After more than 60 years of scheduling events for American soldiers overseas, The United Services Organizations have finally booked an act armed with mountain-leveling firepower. Yes, the Blizzard of Ozz, Ozzy Osbourne, has been sent to the Far East to entertain servicemen in Japan and Korea.
On Thursday, Osbourne will fly to Seoul, Korea, to play a USO concert at Camp Casey. Between 25,000 and 30,000 soldiers are expected to attend the show, which will differ little from Ozzy's touring set, said his publicist, who added that although Osbourne has lived a wild life, he's very patriotic and is looking forward to entertaining the troops.
The USO concert was originally planned for Tuesday (February 19), but organizers decided to reschedule since many soldiers would not have been able to attend the event while President Bush was in town.
Ozzy was invited to Korea following an abundance of requests from servicemen, who seem to have forgiven him for the blatantly anti-war Black Sabbath song "War Pigs." While the USO did not restrict him from playing that or any other song, they requested that he not perform anything that would be degrading in any way to the troops or the organization, a USO entertainment spokesperson said.
In December, Kid Rock, Ja Rule and Jennifer Lopez recently performed at Rammstein Army base in Germany (see "J. Lo, Kid Rock, Ja Rule Salute Troops At USO Show"). Ozzy is the first heavy metal act to rock the USO since the events following September 11.
When he received the offer to play the USO show, the grandfather of loud was already in Japan, where he performed a number of other concerts including a February 15 gig at Tokyo's famed Budokan Hall which was recorded for a live album that will be released this summer (see "Ozzy Osbourne To Record Live Album, DVD At Budokan").
Two days later, Ozzy dropped in on the U.S. base in Tokyo where he signed autographs and mingled with servicemen and women. The last night of the official Japanese tour was February 18 in Yokahama.
After Osbourne leaves the Far East, he will perform in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska, on February 24 and 25, respectively, before playing seven shows across Canada between March 3 and 14. On May 17, Ozzy will fly to Germany for a series of European dates.