It seems like every summer, with the conclusion of yet another Ozzfest, the same old rumors inevitably creep up about the festival's namesake, Ozzy Osbourne. This year, the online speculation kicked into overdrive early, with various sources suggesting that this most recent Ozzfest was indeed Ozzy's last, and that next summer, the self-proclaimed Prince of Darkness would sit the fest out, which he hasn't done since the tour's 1996 inception.
But according to Ozzy — who spoke to several reporters Monday evening during a teleconference promoting his upcoming tour with Rob Zombie and openers In This Moment (an arena run that kicks off in Seattle on October 18) — he's on for the 2008 installment. "Oh yeah," Osbourne said, in response to a question from MTV News. "As far as I know."
The revelation comes weeks after wife Sharon Osbourne's older brother, David Arden, spoke out to the British press, saying that he fears Ozzy is "worn out" and that Sharon would "keep Ozzy on the road until ... he dies onstage." Arden added that his sister needed the heavy-metal icon to keep working "because of her exorbitant spending."
In response, Ozzy said that Sharon "does not get involved in telling me about working," and that he tried retirement once, and "it sucked." Ozzy added, "My wife can't make me do anything I don't want to do," and he thinks Arden "needs to see a f---ing psychiatrist."
Osbourne did not discuss whether 2008's Ozzfest would once again be free for fans, as it was in 2007. None of the bands who were on the bill were paid, having to rely largely on merchandise sales to get by.
"The reason [why the 2007 Ozzfest was free] was we had to put the brakes on the other bands who were getting ridiculous fees," he explained. "When it becomes a problem to run a fest, the only thing you can do is raise the ticket price, which we don't want to do. [The free Ozzfest] worked out in the respect that we were paying a lot of money for these other bands. Sharon is the right person to ask about that."
Osbourne said his upcoming tour with Zombie was born out of his desire to return to the arena forum, after so many years of playing Ozzfest's outdoor stages. "I really miss doing arenas, 'cause the Ozzfest, we didn't think it would last nowhere near as long as it did," he explained. "I just missed doing arenas. It's part of what rock and roll's about."
Osbourne also fielded questions about the future of Black Sabbath, saying that if there are any plans to work with the band in 2008, he's not aware of them: "I'm the last person to be told anything," he quipped. Regardless, he hasn't ruled out Sabbath's return.
"I'd love to do another Black Sabbath album," he said. "We did try and write together; there are a bunch of things written. But the problem I'm having is it's got to be at least on the same level as when we departed. If it's not, then what's the point in doing it? I'm definitely doing another album, whether with my own band or Sabbath. As long as I'm not doing bullsh--."
Ozzy was also asked whether he'll be participating in director Peter Margolis' upcoming documentary about late guitarist Randy Rhoads, who died at age 25 in a 1982 plane crash. Osbourne said he won't be, but added that he has flowers delivered to Rhoads' grave every year on the anniversary of his death. He also rejected the possibility that he'll one day pen an autobiography, saying his memory is not what it once was.