COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- Lin Doak of Colonial Heights never let his height - not quite 4-feet-9-inches - stand in his way.
Yes, "back in the '80s it was a curse" while going to middle and high school, he told me this week.
Back then, all he wanted to do was get up on a stage and rock and roll.
He was still a child when he got to see Foreigner play at the Richmond Coliseum back in 1976.
"I saw that and said, 'Wow! That's what I want to do!"
"You had to be a good-looking tall guy, you know," Lin, 49, recalled.
"If I ever wanted to do anything, I had to create it myself. I could go out and audition for bands, (but) I knew I wouldn't get it. The pretty boy who couldn't sing would get it."
His somewhat famous singing grandmother, Jackie Fenderson, had trained and encouraged him, so young Lin made his own way.
When I first wrote about him for the Richmond Times-Dispatch back in 1990, the Colonial Heights High School graduate was the front man for Teazer, a hard-rock band playing in RVA clubs like Newgate Prison and the Flood Zone.
He told me back then he was going to make it - and he's never stopped rockin’.
Currently, he's laying down vocal tracks for a German metal musician and songwriter via Dropbox on the Internet. It's good stuff.
There have been many other projects, including a successful mini-Kiss tribute band that gave him the confidence to start something similar, but heavier.
Six years ago, after regularly hearing that he sounds and looks like hard-rock pioneer Ozzy Osbourne, Lin decided to find the best Central Virginia musicians to surround himself with as "Little Ozzy."
"It took off," he said.
They've toured the country. In 2012 he performed on "America's Got Talent" back when Sharon Osbourne - big Ozzy's wife - was one of the judges.
Earlier this year he got a phone call from the History Channel, which is airing Ozzy and Jack Osbourne's history-based "World Detour."
Ozzy "had a bucket list, things he wanted to do," Lin said, "and he wanted to see Jamestown and he wanted to meet Little Ozzy."
Their meeting at a Jamestown restaurant was filmed for the show.
Father Ozzy and son Jack were delightful, Lin said - "unbelievably nice," kind and down-to-earth.
The senior Ozzy "seemed to be as excited to meet me as I was him."
Lin said he believed this would happen, even telling his incredulous band members that they would one day meet this grandmaster of metal.
"It's really cool to see your goal unfold like that."
The show airs on September 18.
"It just builds your confidence," Lin said, "and let's you keep on rolling . . . I know there's more to come."
His bucket list?
He and his band landing a steady Las Vegas gig.
And... "Maybe I need to do commercials," he said.
Like for who?
"Amtrak," he said. (One of Ozzy Osbourne's big hits is "Crazy Train."
Or maybe public service spots...
"Anti-bullying, right? That's what I'd like to get on."
He certainly has been there, and has managed to rise above it.
"It would be good to speak to kids and let 'em know you can turn what you think is a curse into a blessing."
A quarter-century after meeting this hard rocker, I see he's still got plenty of mettle.
"Life is good," Lin said. "It's really happening."