CNN PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
Profiles of Ozzy Osbourne, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Norah Jones
Aired November 30, 2002 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Next on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, he's a heavy metal iron man who has found a second career as America's favorite father.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARON OSBOURNE, WIFE: There's nobody like Ozzy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: His legendary rock career has been a series of soaring highs and tragic lows.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON FINE, SENIOR EDITOR, "ROLLING STONE": He said he wanted to quit the road after that, but Sharon wouldn't let him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: On the heels of the success of a smash television show, a sobering dose of reality.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
S. OSBOURNE: Ozzy is not doing too good right now. He's very delicate because of what I'm going through.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Now, as the second season kicks off, we get aboard the crazy train with Ozzy and his Osbournes. Then, he has grown up from his days as the angry young man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELVIS COSTELLO, MUSICIAN: The minute I had a branded sort of sound, I tried to smash it up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: His styles have ranged from classical to country, collaborating with names like Bacharach and McCartney. Get ready to pump it up with Elvis Costello.
Also, he personified the glam rocker era. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BOWIE, MUSICIAN: The chameleon wound change the color of its skin to fit into its environment. I think I've done quite the reverse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: But times have changed and so has he.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOWIE: I do not live to hear the audience and all that. I'd rather be reading a good book.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: David Bowie, unplugged. Their stories and more now on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
PAUL ZAHN, HOST: Hi, welcome to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. I'm Paula Zahn. It isn't Ozzy and Harriet, but it sure is fun to watch. The Osbournes are back for another season and much has changed for Ozzy, Sharon, Kelly, and Jack. Oh, they're still foul-mouthed and frantic, but they're also having to face to reality. Life has grown more intense for America's most dysfunctional TV family. It's a plot twist that has even the Prince of Darkness himself scared. Here's Bill Hemmer.
OZZY OSBOURNE, MUSICIAN: I'm a little bit like Conan the Barbarian on LSD.
BILL HEMMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been a strange and eventful year for the shock rocker who once asked us to bark at the moon. This was no more evident than at the recent Press Club dinner in Washington, D.C.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What a fantastic audience we have tonight. Washington power brokers, celebrities, Hollywood stars, Ozzy Osbourne.
Ozzy, mom loves your stuff.
HEMMER: Quite a compliment from the former Texas governor, especially considering that Ozzy was arrested back in 1982 for urinating on San Antonio's Alamo. But that's what happens when you get off the crazy train and become America's favorite television father.
Ozzy and his brood, wife, Sharon, son, Jack and daughter, Kelly, became unlikely stars on last season's surprise MTV hit, "The Osbournes."
TODD GOLD, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: I was talking to Sharon and we were both laughing at their success of the show. And she said, "Can you believe this, after all these year's, Ozzy finally makes it as a comedian?"
O. OSBOURNE: Oh, guys, you know what? I'm going to be dead if you (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
I like watering my (UNINTELLIGIBLE) with fire.
HEMMER (on camera): Viewers were asked -- if you were stranded on a desert island, which Osbourne would the most fun to have company with? Well, 45 percent said they'd pick solitude.
JACK OSBOURNE, SON: Don't Kelly, that's my spritz.
KELLY OSBOURNE, DAUGHTER: This is my 15 minutes and I'm taking it for what it's worth.
HEMMER (voice-over): But 2002 has not been all good times for the Osbourne family. This summer, family matriarch, Sharon, announced to the world her colon cancer diagnosis. The news devastated Ozzy in what seemed to have been a pattern in a career that has spanned three decades.
(on camera): There are some who think that your husband is cursed.
S. OSBOURNE: He's a survivor like I am. He's not cursed. He's blessed. I mean we both are.
HEMMER (voice-over): It's been a long hard road for the Blizzard of Oz. John Michael Osborne was born in the industrial town of Birmingham, England, on December 3, 1948. He was delivered in one of the small bedrooms of his parents' home at 14 Wadds (ph) Road in a lower class section of the city.
FINE: Ozzy grew up in a very poor neighborhood and his family didn't have much money. I mean, you know, his mother had to stretch meals and they didn't have new clothes in the wintertime. Ozzy sees himself as a working class guy.
HEMMER: John first got his nickname, Ozzy, on the playgrounds here at his first school, Prince Albert Rhode Juniors. Ozzy would quit school at the age of 15 and take random, odd jobs around the working class town.
