Photoshop fail: Randy Rhoads omitted from iconic Ozzy Osbourne shot in Birmingham Spoons pub

Birmingham pub pays tribute to Black Sabbath-era Ozzy with a photo taken years after he left the band, and alters it to have Ozzy playing Rhoads’ Polka Dot V guitar.

[L-R] Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads

Credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images

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A Birmingham pub has committed sacrilege against the very history of rock and roll by omitting Randy Rhoads from a classic photo, used as a tribute poster to Ozzy Osbourne.

Spotted by Louder at the London and North Western – a relatively new branch of Wetherspoons located in Birmingham New Street railway station – the tribute to Ozzy is one of many celebrating the history of the city.

Also featured on the walls of the establishment are Matthew Boulton and James Watt – pioneers of the steam engine – and tributes to prominent players in the local automotive industry, like British Leyland, so those in charge of decorating the wall clearly did some research. A gap comes, though, in the accuracy of a photo of Ozzy Osbourne.

Keen Ozzy fans might know the original photo; the singer can be seen lifting up his guitarist Randy Rhoads by his upper leg, while Rhoads shreds on his Polka Dot V. The shot was taken by Paul Natkin at the Rosemont Horizon in Illinois in January 1982, two months before Rhoads died in a plane crash.

But there’s something iffy about the picture that appears at the London and North Western, and not subtly, either.

Either the work of AI or an amateur Photoshop user, Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads have been fused together; Ozzy now plays Rhoads’ Polka Dot V while Rhoads is nowhere to be seen. Beneath the picture sits the caption: “Ozzy Osbourne helps to form the band Black Sabbath, in Birmingham.”

This is, of course, factually inaccurate not only because the photo was taken several years after Ozzy left Black Sabbath, but because Ozzy famously doesn’t even play guitar. “That’s one of my biggest regrets,” he told Rolling Stone in 2017. “I can play a little bit of harmonica, and that’s about it.”

Ozzy Osbourne tribute in Birmingham pub
Credit: Dominik Spitzer

But despite the obvious Photoshop job to anyone even remotely familiar with the Ozzy Osbourne history books, we can see how the newly amalgamated shot is somewhat believable to outliers of the rock community. But if you’re in the latter camp, make no mistake: this is heresy, and should be removed from the pub’s wall sharpish.


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