Ozzfest Concert-Goers Get Their Money's Worth Of Metal

Coming soon to an arena near you, meanwhile, will be metal veteran Ozzy Osbourne with his annual "Ozzfest" package show. This year features Pantera, Type-O Negative, Powerman 5000, Machine Head, and Fear Factory, not to mention three-fourths of the original lineup of Ozzy's old band, Black Sabbath. Abbie Kearse assessed this latest Ozzfest at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio.

FEMALE FAN 1: Lollapalooza's a bunch of hippies. Here, everyone's like a lot more energetic.

ABBIE KEARSE: Did you ever feel that it's kind of uncool to like hard rock or metal?

FEMALE FAN 2: I'm called a freak. (Laughs)

VINNIE PAUL, Pantera: It's not computers, it's not techno and it's not a big bunch of Hollywood. It's rock n' roll, and that's what people really dig.

PETER STEELE, Type 0 Negative: I think the best term for what we do is "gland rock."

KEARSE: And what's that?

STEELE: Well, I think that most people are pretty much governed by their hormones,

and so are we.

MTV: While most fans attending Ozzfest '97 agree Ozzy and his Black Sabbath bandmates are heavy metal gods, there is no denying either that concert-goers got their money's worth of metal. Before the newly renunited Black Sabbath took the stage ["Flying High Again" performance, 743k QuickTime], Ozzy first preformed a complete hour-plus long set of solo material.

KEARSE (backstage): So, any moment now, Ozzy's gonna come out and do his solo act... Here he comes! (Ozzy comes out, stretches, crosses himself and heads for the stage stairs)... There he goes! (Ozzy runs up the stairs and onto the stage. The lights go up and the crowd goes wild).

KEARSE (in an interview with Ozzy): Do you think that Marilyn Manson has taken some of the heat off you -- that you're not in the center of this -- ?

OZZY OSBOURNE: I don't think about it and I don't really care. I've never really acknowledged the

heat. The only thing about having a controversial act is that you get pretty damn tired when people still to this day go, "So, Oz, did you really bite the head off a bat?" It's like, "Oh, come on."

KEARSE: What's the lifestyle -- whether it's backstage or your touring life -- how is that different from in the 70's when you guys were together?

OSBOURNE: No drugs, no booze. That's the funny thing. The other night, we were in the dressing room and I said look at as us three. Years ago, there would be lines of cocaine, bottles of champagne, vodka and whatever else we could get down, and now it's if my tea is not strong enough (laughs). My life has just been one haze up until that last so many years. I don't know what year I'm in, I don't even know what country I'm in half the time. I just get up and just do my thing. But apparently, that comes back in time.

KEARSE: So has that been getting better, now?

OSBOURNE: What?

KEARSE: (Laughs).

"Ozzfest

'97" will be joined on Sunday for eight dates by Satan Sunbeam of Marilyn Manson.