FINE: And dyslexia hurt his ability to do well in school and he dropped out. And I think that he carried around that feeling of being, you know, the class dummy for a long time.
HEMMER: Ozzy could not hold onto work long and soon turned to a life of petty crime. He was arrested for breaking and entering shortly before his 18th birthday. Unable to pay the fine, he was sentenced to three months in the Winston Green Prison. It was inside these walls that he got his first tattoo, his trademark, Ozzy, across the knuckles. After serving just six weeks of his sentence, Ozzy decided to give up crime and labor jobs and try a career in music. He wanted to model that career after four other working class Brits.
O. OSBOURNE: I started up loving the Beatles. I wanted to be a Beatle; yet, my music is nothing (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
HEMMER: He was asked to join former classmate, Tony Iommi, as well as Geezer Butler and Bill Ward to form what would become the heavy metal group, Black Sabbath. The daughter of Black Sabbath's manager, Don Arden, remembers the first time she saw Ozzy with the group.
S. OSBOURNE: I was shocked and intrigued by it because it was so dark and it wasn't about, you know, boy meets girl on a Saturday night.
HEMMER: The band would score big with what would become metal standards like "Paranoid" and "Iron Man." But with rock stardom came the rock lifestyle and it was sent into addiction.
O. OSBOURNE: We were all so messed up on drugs and alcohol and spoils of war that as young kids, we really believed the myth of being a rock star.
HEMMER: The drugs would begin to take a toll on the band's success.
FINE: Ozzy once said, "You know, at first, we were a rock band that did coke. Later on, we became a coke band that did rock."
HEMMER: When ego and bickering became overwhelming, Ozzy left Black Sabbath in 1979. After the breakup, Ozzy locked himself inside of Le Parc Hotel in Los Angeles. He drowned himself in junk food, alcohol and hard drugs. In the midst of this binge, Ozzy got an offer he could not refuse from manager, Don Arden's, daughter, Sharon.
FINE: Sharon came and Ozzy was supposed to have some money to give to Sharon, but instead Ozzy had spent all that money on cocaine. And Sharon really chewed him out for it. But that was the beginning of their relationship.
O. OSBOURNE: And she said to me, "You clean your act up and get rid of all these half eaten pizzas out of the room and the empty beer bottles and the vodka bottles and all these drug paraphernalia. I want to manage you." And I'm like, "What do you want to manage me for?" And then shortly after that I fell madly in love with her.
S. OSBOURNE: In fact, the best thing that ever happened for Ozzy was to get fired from Black Sabbath.
HEMMER: Sharon became Ozzy's manager, and a romance soon developed. The two would become engaged and marry in Hawaii on a date that holds a different meaning for most Americans.
(on camera): Did you get married on July 4?
S. OSBOURNE: Yes.
HEMMER: And the reason was because you wanted to make sure you picked a date that he would remember?
S. OSBOURNE: Yes.
HEMMER: Is that a true story?
S. OSBOURNE: It's true. On July 4, there's fireworks and Ozzy loves fireworks, so I thought it's a good day because there's always a celebration. And it's just a great day to get married on.
HEMMER (voice-over): The celebration would continue. Sharon got Ozzy a new recording contract, officially starting his solo career. Ozzy was paired with guitar prodigy, Randy Rhodes, and the two had become musical soul mates, releasing "Blizzard of Oz" and "Diary of a Madman."
S. OSBOURNE: He was so patient with Ozzy and nurturing that he brought out the best.
HEMMER: Both albums would go multi-platinum. While on tour, Ozzy's life and reputation though would change forever.
O. OSBOURNE: I love you.
HEMMER: In Des Moines, Iowa, a concertgoer threw a live bat on stage. Ozzy, thinking it was made of rubber bat, bit its head off.
S. OSBOURNE: It's something that was a complete and utter mistake. And then, we're like lying in bed and it's on the morning news and we're laughing. And we're like, "Why would they put this on the news? It's so stupid."
HEMMER: When PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues, just as Ozzy hits a professional high, a tragic accident puts his career into jeopardy.
