Osbournes in Feisty Mood for Ozzfest Unveiling

Tue Feb 18, 8:12 PM ET
By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Headbangers of the world will unite once again this summer at Ozzfest, the annual road show of hard rock bands organized by America's first couple of reality TV, the Osbournes.

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne and son Jack opened their Beverly Hills house to journalists on Tuesday to announce the lineup for the eighth annual outing of Ozzfest.

Dressed in his best pair of tracksuit pants and a black T-shirt, a typically befuddled Ozzy slurred his way through the news conference while a svelte Sharon, as usual, took charge of proceedings, firing off insults at her guests and husband.

Ozzy Osbourne, frontman for English heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath, will headline the event, which kicks off on June 28 in San Antonio. Osbourne is hardly the most popular visitor to the Texan city since urinating on a part of the historic Alamo during a drunken stupor in 1982.

"I won't be allowed back into f*' town," Osbourne, 54, mumbled upon hearing of the itinerary, apparently for the first time.

He will share the main stage with rock bands Korn, Marilyn Manson, Disturbed and Chevelle. A second stage will feature such up-and-coming acts as Cradle of Filth and Trust Co.

DON'T MENTION DRUGS

Ozzfest is one of the biggest attractions on the American concert calendar. Last year's outing, headlined by Osbourne, System of a Down and Rob Zombie, grossed $26.3 million, ranking No. 17 among all tours. That tour also coincided with the diagnosis of Sharon Osbourne's colon cancer, although she is now in remission.

Osbourne, holding court in the house's game room, said he has been working out five times a week to get into shape for the tour. As he was answering a question about his legendary alcohol and pill intake, the family's publicist cut him short.

He said a Black Sabbath reunion was not on the cards, although he and England-based guitarist Tony Iommi have been collaborating long-distance on songwriting. This time, Sharon interrupted him telling a journalist, "Cut the Black Sabbath s---, OK?"

Ozzfest will compete for fans' money in a difficult economic climate with other road shows such as Lollapalooza and Warped, which cater to different musical tastes.

"It's sweaty, it's physical, it's ugly," Manson said of Ozzfest, by way of a compliment.

But seriously, Sharon Osbourne said she would keep prices at last year's levels, which started at about $40, and a limited number of $10 tickets would also be sold at each venue.

The Osbournes hope to take Ozzfest to Britain, Germany, Scandinavia and the Netherlands in September, assuming a possible war with Iraq will not frighten groups from flying to Europe.

Ozzy and family rocketed to mainstream prominence last year as stars of the hugely successful MTV reality series "The Osbournes," which depicted their eccentric lifestyle. The show is now in its second season, although ratings have slid.