March 14 [10:00 EST] -- As we reported on Thursday, metal veteran Ozzy Osbourne will launch the summer concert season on May 25 when his traveling Ozz Fest extravaganza hits the highways and byways of America featuring a reformed Black Sabbath.
Guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler of the pioneering 1960s headbangers will join original frontman Osbourne ("I Don't Know" live, QuickTime MB) in this incarnation of Sabbath, with Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin filling in for original drummer Bill Ward.
And while fans are eagerly anticipating the return of one of the most influential metal bands of all time, Ozzy may be wondering what all the fuss is about.
The last time we spoke with Mr. Osbourne, he told us that the band never realized their material would have such a lasting effect.
"When I was with Sabbath, we never thought that," Ozzy said. "You don't sit down
in 1971 and go 'In 1991 or 1990, this is going to be the pinnacle of the time.' If you knew that, you'd be a rocket scientist or something, y'know." (QuickTime, 1.6 MB)
The reconstituted Sabbath will play some 20 dates on the Ozz Fest, and will join a shifting variety of other acts, including Marilyn Manson, Pantera, and Type O Negative. The notion of a Black Sabbath/Marilyn Manson bill is sure to draw its share of religious protesters, as well as fans of all ages, which is something Ozzy is used to.
Fans who still hold fond memories of last year's Ozz Fest may want to pick up the "Ozz Fest Live" CD and video from Ozz Records on April 29. The home versions of the Ozz Fest tour were recorded last October during the last two dates of Ozz Fest '96, which featured performances from Ozzy, Sepultura, Biohazard, Danzig, and others.