By Shi Davidi
The Oz-man cameth!
And for Toronto-based Tchort, Ozzy Osbourne’s visit meant a chance to introduce their music to heavy metal’s granddaddy.
You may remember Eric Coucke and Tchort from a story The Eyeopener ran last month. The Toronto-based headbangers were preparing a letter-as for a British metal magazine, Metal Hammer, asking Ozzy to perform. They feels if Ozzy saw them play, a contract on his label Oz Records would soon follow.
But Ozzy’s autograph session at the downtown Sunrise outlet put the letter-ad on pause.
“I had to go see him again,” said Coucke. “I knew it was going to be a special day. He was coming on my girlfriend’s birthday, five years to the day he was last here.”
The band prepared two press kits, one for Ozzy and one for his wife Sharon. Coucke included two rough mixes of their upcoming album The Heavens are showing the glory of Tchort and wrote a personal letter to Ozzy.
A friend helped Coucke bypass the line and get into the Sunrise staff’s autograph session with Ozzy. The plan was to slip Ozzy tha packaged when Coucke’s turn for an autograph came up.
But “nobody could talk to Ozzy,” Coucke said. “He had his head down singing stuff and they were cattling people past him,” Coucke said.
So Coucke took matters into his own hands.
“When they tried to move me along, I made sure to announce I had a pressing matter with Ozzy. The gestapo security didn’t seem to care, but after inciting a mild ruckus, I caught Ozzy’s attention. I asked Ozzy to do me the honor of giving one of the press kits to his wife and told him the other was for him. I got a polite stoner-grunt with a half-pronounced ‘yeah.’”
Though Coucke managed to get Ozzy the press kits, the meeting left him disappointed.
“I thought I’d get at least 10 seconds of Ozzy,” he said.
Still, there was one bright spot.
“She smiled at me acknowledging, yes, I was the funkiest person there. My purple tassel coat stood out amongst the sea of Sunrise shirts.”
So now Tchort plays the waiting game. Coucke expects one of three things to happen.
“Best case, I get a long distance ring and an incoherent voice comes on the phone and I don’t have to ask who, what or why — the Oz man phoneth,” said Coucke. “Worst case, he phones up ranting that I’m an old-school wanker and retro rip-off. Or he doesn’t listen at all.”
As the for the letter-ad in Metal Hammer, confusion over currencies and exchange rates may force the band to scrap the idea. Coucke was quoted a price in American dollars, but was later told prices were in pounds sterling, putting the price beyond the band’s means.
“I can’t get made at them,” he said. “I’m a burnout too. I make the same kinds of mistakes.”
But despite the minor disappointment, things are going well for Tchort. Their Halloween show at Lee’s Palace “just rocked.” As well, they are in negotiations to open for Sick Mother Fucker, headed by former Twisted Sister front man Dee Snider.
Tchort’s next scheduled performance is at the El Mocambo on Dec. 19.