Worst Ozzy Osbourne tribute ever? British pub’s inexplicable Photoshop gaffe removes Randy Rhoads and hands his polka dot V to Ozzy instead

Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads playing live, and an Ozzy Osbourne tribute that depicts him playing guitar
(Image credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images / Dominik Spitzer)

Arguably the most disastrous tribute to Ozzy Osbourne ever conceived has been discovered in a British pub – and it includes one of the most bizarre Photoshop gaffes you’re likely to come across.

There’s a lot to unpack there, but every word of it is true: a branch of Wetherspoons opened in Birmingham pays tribute to the legendary vocalist, noting that it was in Birmingham in 1968 that Osbourne helped form Black Sabbath.

That’s all well and good, but the photo accompanying the nod is another matter altogether. For reasons we can’t quite wrap our heads around, the tribute inexplicably alters a famous live shot of both Osbourne and Randy Rhoads, omitting the late guitar hero entirely and instead making it seem as though Osbourne himself is playing electric guitar.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the original shot, the picture – which you can see below – depicts Osbourne lifting Rhoads in the air by his leg while the polka dot V-wielding guitar hero navigates the fretboard.

Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads

(Image credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

The picture found in the pub, though, is a butchered manipulation of the iconic shot, amalgamating the limbs of the two musicians to form one Frankenstein'd being that features the arms of Rhoads and body of Osbourne.

Not only is it an egregious Photoshop fail of incalculable proportions, it’s also a wholly unsuitable picture to use to commemorate the founding of Black Sabbath. Snapped in 1982 by Paul Natkin, it's a photograph of Osborne taken after he left the band, and depicts him at the start of his solo career.

Photoshop depicting Ozzy Osbourne playing guitar

(Image credit: Dominik Spitzer)

Even if you’re willing to look past the historical inaccuracy and borderline disrespectful Photoshop fail – which, if you’re like us, you probably aren’t – there’s still one glaring, one stupendously outrageous mistake yet to be mentioned: Osbourne doesn’t even play guitar.

Famously a vocalist, Osbourne has never been a guitar player in his life, even once going as far to say that failing to learn the guitar was one of the biggest regrets of his life.

“That’s one of my biggest regrets. I can play a little bit of harmonica, and that’s about it,” he told Rolling Stone back in 2017. “But I have an ear for melody.”

Quite why those in charge of the project thought this approach would be a good idea will probably remain a mystery, but this will no doubt go down as perhaps the most hamfisted attempt at a musical tribute to the heavy metal icon ever.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.