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Suit Charges Lyrics Pushed Teen To Suicide

January 14, 1986| From Times Wire Services

Heavy-metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne was targeted Monday in court papers claiming he helped push an Indio teen-ager over the brink of depression to suicide with his song "Suicide Solution."

The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit claims John McCollum, 19, killed himself with one shot from his father's .22-caliber pistol in October, 1984, after listening to Osbourne albums for several hours. He was still wearing stereo headphones when his body was discovered.

The lyrics in "Suicide Solution" are part of what McCollum's parents claim spurred the teen-ager's suicide:

Breaking laws, knocking doors, but there's no one at home

Made your bed, rest your head, but you lie there and moan

Where to hide, suicide is the only way out . . . The suit claims that the lyrics are satanic-influenced.

Attorney Thomas Anderson said the suit, which also names CBS records, relies on a California law prohibiting assistance or encouragement of suicide. He said at a news conference that he means to "teach record companies a lesson" by forcing them to take responsibility for lyrics that encourage suicide.

A spokesman for Osbourne said that neither the singer nor his manager (and wife), Sharon Osbourne, has been served with papers, but that they would hold a press conference on Monday. A spokeswoman for CBS Records said the company had no comment.

The suit was filed in October, but Anderson said he waited until Monday to serve copies of it on the defendants so he could amend it to include the lyrics of another Osbourne song, "Paranoid," which the parents claim helped push their son to shoot himself. McCollum and his wife seek unspecified monetary damages.

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