ANNOUNCER: And later on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, David Bowie gets lost and found again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOWIE: And he was lost in the wilderness, as your kind of programs would have it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: A candid conversation with one of rock's most experimental innovators, later on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANNOUNCER: We now return to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
HEMMER (voice-over): In 1982, Ozzy Osbourne was on the top of the heavy metal world. His solo career had skyrocketed and his live shows were bringing him notoriety and tons of money. But that would all change on one faithful evening. In March of 1982, while en route to Orlando, Florida to continue the Diary of A Madman Tour, a plane carrying 25-year-old guitarist, Randy Rhodes, crashed while joyriding in died in a plane crash in Leavesburg (ph), Florida. The pilot clipped Ozzy's parked tour bus and crashed into a nearby house.
S. OSBOURNE: You lose your best friend and it's like you can never replace it. You can't forget it. It's something that will always haunt, I know, me and Ozzy for the rest of our lives.
HEMMER: Ozzy struggled on, enjoying some moderate success in the '80s, with songs like, "Miracle Man." But he was unable to duplicate the success that he achieved with Rhodes.
O. OSBOURNE: Randy died in that tragic air crash and then, I though it was all over again. And my father died. And it -- for every hill I climbed, I fell down two.
HEMMER: While still a major force in rock music, the 80's would be a turbulent time for Osbourne. He was sued by several families across the country who claimed his song, "Suicide Solution," prompted their child to kill themselves.
The lawsuits were eventually dismissed for lack of evidence. But Ozzy's growing addiction to booze and hard drugs would be an even bigger threat to his career.
O. OSBOURNE: To go into a center like the Betty Ford Center and come out a new man -- well, they give you the tools in there, but if you slip you slip. It's like anything. You think, one won't hurt. But when you have one, you have two, you have 10, you start again, you know.
HEMMER: A key motivation for keeping Ozzy on the wagon, his three children -- daughter, Amy, born in 1983, Kelly in 1984 and son, Jack, in 1985. But it would not be enough and Ozzy's inner demons almost landed him in jail.
FINE: Yes, in 1989, Ozzy and Sharon had a bad fight. Ozzy was drunk. He strangled her.
HEMMER: Sharon called the police and Ozzy was arrested and charged with assault. The charges were later dropped on the condition that Ozzy check into treatment for what was hoped to be the last time.
With a newfound sobriety, Ozzy hit new highs in his career. With the release of "No More Tears," his most mature work to date. Concert festivals, like Lollapalooza then, were making big money at the time. So Sharon and Ozzy put together the heavy metal carnival, simply known as Ozzfest.
LARRY HACKETT, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: If Lilith (ph) is the kind of lifetime of festivals, you know, the Ozzfest is the headbanger festival.
HEMMER: While Ozzfest was successful and drew out the legions of Ozzy's hardcore fans, mainstream America was still wary of one of heavy metals darkest stars until an appearance on a popular MTV show changed that.
HACKETT: The Osbournes had been on a TV show called "Cribs," and they were hysterical.
BRIAN GRADEN, PRESIDENT OF ENTERTAINMENT, MTV & VH1: Well, the first time the family appeared on "Cribs," we didn't realize that Ozzy necessarily had children who were living with them. And we saw this scene where Kelly and Ozzy were sort of fighting over her 'N Sync posters in her bedroom and you saw something kind of magical there.
HEMMER: MTV, the pioneer of reality of television, along with Sharon Osbourne, came up with an idea to play off the well-received "Cribs" appearance. The Osbourne family would be captured in their daily lives, a simple premise that took on a life of its own.
GRADEN: After we saw the footage for about the first five or six episodes and we realized that all that hinged on, humorous moments.
HEMMER: "The Osbournes" would go on to become television's first reality comedy, and become MTV's biggest hit ever.
GRADEN: I mean it's bigger than any MTV show in MTV's history. So you can't quite imagine that. It's still a little surreal to all of us.
HEMMER: On average, five million viewers tuned in every Tuesday night to capture a glimpse of the rock'n'roll royal family.
HACKETT: It's in its banality that people find it hilarious.
HEMMER: It's been in the humor, intentional or not, that the country has seen a softer side of the prince of bleeping darkness. While Ozzy's antics as a homebody were taking over pop culture, a former neighbor has seen it all before.
PAT BOONE, FRIEND AND FORMER NEIGHBOR: We lived next door to each other for three years, never any real problems at all. And then I met Sharon and I met the kids. I never heard the language that I hear on their show. I don't know which -- whether Ozzy or Sharon said, "Don't use the language with Pat Boone's over here."
One of my fondest memories was when they lived next door to me was riding bikes with Sharon in the afternoon on the sidewalks through Beverly Hills. And since Ozzy has a balance problem, she just towed him behind her bike in a wagon.
HEMMER: It's been this dual side of Ozzy that's garnering the biggest laughs.
O. OSBOURNE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) this space age crap.
HEMMER: Rock'n'roll wild man meets middle-aged father.
HACKETT: So, I mean, he still maintains this stage persona of being this kind of, you know, warlock. But it's so in congress to the way he really lives his life, which is being a dad in his early 50s, who happens to be covered in tattoos.
HEMMER: With the outrageous and unexpected success of the show came instant celebrity for the entire Osbourne clan. Merchandise hit store shelves. Magazines across the country were all about Ozzy. And a new family album was released featuring a cover of "Papa Don't Preach" by Kelly Osbourne, produced by her younger brother, Jack.
And Kelly has a new album that hit the shelves this week, called appropriately enough, "Shut Up." But Kelly has no reservations on how she got her record deal.
K. OSBOURNE: With the show, I would not have a recording contract. I wouldn't be doing any of this.
HEMMER: But the highs of the new found success could be short lived. When Ozzy Osbourne's story continues, the foundation of the family is shaken when Sharon makes a shocking announcement.
S. OSBOURNE: Ozzy's not doing too good right now. He's very delicate because of what I'm going through.
ANNOUNCER: Now back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
O. OSBOURNE: Ah, it's good to be the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) king!
HEMMER (voice-over): With the success of a new television show and the annual Ozzfest Tour getting ready to kick off last spring, things were looking great for Ozzy Osbourne. He was sober. He was rich and he was surrounded by a family who loved him. But once again, Ozzy's high would hit a low. In July, Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy's longtime manager and wife and best friend, announced to the world that she had been diagnosed with colon cancer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every fiber of Ozzy was shaken when he found the news. He had to be sedated for a while. K. OSBOURNE: I went out to dinner with some friends. My phone range and my brother was crying, and he's like, "You need to come back to the hotel now." And then, he told me and I didn't know what to do. And I was with my friend, Nicki Richi (ph), at this restaurant and she just got me in a taxi and took me home. If she wasn't there, I would have just like, like freaked. Like, I was hysterical crying.
HEMMER: Sharon would have to undergo rounds of chemotherapy all summer. Ozzy took time off from his headlining duties on Ozzfest to tend to his wife. Ever the rock, Sharon faced cancer head on.
S. OSBOURNE: When you go in there and there are people are so much worse than me and it's like, how lucky am I that I've got such a great support system?
HEMMER: Even with Sharon trying to make things as easy as possible on her husband, he was still a mess. His struggle with sobriety would be tested again.
S. OSBOURNE: Ozzy's not doing too good right now.
HEMMER (on camera): Drinking?
S. OSBOURNE: Drinking and he's very delicate. He's, like, dealing with it the best he can.
HEMMER (voice-over): Despite Sharon's illness, the Osbourne family continued business as usual, though pushed back, filming commenced this fall in a second season for "The Osbournes."
S. OSBOURNE: Some days when I'm feeling really bad, I'll say, "I just can't do this anymore." And then you wake up and you see the crew and then you know, you snap out of it.
HEMMER: But a larger question loomed -- how could comedy come out of chemotherapy treatment.
GRADEN: Of course, Sharon is dealing with her diagnosis and her illness. But what is interesting is that their humor remains the same.
HEMMER: The Osbournes signed up with MTV for 24 more shows at a reported $20 million. They got only $200,000 for their first season. Now the second season has started with the same high jinx that fans of the show have come to expect.
GRADEN: Ozzy comes back from tour and he plans a very romantic reunion that involves candles and a fireplace. And by the end of the episode, the L.A. Fire Department has to pay a visit.
HEMMER: But can the show continue to rock the ratings?
S. OSBOURNE: I'm not banking, you know, my whole life on being, you know, number one-rated show.
K. OSBOURNE: He's having a nervous breakdown. S. OSBOURNE: The bubble will burst.
HEMMER: With the new image of Ozzy as a family man who lived a little too hard in his youth, will the softer side of Ozzy change his image in the anoles of heavy metal mad men?
FINE: I think Ozzy's always going to be the guy who bit the head off a bat, you know, the crazy, drug taking, hard drinking, hard living rock 'n' roller. I think what the show does is it also shows that you might be those things but you also might be a pretty great dad, too.
