Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A proposal to name the airport of England’s second-largest city after Black Sabbath star Ozzy Osbourne is being considered by Birmingham’s City Council.The idea was put forward by Jim Simpson of Big Bear Music, who was Black Sabbath’s first manager after discovering the local Birmingham band.
He sees it as a way to improve the city’s reputation and put some money in its coffers.
In an e-mail, Simpson told Business Insider the new name would a “masterstroke” that would confound cynics and boost tourism:
Curiosity would be aroused, fans would travel from afar to be photographed in front of the name, international travellers might opt to choose the airport rather than the more conventionally-named alternatives/competitors, but it’s much more than that.
Simpson argues the common British view of Birmingham residents, or “Brummies,” is that they are dull, humorless, and conventional. Flaunting the name of the bat-decapitating Birmingham native “would display an attitude of such confidence as to dispel” those impressions.
Why Osbourne? He “may not always have been a paragon of virtue,” Simpson said, “but he is a genuine flesh and blood Brummie.”
In a letter to the Birmingham Mail, Simpson also took a shot at Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport, saying it “is distinctly unimpressive, provincial and bears no comparison with ours.”
The proposal has been met with interest. Councilor Philip Parkin told the Daily Mail: “It’s an interesting idea and I’ve got an open mind. I would be interested to know what people thought about it. We need to be making the most of the talent we have got and did have in this city.”
Update: In an e-mail, Parkin clarified that there are no plans to rename the airport, but noted “the reaction that the ‘Ozzy airport’ idea has already generated has demonstrated once again quite how ‘big’ Black Sabbath are.”
He also pointed out that there would be people opposed to the idea, explaining his call for a public consultation.
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