The Ant-Snorting Episode: Ozzy Osbourne’s Infamous Moment with Mötley Crüe

When Ozzy Osbourne took a straw to a line of ants, he set a whole new bar for Mötley Crüe and rock ‘n’ roll excess.

Ozzy Osbourne in the center, roaring playfully, surrounded by enthusiastic members of Mötley Crüe in classic '80s glam metal attire.
Ozzy Osbourne and Mötley Crüe
Key Takeaways
  • Ozzy Osbourne snorted ants in 1984 during Mötley Crüe’s “Shout at the Devil” tour.
  • Ozzy claims no memory of the event, citing heavy substance use.
  • Jake E. Lee suggests the story is fabricated for image-boosting.

The Ant-Snorting Tale in “The Dirt”

You can’t talk about Ozzy Osbourne snorting ants without tipping your hat to Mötley Crüe’s autobiography, “The Dirt”. First hitting shelves on July 9, 2001, this tell-all tome was penned by none other than Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, and Vince Neil, with a little help from writer Neil Strauss. The book doesn’t just document their rise to fame; it chronicles their epic, jaw-dropping exploits. And yes, that includes Ozzy’s infamous interaction with a line of ants.

Fast forward to March 22, 2019, and “The Dirt” morphs into a Netflix biopic. Directed by Jeff Tremaine, the film stars Douglas Booth as Nikki Sixx, Iwan Rheon as Mick Mars, Colson Baker (yep, that’s Machine Gun Kelly to you and me) as Tommy Lee, and Daniel Webber as Vince Neil. And the ant-snorting? Oh, it’s in there, forever immortalized on both paper and screen.

Florida Ant Rodeo

Picture this: The year is 1984. Mötley Crüe is tearing it up on their “Shout at the Devil” tour, with Ozzy Osbourne as the headliner. The stage? The Lakeland Civic Center in Florida—a metal haven of the ’80s. But the show we’re talking about isn’t the one that happened under the stage lights. It’s a daytime spectacle that unfolded hours before anyone plugged in a guitar.

Then, in a move that left everyone’s jaws on the ground, he uses that straw to snort a line of ants marching by the pool.

Ozzy’s in a mood. He asks for cocaine but finds none. Undeterred and ever-imaginative, he asks for a straw. Then, in a move that left everyone’s jaws on the ground, he uses that straw to snort a line of ants marching by the pool. But wait, there’s more. Ozzy proceeds to urinate on the ground and lick it up. I kid you not.

And Nikki Sixx? The Mötley Crüe bassist known for his own jaw-droppers? Even he’s taken aback. Yet, Ozzy’s ant-snorting spree somehow becomes an example of “animal behavior”, setting a new standard for the band’s escapades. Members of Mötley Crüe and their road crew serve as the gobsmacked audience to this wild display.

A Hazy Account

Here’s where things get fuzzy. Ozzy Osbourne, the Prince of Darkness himself, claims he has no memory of this ant-snorting fiesta. Considering his heavy dabbling in substances during the ’80s, it’s not a complete shocker. Over the years, he’s repeated this amnesia act in various interviews, making the entire tale a foggy spectacle.

Ozzy Osbourne, the Prince of Darkness himself, claims he has no memory of this ant-snorting fiesta.

Enter Jake E. Lee, Ozzy’s guitarist from ’82 to ’87. The guy says the ant-snorting gig is baloney. Claims it’s a fabricated tale designed to boost Ozzy’s and Mötley Crüe’s bad-boy images. Now, this isn’t some random dude spouting nonsense; he was right in the eye of Ozzy’s storm during those years.

So, what’s the deal? Is the ant-snorting story a metal myth or a rock ‘n’ roll reality? The fog gets thicker, and the question mark looms larger.

The Ant Snort’s Place in Metal Folklore

Whether you believe it or not, the ant-snorting tale has carved out its own little nook in metal folklore. We’re talking books, documentaries, interviews—the works. Even folks who couldn’t tell Black Sabbath from a black coffee know about it, thanks to coverage from all corners of the media spectrum.

But here’s the rub: Is it all just rock ‘n’ roll storytelling on steroids? The diverging tales from Ozzy, Nikki Sixx, and Jake E. Lee have left fans and critics scratching their heads. These disagreements often spark even grander debates about the line between rock legend and rock reality, not to mention the ethics of glorifying such wild antics.

Still, it’s another puzzle piece in the Ozzy Osbourne enigma. True or false, the story fits right in with Ozzy’s head-biting and other unpredictable escapades, adding another layer to an already perplexing persona.