The Ozzy Osbourne Hohner Signature Series Harmonica
Green Tones and Hohner Kids and Rockwood music instruments suppliers—now all owned by KHS America—together showed their children's music product at last week's Toy Fair under the Green Tones banner.
Not shown, but newsworthy, still, was the latest name in Hohner's Signature Series Harmonicas—Ozzy Osbourne—and Gizzy O'Toole, Hohner's A&R and marketing coordinator, was on hand to talk about it.
"It's our first Signature harmonica in a while," said O'Toole at the Green Tones Toy Fair exhibition hall booth, calling the 10-hole item "the hardest rockin' harmonica in the world." And in keeping with the Black Sabbath frontman's heavy metal pioneer image, the harmonica features black cover plates and translucent black comb—and is appropriately packaged in a coffin-shaped tin case.
"At Ozzy's request, there's a randomly placed Golden Ticket in 50 of the harmonica cases," said O'Toole. "Those who find them will receive a Limited Edition Hand Signed Harmonica that was played by Ozzy himself—so they'll be infused with his saliva!"
Previous Hohner Signature Series harmonicas have honored the likes of Bob Dylan and John Lennon. O'Toole noted that Osbourne "played hard in 'The Wizard' and is not a bad harmonica player."
In a recent interview, Osbourne said that he'd played Hohner harmonicas for years, and that Black Sabbath had started off as a blues band. Blues "elements," he added, can be found in both Black Sabbath recordings and his solo work.
According to Hohner Musikinstrumente GmbH export marketing manager Morgan Franke, Osbourne, being such a harmonica fan, had significant input in how his Signature model should look and feel.
"The result truly reflects Ozzy, and is one of my personal favorites when it comes to harmonica," said Franke.
Ozzy Osbourne performs "The Wizard" with Black Sabbath