, I feel a sense of euphoria whenever I hear his songs from his early days right through to today with their new album ’13’.
With the announcement of Black Sabbath’s reunion back on the 11-11-11, I was so thrilled and excited about it that I felt that we had to do something to honour them all, so I thought of having all their fans throughout the world, sign a petition to have them knighted as a show of appreciation for all they have done for the music industry. Sadly, though, the email from the UK Cabinet that I received, put an end to that dream. There was a glimmer of hope when they suggested that I would have a better chance of nominating the prominent member, as he would have a better chance. Which is when I decided that it would be Ozzy as he is the face and voice of Black Sabbath.
Ozzy-central: How long have you been campaigning for Ozzy’s knighthood and what achievements have you made so far?
The first anniversary of when I began the petition to knight Ozzy, is coming up on February the 27th, and the closing date is July 6th (the 7th anniversary of when Ozzy received his star on the Birmingham Walk Of Stars), which really doesn’t leave us much time to gather up all the signatures. We are now at 3,868 signatures. Which means that we need another 1,132 signatures till we reach 5,000.
Ozzy-central: What has been your objective this year and what do you think is most difficult in campaigning??
When I first began the petition, I had plans of increasing it to 10,000 signatures and so on, as I truly believed that this petition would be going ‘Off The Rails’. Unfortunately though, it’s been more like a train wreck most days…as the signatures would ever so slowly creep in each day and sometimes there would be none coming in for days at a time. So, as you can imagine, it’s been very hard and sometimes frustrating when you see other petitions receiving a vast amount of signatures in such a short time and this one struggling to reach 4,000 let alone 5,000 in almost a year, eventhough Ozzy has such a huge fan base throughout the world. It’s been extremely difficult at times as there are people out there who tend to ask me most of the time ‘Why Ozzy, and why not Tony instead? He’s more deserving’. I just turn and say to them… ‘Where were you when I was campaigning for the whole band?’ Maybe if I had thousands and thousands of signatures gathered back when I was campaigning for the whole band, the UK Cabinet could have considered it instead of brushing it aside. ( I had only gathered around 250 signatures in a whole year of campaigning for them, I guess that didn’t impress them enough, and I can’t say I blamed them either with those results). Now that I am campaigning for Ozzy alone, people are asking ‘Why him??’. It’s frustrating to say the least.
Ozzy-central: What does this campaign mean to you?? And have you had much support??
This campaign, means the world to me. It has become such a huge part of my life. I am literally campaigning 24 hours a day! Seven days a week! I am constantly thinking up new ways of getting my message heard. There are days when I feel that I can’t go on and just wanna throw in the towel, but then something positive happens and gets me motivated to keep going again.
I have had a huge amount of help though from many of my friends online, who constantly support me and give me that positive boost to keep going. Especially the supporters of my facebook page ‘The Knighthood Of Ozz’ that I had begun around the time of the petition. I have posted out flyers of the petition to a few people who are supporting this campaign and they have handed them out to their friends… some who attended Black Sabbath’s show in Paris, and many others have also received my flyers to put up in their local area.
I have a friend here in Australia, (Queensland), who also did her bit by putting ads on facebook to help promote the campaign! Out of the goodness of her heart, she funded these ads. I also have a very good friend who lives in Ozzy’s hometown area, who also did what he could and still is doing his bit. He printed up some of the different posters I had made from the facebook page and posted them around the streets and shops of Birmingham!!
I have been interviewed by the BBC WM RADIO STATION. I have a long time friend named OZZMOON who is a Metal DJ here in Australia (Darwin), he always mentions my cause on his show and supports it as he too is a mad Ozzy fan. I also have another good friend named DOC ROCK who has interviewed me a couple of times on his radio station, and my last interview was with the very well known Rock Journalist and Radio Presenter MALCOLM DOME. Midlands Metalheads Radio also sponsors my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheKnighthoodOfOzz
Ozzy-central: Have you heard about this lady who campaigned successfully about putting a lady on a bank of England bank note? Would it be inspirational for you to carry on?
Yes I have heard about that. She campaigned to get Jane Austen’s face on the British 10 pound note, she was able to gather over 35,000 signatures, and was a success!!! They told her that the petition’s overwhelming response is what influenced their decision to make this happen for 2017. It’s a very inspirational story and it gives me hope to not give up on my campaign.
But as you can see, the campaign trail hasn’t been an easy one, as there have also been very many along the way who have tried to do their best to undermine my efforts and have caused a few problems, but I for one will not give up. Like his friends ‘Sir’ Elton John and his idol ‘Sir’ Paul McCartney received a knightood and deservingly so, I will do my bit to see this right through to the end.
Regardless of the outcome though, to us fans…he will ALWAYS be ‘Sir’ John Michael “Ozzy” Osbourne.
Ozzy-central: Thank you for your time Helen, and best of luck with your campaigning.
Thanks so much for featuring me on your website, I am so very honoured.
I really do hope that we can all make this happen for Ozzy Osbourne as he deserves to be knighted and soon.
Sign the petition below: