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Ozzy Osbourne rejects notion of retiring after canceling tour: I’m ‘not dying’

A man with dark hair opens his mouth and points his left fist forward
Legendary rocker Ozzy Osbourne is cutting back on touring but is far from ending his career despite his many ailments.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
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Rocker Ozzy Osbourne isn’t going anywhere — and he’s certainly not retiring — even though his earlier announcement canceling his upcoming tour was perceived as such.

The Black Sabbath veteran set the record straight Tuesday, appearing on SiriusXM‘s “Ozzy’s Boneyard” station to explain that his career is far from over and he would hit the road again if he was physically able to do so.

“I’ve been working my guts out to try and get back on my feet. I’ve come to the point where [my wife] Sharon says to me, ‘You know what, the truth of the matter, you can’t keep booking tours and failing, canceling,” the 74-year-old told the host, musician Billy Morrison.

“If I can ever get back to where I can tour again, fine. But right now, if you said to me, ‘Can you go on the road in a month?’ I couldn’t say yes. I mean, if I could tour I’d go tour. But right now I can’t book tours because, right now, I don’t think I could pull them off,” the Prince of Darkness added.

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Earlier this year, the “No More Tears” and “Crazy Train” singer canceled his spring tour stops in Europe while marking four years since a major accident that damaged his spine and resulted in a life-altering operation last year that removed and realigned pins in his neck and back. Osbourne, who had said that he is “not physically capable” of dealing with the grueling travel that touring entails, was upset with how his latest tour cancellation was perceived as the end of his career. That, coupled with the tabloids’ focus on his flagging health, frustrated him.

“This f— press could drive you nuts. I mean, I looked in the magazine, ‘Ozzy’s on his last legs,’” he mused. “I’m f— not dying. Come on guys, haven’t I had it bad enough already? If I get the OK today, if the doctor said to me today, ‘Oh, you can tour,’ it would take another six months to get it to go, you know?”

Citing ongoing health issues, Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne, 74, canceled the rest of his No More Tours II tour and is retiring from touring altogether.

Feb. 1, 2023

The legendary heavy metal singer said he feels “like a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest.”

“The only thing I’ve got that keeps me going is making records, but I can’t do that forever. I’ve got to get out there, you know?” he added.

Osbourne was amenable to other types of performances, including potential residencies in Las Vegas or working in Los Angeles. But, he added, that he’s “still in constant” pain and tries to stay away from pain medications, but there are times when he’s “got to take something.”

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“The Osbournes” reality TV star revealed in 2020 that he had Parkinson’s disease, a brain disorder that can cause slow movement, stiffness and loss of balance, among other issues. He told The Times in 2020 that he had been diagnosed with the disease in 2003 and that he was on medication to manage it. Later that year, he said his most pressing health issues were related to a fall he took in 2019 that left him with lingering pain.

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