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My Year as Ozzy - by Don Wrege


What does it feel like to be famous?

In our celebrity-driven culture, the aura of fame is a ticket to another world few of us experience. We are all familiar with the common trappings: chauffeured limousines; adoring crowds; massive media attention, etc. But what if the general public suddenly thought you were someone famous? How would you handle it?

MY YEAR AS OZZY is one man's story of how he dealt with being mistaken for a rock star whose career had enjoyed a sudden resurgence. Not since Beatlemania have we witnessed the kind of media over-exposure that Ozzy and the Osbourne family enjoyed in 2002 and 2003. Carried along on this wave of media frenzy was one Don Wrege, a man who once attempted a career in show business in Los Angeles in the '80s and got as far as MTV, but had long since left this dream behind. A decade later, his dream came true in the most bizarre way. And he took notes.

All it took was a couple of joke photos to find their way to the Web and Wrege:

- found himself performing on stages in Las Vegas
- was flown to New York to appear on Live with Regis and Kelly
- appeared in the VH1 Video Awards printed program
- was flown to Chicago to appear not once, but twice on The Jenny Jones Show
- auditioned for MTV's Wannabes television program in New York
- fooled the OzzFest crowd in Denver for a live radio shock jock spoof
- was nearly mobbed by drunken crowds at The Kentucky Derby

...and more.

MY YEAR AS OZZY is your ticket on a crazy train. Ride along on this drunken trip that jumps the rails from real to the surreal as Wrege explores the bizarre world of professional celebrity impersonators discovering that in the end, sometimes almost real is real enough.

A Celebrity Look-alike Experiences Fame
from the Inside Out

By Don Wrege
Published by Mediawhore Press
Publication date: 2008
ISBN: 0615242804
$14.95 US

Don Wrege:



Willie Nelson, Rodney Dangerfield, Neil Diamond, Jack Nicholson and Ozzy Osbourne walk into a bar. It sounds like the first line of a bad joke but for me it was the start of the strangest year of my life.


About the Author

Don Wrege is a Boulder, Colorado-based multimedia producer with a record of professional success in media design and production management spanning three decades. Ranging from the beginnings of multimedia to the emergence of the Internet and interactive television, his clients have included: Pepsi, Whole Foods, Lands' End, FranklinCovey, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros. Records, Mattel, Jackson Browne and ABC Television. An ASCAP writer/publisher in his spare time, Wrege composes and records irritating parody songs for Denver's Peter Boyles Show and other Clear Channel radio personalities.


A Small Sampling of the Madness iN "My Year as Ozzy"
VH1 Music Awards - My Year as Ozzy by Don Wrege

Appearing in the VH1 Video Music Awards Program
(From Chapter 2)

Celebrity photographer Dewey Nicks, hired by VH1 to do a "Church of Worship" themed awards program, was photographing rock and roll celebrity look-alikes in Vegas. I appeared with a fake Britney Spears in a bridal suite shoot that still haunts me-from the book: "Wait, stay down there," the photographer yelled, "Britney, ride him like a pony!" Within an instant she had mounted me. I started crawling around the room yelling, "Sharon!!" and Britney did a good job of staying on as we meandered around the carpet, flashes going off every few seconds. "Great, great! Keep going!" Dewey yelled, trading his camera for a fresh one.


House of Blues - My Year as Ozzy by Don Wrege

Don is introduced onstage to the Las Vegas House of Blues crowd as Ozzy and the crowd buys it.
(From Chapter 4)

An announcer somewhere yelled into the PA system, "Ozzy's in the house!" to a roar. We made it about three-quarters of the way around the club, passing briefly through the dancefloor, when a large bouncer with a House of Blues tee-shirt walked up. "Oh oh," I thought. "The party's over. I've been discovered." Instead he leaned in close to my left ear and yelled over the din, "Sir, management would appreciate it if you'd get up on stage and say hello to the crowd." I was shocked and amused, but keeping my head down I mumbled, "Sure, alright, rock and roll!" He said "Follow me."


Jenny Jones Show - My Year as Ozzy by Don Wrege

Appearing on The Jenny Jones Show (eventually twice)
(From Chapter 5)

My first exposure to daytime television from the inside was disturbing. The producer informed us in the Green Room, "You realize our audience is made up of angry unemployed people who know the only way to get their face on TV is to attack you." No, I didn't. Since Ozzy is easier to "do" drunk, I steeled myself with four beers for breakfast before the taping. The waitress asked, "Sir, are you okay?" I said, "Sure, I'm just getting ready for work.


OzzFest - My Year as Ozzy by Don Wrege

Mooning The OzzFest in Denver
(From Chapter 6)

Denver shock jocks "Lewis and Floorwax" from 103.5 The Fox, took me in a double-stretch limo, followed by a broadcast truck and a station PR vehicle around Denver the morning The OzzFest was in town. The live on-air stunt lasted the entire drive-time program culminating in "Ozzy" greeting the 500+ kids waiting to get in, (they bought it) and in leaving the scene, mooning the cheering crowd-all live on the air.


Kentucky Derby - My Year as Ozzy by Don Wrege Appearing as "Ozzy" at the 2003 Kentucky Derby
(From Chapter 11)

"Getting the crowd excited is one thing," the National Guardsman said, "But when you mooned them we decided that you represented a security risk."

And much, much more.