January hasn’t been a good month for the metal community. The new year began when rumors of Ozzy Osbourne being on his “deathbed” spread. These speculations were instantly shot down as his daughter, Kelly, expressed her disgust after reading about the gossip. Since then, the Prince of Darkness proved he’s alive and well. However, recently he opened up to his fans, revealing he has stage 2 Parkinson’s Disease. Fans, as well as musicians, have been very supportive. Since Sunday night’s (26) Grammy Awards, questions have been raised on whether Ozzy will tour this year. Ozzy spoke to CBS on the red carpet on Sunday Night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, and expressed how he will tour if “he’s well enough.”
“If I’m well enough, I’ll work towards it. I’m having physical therapy every day, five days a week. I’m trying, doing the best I can. Neck surgery is not easy.”
Post Malone spoke to Rolling Stone on Ozzy’s diagnosis, explaining how he “had no idea” on how serious his condition is. However, Malone continued to admire Ozzy’s strength, stating:
“Working with him and hanging out with him and being around him, you can’t tell. You can tell he has a little difficulty getting around, but he’s so strong.”
With all of these questions, Metal Insider decided to have a debate on whether we think Ozzy should tour or not.
Jeff Podoshen: One might argue that Ozzy should have stopped touring years ago. He certainly isn’t close to what he once was. At the same time, fans still love him and want to see him. So if he can pull it off why not?
Elise Yablon: All artists should get to stop touring when they want to and Ozzy seems to really want to get back out on the road. It’s unfortunate the way the last year went for him and Parkinson’s has grounded artists before (not metal, but Neil Diamond abruptly cancelled his tour dates in 2018 and completely stopped the act of touring following his diagnosis), both of which could have just stopped him completely in his tracks. But he seems to be better, he’s happy making new music and what not. If he wants to and thinks he can, he should tour before the Parkinson’s gets too bad. He obviously still has the fanbase to do so.
Zenae Zukowski: When I saw Black Sabbath’s final show at MSG a few years ago, I remember feeling concerned. While Ozzy still had it, there was a change in him that made me wonder how much longer does he have to perform live? Moving forward, I’ve been disgusted at media tabloids lately, dishing out rumors of the artist and not giving him a break nor time to respect his privacy. I’ve seen clumping Ozzy with Post Malone as though they’ve been best friends for years. With the noise surrounding Ozzy, it still hasn’t blinded me from seeing what’s possibly really happening. Touring and his fanbase is a love and passion he has, and it appears this particular tour is something he wants to do. Ozzy surprised us all with a new album. And being able to create music after a year of hell is highly commendable. But, he does look weak. If he goes on the road, I wouldn’t want to see him standing for the entire set. He has been through enough, and it’s time he takes it easy. I am personally not for him touring. As much as he wants to, and Elise, you do have a good point but, I just don’t see a good outcome. And that’s terrifying. I am genuinely worried about him, and we’ve lost so many artists in January alone. I would rather hear Ozzy’s new music and check out the videos behind it than see him struggle live.
Bram Teitelman: Ozzy has always been a great showman, despite the fact that his voice hasn’t been on point for years. And for the last, oh, let’s say 15 years, we’ve seen his physical decline as well. Right around the time where instead of throwing buckets of water into the crowd, he switched to a super soaker instead. His recent revelation about Parkinson’s disease isn’t all that surprising, and going into detail about how he fell in his bathroom and was sidelined for all of last year isn’t particularly encouraging about his overall state. Seeing him literally sitting down for Post Malone’s performance at the American Music Awards and being guided out by Sharon at the Grammys proves that while he’s at least up for making public appearances, he’s not up to 100%.
In short, if he fell in his bathroom, how can he logically be expected to navigate himself around stages and venues across the world? Many have seen Sharon as someone that’s literally been guiding his career for years, much like she guided him out onstage at the Grammys. So of course she’s going to want to keep him going, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready. It’s cool that he found the wherewithal to record an album last year, and Post is giving him a carer renaissance in his ’70s, but he shouldn’t have to tour behind it, especially with how he’s looking. Here’s what I would suggest, if you’re reading this, Sharon: Ozzfest should have a last hurrah this summer or next, playing a show each on the East Coast, Midwest and West Coast. That way, Ozzy will get to give a last hurrah, fans that want to see him for one last time will have the opportunity to, and he’ll go out on top.
Matt Brown: On the one hand, touring is rough even on the young and spry let alone a 71 year old with Parkinson’s. I certainly wouldn’t blame Ozzy if he shortened his itinerary or backed out of touring altogether. He’s already got a new album coming out and he’s got nothing left to prove. But Ozzy loves the fans and his diagnosis probably makes him feel like he should give this one last hurrah while he still can, so I won’t be surprised if he tries to push through this tour. I don’t love that idea. I’d rather see him do a few big one-off shows.
Mark Zapata: Ozzy Osbourne is a legend. I can remember discovering Blizzard of Ozz before discovering Black Sabbath. I remember my girlfriend, at the time, playing Mr Crowley and telling me that Ozzy was the singer of Black Sabbath. My siblings did not get that heavy so she was responsible for turning me on to Ozzy, Black Sabbath, and AC/DC. So I can understand people being uncomfortable with the idea of Ozzy continuing to tour. It’s never easy watching somebody that you have grown up listening to decline. But, it is what he does, it’s not up to me to decide when he should stop. When you do what you do, you do it until you can no more. I don’t pretend to know what goes on between Ozzy and his wife Sharon, but I cannot imagine, especially at this point, Ozzy being forced to tour. Whatever the case may be, my hope is that Ozzy can continue to do what he loves for as long as humanly possible. \m/ \m/
Chris Annunziata: All I have to say is that I selfishly want him to tour so I can at least see him once. I Never got to see him live.