O. OSBOURNE: I adore you, Sharon. Now, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) off.
I wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for my wife. I mean I always loved my wife, but sometimes, I don't like her and sometimes she doesn't like me, you know. But we love each other. You know it's just -- I hate these people that go, "Oh, we've been married 56 years and we've had a bad word." They must have been living on a different planet from each other.
HEMMER: Ozzy Osbourne's life has been filled with peaks and valleys, incredible highs crashing into devastating lows, a manic life grounded in family values.
BOONE: Ozzy's not going to like my saying this, but he is a very tender, gentle man. This is a guy whose world revolves not so much around music as around his wife.
O. OSBOURNE: Rock 'n' roll!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Part of the legacy of Ozzy Osbourne, you know, is a cautionary tale. It's also, you know, a tale that includes family love, you know, and a lot of good things.
J. OSBOURNE: We've had it! We got it!
HEMMER: It is a tale that continues to unfold and there's no telling how long the Osbourne phenomenon may last. But the family's loyal following will always be screaming for more...
O. OSBOURNE: Stop screaming!
HEMMER: ... and so will Ozzy.
O. OSBOURNE: Sharon!
ZAHN: The first 10 new episodes of "The Osbournes" will premiere through February. In addition, Sharon Osbourne, despite her health scare, has also signed on to host a syndicated daytime talk show for next fall.
Coming up -- music's jack-of-all-trades.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: ... making extensively the same record over and over again and it can go stale.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Why Elvis Costello never looks back when PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues.
For more celebrity news, just pick up a copy of "People" magazine this week.
ZAHN: Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. Elvis Costello is music's true chameleon. The singer, songwriter has explored everything from rock to jazz and now, he's back on tour in support of his latest album, "When I Was Cruel." Here's Mike Mockler.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please welcome Elvis Costello.
COSTELLO: I don't want to make a record I've already made before. I don't want to look backwards. I'm not nostalgic. Why go back when you can go forward?
MIKE MOKLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For 25 years, Elvis Costello has been looking for that next challenge, from rock to classical music, country to orchestral pop. He's explored virtually every musical genre. It's a journey that's taken him from being rock's angry young man to one of the most diverse and respected songwriters of his generation.
ANTHONY DECURTIS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "ROLLING STONE": I think Elvis Costello ahs produced work that ranks with, you know, Bob Dylan or Lennon and McCartney, and Jagger, Richards, you know, the titans of popular music.
COSTELLO: I know the value of some of the record I've made. I think some of them have been overestimated and some them have been ignored unjustly, but that's just the way these things work out.
MOCKLER: He was born Declan McManus in London, England and took the stage name Costello from his great-grandmother. The name Elvis was a dare.
COSTELLO: My ex-manager sort of suddenly announced that they were going to label me that because it would get people's attention. And the fact that you're asking me about it 25 years later proves that he was right.
MOCKLER: Costello first burst upon the music scene in 1977. His look was Buddy Holly. His music and attitude, pure aggression.
DECURTIS: He had an incredible degree of anger and bitterness and hostility that made him seem for all of his goofiness, a threatening kind of figure.
MOCKLER: That reputation was only enhanced by a performance on "Saturday Night Live" in December 1977.
COSTELLO: I'm sorry, ladies and gentlemen, there's no reason for me to do this song here.
MOCKLER: Costello went against network wishes and played "Radio Radio," a Dietrich (ph) blasting the corporate music scene.
COSTELLO: That was just an example of I was doing something spontaneous that we had copied from Jimmy Hendrix, who did something similar on British television in the 60's. But, of course, they were totally horrified that we suddenly played this unscheduled number on a show that, you know, after all has the word "live" in the title.
MOCKLER: During the late 70's and early 80's, Costello turned out a series of brilliant albums, including hits such as "Alison..."
MOCKLER: ... "Watching The Detectives..."
COSTELLO: She is watching the detectives.
MOCKLER: ... and "Pump It Up."
DECURTIS: It was, you know, as strong a run of music as practically has ever happened. The level of writing, the level of musical inventiveness, the range of musical styles that he was able to explore, it just seemed like there was nothing that he couldn't do.
MOCKLER: And he quickly showed there was no musical genre he wouldn't try.
COSTELLO: The minute I had a branded sort of sound, I tried to smash it up and turn it upside down and inside out. But by 1982, I already was on the sort of road that I'd been on more -- in a more pronounced way in the last eight or nine years.
