A friend in NYC tipped me off to the Ozzy coming to town and told me he would be staying at the Ritz. Sure enough after work yesterday I passed by and saw the motley crew of "autograzzi" standing by the side door where the Ozzy bus was parked. Not surprisingly when I arrived the crew refused to tell me anything, although they asked me if I was a "Fan". No I replied. "A paparazzi." "Yep, but I don't jump out of bushes and I usually ask before I shoot."
After about an hour wait, Ozzy's bodyguard came out. Had us all line up, and then said no video, no excessive photographing. A minute later he led Ozzy out, telling us that Ozzy would be right back, no video's no flash photography. Ozzy looked very frail, kept his head down most of the time, but if I wanted to I could have gone in low and shot him, but I just didn't feel it and I knew that it could ruin it for the dealers if I hosed him down with flashes.
Ozzy got in the bus, and we waited outside. I thought maybe he was going to come back out,
but what he did was send his bodyguard out and retrieve the items to be signed.
Which is great, because when an item is signed in a controlled area the 'graph comes out much better. The guys asked me why I didn't hose him down (Photograph him), and I told them if I did that there would have been a good chance I would have frazzled him and he wouldn't have signed for them. They agreed, and said most guys would have just shot anyway, but they really appreciated me passing on him. Then they showed me some of the things they got signed. This is a drum head, it's worth between $150 - $300.
One of the guys got a guitar signed. The guitar cost $60 for the dealer, but after it's signed it sells between $400 - $700. Ozzy appreciates it when someone brings the whole guitar to sign, he signs his full name "Jack Osbourne" The dealer told me he's gonna keep it for an investment ie until Ozzy dies.
When a dealer only brings the face plate to sign. He only signs the place Ozzy Osbourne, like this one that I found on EBay. The faceplate is later attached to the guitar. This one will sell between $200 - $500
I guess as a pity prize the dealers showed me pictures and told me stories of Zakk Wylde, guitarist for Ozzy, who they saw earlier exiting from Capital Grill around 3PM. He was toasted and friendly they said. He posed with each of them, at least twice changing his pose. Gave them all hugs and kissed them on the cheek. (Isn't that the universal sign for a hit?) Unfortunately for me he left the hotel about 4:30PM, before I had made it over to the Ritz, but when he left he posed and signed some more. All in all the dealers had an excellent payday, HughE not so good:(