There goes Sharon Osbourne’s wig. And Ozzy Osbourne’s bathrobe. A knee-length vampire take on the Little Black Dress once worn by Kelly Osbourne disappears. By noon the towels are gone. Now someone is bidding on a picture frame containing a photo of Jack Osbourne with his family — for reasons unknown, Jack’s possessions are not too well represented at this weekend’s Osbourne Collection estate sale at the Gibson Guitar showroom in Beverly Hills. But there are many of Kelly’s dresses: an Ann Demuelemeester that someone buys for $600 (worth it), a Peter Soronen corseted cocktail number (size 10 — who knew she was so small!), a red drop-waist Dolce and Gabbana shift, a Diane von Furstenberg red-lined wraparound (wrap dresses: universally flattering), a white pleated babydoll Kelly wore in Japan (cute, but what’s with the big black bow?).
They put their lives on display for MTV on The Osbournes — mom’s cancer, dad’s epic war with the dog next door, sis’ awkward dates, brother’s painful crushes, cat’s struggle to survive in a modern-day Munsters’ household. How fitting, then, that the disbursement of the items that furnished those lives should also become a matter of public record. Some of the people sifting through the Osbournes’ castoffs are here to caress relics left by their bat-head-eating, smoky-eyed, heavy-metal volcano god. Some are here to decipher clues. What does it say about Kelly that she’s no longer into her Marie Antoinette-esque canopy bed, pop-princess nightstands and egg chair? Is she going minimalist-Zen-Buddhist-modern? Please say no.
Others are here for investment purposes. One day, when Ozzy is no longer on this Earth, his stuffed monkey is going to fetch a pretty penny, mark my words. Right now, it’s a steal for 25 bucks. It also appeared in Season 3 of The Osbournes (hanging from a cabinet knob in Ozzy’s office). Plus, it looks like an Ebola monkey. Come on!
Still other people are playing trivial pursuit. Where in casa Osbourne did a cast-bronze, devil’s-head wall plaque appear in Season 1? Hint: It wasn’t in the bathroom. A few people are scoring decorating tips. Those guys are weird. A wise few — wise and rich — are bidding on VIP passes to the Ozzy concert happening in a few hours. For a few thousand dollars, they get great seats, plus a ride to Staples Center on a Gibson bus — and, honestly, who wouldn’t pay big money not to have to deal with parking downtown? For another couple of thousand, they get to go backstage to meet the Prince of Darkness himself. And for still another few thousand dollars, they get to take a picture with him.
A few auction attendees are just here to gawk, not buy, even though the tax-deductible proceeds are supposed to benefit Sharon Osbourne’s colon cancer charity organization. Others would buy except they can’t see bringing home a faux-fur pink dog bed for $250 — first off, where would they put it?
“I can’t believe some of Ozzy’s things are going for so little!” says a 50-ish gentleman named Dave with long, scruffy brown hair, a beard, a garish Ozzy shirt and very kind but somewhat wild eyes. Dave drove down to Beverly Hills from the Central Coast with his teenage son Runner, who is a drummer. They’re here to rendezvous with their friend Amir from Carlsbad, who is a guitarist, before they all head off to attend the concert. Dave has been an Ozzy fan since the Black Sabbath days; he was a kid then, much the same age as his son, who is carrying on the legacy.
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Is Dave bidding on anything today? “No,” he says ruefully, “I already spent $500 for our concert tickets. I came down to maybe bid on an antique clock that sat on their table, or maybe a couple of the silver crosses for my wife, but we showed up on the wrong day. The second part of the auction is happening tomorrow, but we’re going to Knott’s Berry Farm.”
If he could have anything here, what would it be? “I’d get the black cape with bat wings,” Dave says. “Because it’s so him. It’s so Ozzy. It’s wicked! It’s too small for me, but I would never wear it anyway, just hang it up somewhere. It’s probably too small for him now. He grew a big gut when he got sober.”
Of course, TV reporters and camera crews from cable, broadcast, Internet shows and online auction networks are here to record the public spectacle as an auctioneer calls out the lot numbers in his hypnotic patter. A few reporters nod solemnly as he says, “Buy this VIP package for someone special. Give them their last wish.”
“There you have it,” says a beautiful blond TV announcer. “What a great, great way to help people out and to have your own personal Ozzfest.” She smiles. Her teeth are permanent white and dazzling.