MOCKLER: That road has included collaborations with everyone from opera singer, Anne Sofie von Otter, to country singer, Lucinda Williams, experiences that claim the Costello's love of all types of music.
COSTELLO: And I tried to investigate some of them and tried to learn from them and use them as my guide to write my own songs and just the same way as I've -- you know, all pop music is creative theft, you know, and -- or borrowing or a tribute, as they say. It's a tribute. I'm influenced by -- it means you shamelessly stole it.
MOCKLER: Among Costello's most notable partnerships, his work with Paul McCartney in the late 1980s, which yielded the hit single, "Veronica."
COSTELLO: I was a fan of the Beatles when I was nine years old, so to get a call to work with Paul, as an adult, was both strange, you know, and fantastic. Quite often, we exchanged roles and then quite often, he was bringing the word content into the songs where I was going for the very melodic cadences.
MOCKLER: In the early 90's, Costello explored classical music, composing and touring with the Brodsky Quartet and along the way, learning a surprising new skill.
COSTELLO: It was a very thrilling experience and during it, I learned to write and read music, which I hadn't been able to do prior to that. I'd written maybe 200 songs at that point, but had never had the real need to write music down.
MOCKLER: More recently, Costello hooked up with Oscar-winning composer, Burt Bacharach.
COSTELLO: And we were offered the opportunity to write a song called "God Given Strength" for a movie. And I think it's as good a song as it's ever been in movie in the last 30 years.
MOCKLER: The pair won a Grammy for their work together, but not all of Costello's detours have found critical or commercial success.
DECURTIS: With any sort of experimentation, there's an element of risk involved. That's the whole point of it. And not all of Elvis Costello's risks had panned out.
MOCKLER: However, Costello's aim remains true, to follow his own musical muse.
COSTELLO: A lot of people that -- who had listened to the things I was doing in the late 70's and 80's and maybe even into the early 90's, didn't follow me in the other collaborative work that I've done in the last seven or eight years and I didn't expect that they all would.
DECURTIS: There's still an aspect of the punk in Elvis Costello and that is in his desire not to please, you know. He likes it when people like his work as long as it was the work he wanted to do.
MOCKLER: Costello's most recent venture, a return to rock-n-roll with "When I Was Cruel."
COSTELLO: Bells are jamming to victory.
MOCKLER: The album debuted in the top 20, his highest ever, as Costello put a fresh spin on a familiar genre.
DECURTIS: There's a sense with him still that he will surprise you, a sense that you can't take it for granted and you don't know what he's going to do. That gives him kind of artistic surprise that many people lose very early in their career and he's still got it after 25 years.
COSTELLO: How are you? Well, maybe it's just a good case for the -- retaining your curiosity. If you're protecting a brand name, which a lot of people do by making extensively the same record over and over again and it can go stale. But I think it would make it for a dull world and it makes a dull life for me, so I'm happy to do what I do.
ZAHN: Many of Elvis Costello's earlier records are being re- released and fans are snapping them up. Costello's first album, "My Aim Is True," a double disc, has sold 44,000 copies since his re- release in August of last year.
ANNOUNCER: Coming up, he's the godfather of glam rock. Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOWIE: There's nothing in there, in the mainstream, that I want in my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: David Bowie talks music, Bill Murray movies and why sometimes he'd rather just read a good book when PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues.
ANNOUNCER: Now back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.
ZAHN: David Bowie has always wanted to rock our minds as much as our bodies and he's been doing just that for more than three decades. It's been a funky ride in and out of the mainstream for Bowie, who seems more comfortable on the fringe than front and center.
BOWIE: Being an artist -- ever since I was a kid, the one thing I really wanted to do was to affect the medium, you know, that was like very important to me. In the back of your head, you're thinking this might affect people in a certain way, you know, this might have some ripple effect.
I think for the vanity of an artist, especially a creative artist is the idea that you might have changed the vocabulary of the medium that you're working in. The chameleon will change the color of its skin to fit into its environment. I think I've done quite the reverse.
I don't want to hear information I know already and I'm kind of greedy for something that kind of really sparks me off and gets me thinking. And I -- you -- one tends to find that on the outside of the mainstream.
