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Diary Of A Well-Dressed Madman: Designer Ray Brown's Collaboration with OZZY OSBOURNE

Posted by on July 13, 2018 at 8:48 pm

For the second installment on heavy metal fashion designer Ray Brown, we're going to take a look at the clothing he made for a native of the musical hotbed of Birmingham, England, Ozzy Osbourne.

After making a big splash in the early part of the 80s styling Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw in a tight red leather jumpsuit, Brown would meet guitar god Randy Rhoads while preparing to create stage clothes for Osbourne's first solo tour in the fall of 1980. Brown got a little medieval on Ozzy and pieced together a leather and chainmail number complete with the heavy metal staple; a studded codpiece. Then, perhaps inspired by his success dressing the petite Shaw in head-to-toe red leather, Brown would create a sleeveless red leather ensemble for Rhoads who, like Brown, was small-boned with a tiny 24-inch waist. Brown dressed all of the members of Ozzy's OG-solo band and the slightly newer configuration of the group which emerged during the subsequent Diary of a Madman Tour. Like so many of us, Brown recalls the moment he heard the news of Rhoads' fatal airplane crash; he was driving around Los Angeles with several new outfits for the gifted guitarist in the back seat. According to Brown, he ended up giving the clothing to his wife as she and Rhoads just so happened to be the same size.

Ozzy and Randy Rhoads in action on stage wearing clothes designed by Ray Brown for the Blizzard of Ozz Tour.

 

Then in 1985, at the behest of Live Aid founder Bob Geldof, it was confirmed the original lineup of Black Sabbath–Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward with Ozzy at the helm, had agreed to play the charity show. Once again Brown would step in and dress Ozzy and his Birmingham brothers for their short but historic set. Brown would continue to dress Ozzy and his ever-changing band members such as Jake E. Lee through 1986 including some of the colorful stage clothing worn during The Ultimate Sin Tour–Ozzy's first after spending some quality time getting sober at the Betty Ford Center in 1984.

So let's take another stroll down Brown's heavy metal catwalk and check out his instantly recognizable work on Ozzy and his many musical mates through the years. The next installment of this very metal series will focus on Brown's various old-school hair band clients – stay tuned!

Ozzy and Randy on stage during the Diary of a Madman Tour in stage clothes designed by Ray Brown.

 

Another shot of Ozzy, Ozzy's codpiece, and Randy in action.

 

Guitarist Randy Rhodes in clothing designed by Ray Brown.

 

Clothing designed by Brown for Ozzy to wear on stage during the Bark at the Moon Tour, 1983.

 

Guitarist Jake E. Lee and Ozzy in clothing designed by Brown for the Bark at the Moon Tour.

 

A shot of Jake E. Lee in stage clothes designed by Brown for the Bark at the Moon Tour.

 

More duds designed by Brown for Ozzy during the Bark at the Moon Tour.

 

A photo of the original lineup of Black Sabbath together backstage at Live Aid, 1985. All were dressed by Ray Brown with the possible exception of drummer Bill Ward (pictured far left).

 

Ozzy on stage at Live Aid in clothing designed by Ray Brown.

 

Tony Iommi (aka GOD) decked out in a leather ensemble designed by Ray Brown. This was the first time Brown had ever dressed Iommi. Nailed it.

 

Ozzy and Iommi on stage at Live Aid in 1985.

 

Ozzy and the lineup for the Ultimate Sin Tour in 1986. L to R: Randy Castillo, Phil Soussan, Ozzy, and Jake E. Lee. All are wearing stage clothing designed by Ray Brown.

 

Soussan and Jake E. Lee in clothes designed for the Ultimate Sin Tour by Ray Brown.

 

Jake E. Lee and Randy Castillo on stage in clothing designed by Ray Brown for the Ultimate Sin Tour.

 

Ozzy, a banana, and Phil Soussan wearing clothing designed by Brown.

 

Read our write up on Ray Brown's influence on and collaboration with Judas Priest

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