Parents of children who claimed that Ozzy's song "Suicide Solution" inspired their children to kill themselves sued Ozzy repeatedly but unsuccessfully. Ozzy's "Suicide Solution" declares:
Evil thoughts and evil doings
Cold, alone you hang in ruins
Thought that you'd escape the reaper
You can't escape the Master Keeperâ¦
Where to hide, suicide is the only way out
One boy, 19-year-old, John McCollum was found dead after shooting himself in the head while listening to Ozzy's Suicide Solution. Still compressed on his head were headphones with Ozzy's Suicide Solution coming out of the speakers. The Times reported that paramedics and officials at local hospitals in Los Angeles were swamped with emergency as a result of Ozzy's concerts. Some of these visits resulted in death. (Times, June 16, 1986) The McCollum's attorney said that he had received "at least 20 phone calls from parents indicating their kids committed suicide - not just listening to rock music but specifically to Ozzy Osbourne." John mcCollum's brokenhearted father lamented:
"They know what they are putting out . . .They have no hesitation to sell your kids down the drain . . . you see a perfectly normal kid there who doesn't show any signs of depression at all - happy. Then six hours later, he's dead. Nobody can explain it. The only thing we know is that he was listening to this music."
Ozzy Osbourne callously dismissed all the lawsuits referring to those who had committed suicides as freaks:
"Parents have called me and said, 'When my son died of a drug over-dose, your record was on the turntable.' I can't help that. These people are freaking out anyway, and they need a vehicle for the freakouts." Only the most ignorant or those in denial would claim that a song with suggestive lyrics about suicide, sung with passion by ones rock hero could not push adolescents who battle with deep emotional problems over the edge. <font color=red>The Institute for Bio-Acoustics Research, Inc. (IBAR) evaluated the song Suicide Solution in one of the court hearings. IBAR discovered subliminal lyrics that were not printed on the lyric sheet. The subliminal lyrics they found declared, "Why try, why try? Get the gun and try it! Shoot, Shoot, Shoot". After the command to kill oneself IBAR found that there is then hideous laughter. The IBAR institute reported that the subliminal lyrics were recorded one and one-half times slower than normal and would only be understood after hearing the song several times. IBAR stated that the subliminal lyrics "are audible enough that their meaning and true intent becomes clear after being listened to over and over again." IBAR's intense investigation of the song also revealed that Suicide Solution contained hemisync tones, which "result from <b><u>a patented process that uses sound waves to influence an individual's mental state</u></b>. The tones have been found to increase the rate at which the human brain assimilates and processes information." IBAR stated that the use of hemisync tones contributed to John McCollum's vulnerability to Ozzy's lyrics suggesting Suicide. </font>
Perhaps an answer to John McCollum's father as too how his son could change from a seemingly happy child overnight to committing suicide can be understood when one realizes the power of music. Medical Dr. and brain specialist, Richard Pelegrino, who is a consultant to the entertainment industry, in an article for Billboard magazine speaks of the incomparable power of music upon the human brain, stating that music has the uncanny power to "â¦trigger a flood of human emotions and images that have the ability to instantaneously produce very powerful changes in emotional states." Pellegrino went on to state:
"Take it from a brain guy. In twenty-five years of working with the brain, I still cannot affect a persons state of mind the way that one simple song can." (Billboard, January 23 1999)
Newsweek in an article entitled, Music and the Brain, declared that, "Scientists are finding that the human brain is pre-wired for music." (Newsweek, July 24, 2000, p. 51) Newsweek went on to report that, "The temporal lobes of the brain, just behind the ears, act as the music centerâ¦The brain seems to be a sponge for music and, like a sponge in water, is changed by it." (Ibid. p. 51) Thus the latest scientific research suggests that ones brain after listening to songs about suicide can indeed become suicidal. We will remember MTV founder Bob Pittman's plan to brainwash the children, (1) "get their emotions going," (2) "make them forget their logic" and then "own them." This is apparently what happened to John McCollum and many others who have been influenced to take their lives by songs that suggest suicide. Moreover, the music to Suicide Solution is haunting and depressing and seems to be calculated to encourage suicide. Besides the obvious suggestions of the lyrics, "Where to hide, suicide is the only way out," and the subliminals, "Why try, why try? Get the gun and try it! Shoot, Shoot, Shoot," the music ingeniously, if not demonically, produces an overpowering and suffocating atmosphere that could be prone to push those who are already vulnerable over the edge. In fact Robert Walser, who teaches in the Department of Musicology at UCLA stated the following in a candid assessment of the musical construction of Ozzy Osbourne's Suicide Solution:
"'Suicide Solution' is very carefully crafted to produce an AFFECT OF DESPAIR AND FUTILITY. The song is built around a syncopated power chord riff, played at a morose, plodding tempo. Pulsing bass notes propel each square phrase inexorably into the next, while Osbourne's whiny voice, double-tracked to blur its pitch, repeats sneering, descending lines. Other chords slide inevitably back to the power chord on A; in spite of their syncopated energy, they can never escape. In the bridge section of the song, brutal, unexpected punches form an irrational, disorienting pattern, accompanying the lines 'Cause you feel life's unreal and your living a lie'â¦The harmonic motion of the guitar chords again is a struggle up away from the tonic pedal which is always defeatedâ¦the chords are always forced back to the tonic, accompanied by screams and moansâ¦The fact that there are no guitar solo's in 'Suicide Solution' represents a significant exception to the rule, for heavy metal songs almost invariably have themâ¦The solo allows the listener to identify with the controlling power without being threatened, because the solo can transcend anything. 'Suicide Solution,' however, gains in impact by frustrating this norm; there is power and intensity of existence but no freedom. The song depicts a situation (which the text attributes to alcoholism) of frustration, OF INTENSE NEED BALKED BY NO OPTIONS FOR ACTION SAVE SUICIDE. 'Suicide Solution' also ends unusually; indeed, I do not know of another song with a comparable endingâ¦Near the end, the bass line finally changes, MOVING TO A HEARTBEAT PATTERN. The guitar's activities are reduced to demented noise, crazed sounds from all over sonic space. A cry from the guitar is stifled at the very end. The ending suggests neither continuing forever through a standard fade-out nor assertive closure, the metal norm; IT ENDS UNCOMFORTABLY, SNUFFING ITSELF. Throughout the song, the Timbre of Osbourne's voice is ironic, mocking. His vocals move sometimes quickly across the stereo field, from left to right and back again, A SCARY, DISORIENTING EFFECT, ESPECIALLY ON HEADPHONES. Other metal songs, and other kinds of music, too, have made such use of space to construct a paranoid's experience of persecution."
Granted, Ozzy Osbourne is probably not intelligent enough to have orchestrated such a demonically disorienting assault as 'Suicide Solution'
I read somewhere that playing Mozart helps plants to grow.