There's nothing in there, in the mainstream, that I want in my life. It's tyrannical in there. It's despotic, you know, and I don't want to be ruled by that blandness. I can't say the whole 80's were bad for me because -- and frankly, they weren't. I mean, through '84, I had the ride of my life, I mean with the whole "Let's Dance" kind of thing, being shoved into, you know, that kind of out of a cult status into this kind of, you know, oh, the new Phil Collins, you know. It's like what is this. I'm on the radio, mum. And then, two or three years where I really felt like -- and he was lost in the wilderness, as your kind of programs would have it.
BOWIE: Found himself lost in the wilderness with only his drugs for companionship. So it was like, you know, that kind of thing. And it really took me a long time to get back on feet again and realize that what I really enjoyed doing was the creative process of making imaginative music not reaching the expectations of an audience.
I do not live for the stage. I do not live to hear the audience and all that. Hey, I'd rather be reading a good book. I like devising shows. I like putting them together and I like the first, say, three or four nights, and then, I get bored beyond belief of having to same the damn thing every night.
Thank you. I was born and raised here in Manassas. I was educated at the Manassas University for existentialism.
I would rather be in Philadelphia.
BOWIE: The trouble is it seems like you're in Philadelphia every damn night, you know. It's like it's Groundhog Day. I would like to feel that, you know, that I retain some kind of buoyancy in my life, but I must be honest. When I go into the stillness of my quieter hours, I am fairly driven by spiritual searching, a sense of anxiety about our times.
These are the nights. These are the darkest holes.
Even prior to September of last year, there was a kind of a low- level anxiety in the air, about the century. It wasn't particularly cool. You know, it wasn't feeling right. I really don't want this world to be like this for my daughter, you know. What have I brought her into? How worse can this get, you know?
This broth seems to kind of stir away in my soul and has done all my life. I've been a very questioned person. Questions that I just can't and never have been able to resolve and I never will until the day I die, you know. At the very end, I'll be saying, "But." Following my last words will be, "But." Samuel Beckett's last words -- oh, it's so sad -- just before he had his heart attack, he said, "Oh, what a morning."
ANNOUNCER: Coming up, Jazz's new nightingale, Norah Jones when PEOPLE IN THE NEWS returns.
ZAHN: Norah Jones is taking the jazz world by storm, charming critics and audiences alike. At just 23, she's already being compared to Billie Holiday and Etta James. We caught up with Jones on tour last March just as her new album, "Come Away With Me" was about to take off.
NORAH JONES, MUSICIAN: I sort of was always a musician. I grew up listening to a lot of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Joe Beam (ph), lots of Brazilian music, Willie Nelson. I got into jazz in high school. So then I was listening to Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday.
I started doing gigs when I was 16 -- coffee houses, and things like that.
I'm really new at songwriting, and I've just been doing it really for the past few years. I was mostly inspired by friends who are songwriters. And I also started listening to the songwriters more than I ever had before.
I love Billie Holiday and Nina Simone; they're big influences for me. But when people compare me to them, I don't think I am even anywhere close to being -- sounding that good. But it's OK. It feels good.
I think the reason that people like my music is because it's simple. We do draw in a lot of different influences. We all love country music, jazz, old R&B, blues.
I'm very surprised that as many people like my album. I think it's cool that people can like it, because it's not very commercial. It's not very pop music. We just tried to make a good record, and maybe people relate to that.
I've been really lucky. I've been surrounded by really cool people. I have a really cool label. They're a real music label. So I haven't had too many people try to push me in a direction that I wouldn't go in naturally -- like a pop direction or, you know, doing dance videos or something -- because everybody around me pretty much knows that that wouldn't really be good. I can't dance.
It's fun to be on the road. I grew up going -- doing car trips with my mom. So I love just driving around in the states.
This is the most people we've ever played for without opening.
In Atlanta, there were 800 people there to see me. Maybe they went there to see the opening act, I don't know. But I think they were there to see me. And that was, by far, the most people that have ever come to see me. I couldn't believe it. I feel really lucky. My life is a lot different right now than it was a year ago. But it's great because I'm busy, I'm working; I'm playing a lot, which is the most important thing. So that's good.
ZAHN: Norah Jones has come a long way since last March. She has sold two million records and is an early odds on favorite for next year's Grammies.
And that is it for this edition of PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. Next week, John Walsh and Pierce Brosnan, America's number one TV crusader and the world's number one movie spy. Thanks for joining us. Hope to see you next time.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com