Ozzy To Sue New Jersey Over Marilyn Manson

As a great poet once sang, "The men don't know but the little girls understand..."

Ozzy Osbourne announced yesterday he will sue the state of New

Jersey for the right to bring his Ozzfest tour to Giants Stadium with Marilyn

Manson on the bill as scheduled. On Thursday officials from the Meadowlands

sports complex in East Rutherford (which includes Giants Stadium) issued the

organizers of Ozzfest an ultimatum: remove Manson from the line-up or the

Meadowlands will not sign a contract to host the June 15 concert. Osbourne

responded with a statement that read in part, "Nobody has the right to tell me

who I can perform with. I will not be putting any limits on any of the

Ozzfests."

Osbourne's announcement follows a statement on Thursday from the

American Civil Liberties Union that it is preparing a suit against the city of

Richmond, Virginia to allow Manson to perform at a local arena on May 10. On

Tuesday, the city council voted to cancel Manson's May 10 appearance at the

Richmond Coliseum. City Manager Robert C. Bobb told the Washington Post

that Marilyn Manson "was just not consistent with our community

standards."

"You cannot, based upon the content of lyrics, determine who can

play in a public forum," the ACLU's Mary Bauer told Reuters. Bobb

contends that the city had neither a signed contract for the show nor a deposit

from the concert's promoter. As of mid-week, 2,000 tickets had already been

sold for 9,000 seat venue...



The attempts at cancellation in New Jersey and Virginia

came amid increasing public pressure in other states to ban Manson's concerts.

An April 17 performance in Jacksonville, Florida prompted 5,000 telephone and

email complaints to the mayor's office there. A show originally set to take

place tomorrow (April 20) in Columbia, South Carolina was canceled after the

University of South Carolina paid promoters to prevent the concert.

The

Associated Press reports that a religious leader in Saginaw, Michigan is

petitioning local officials to require that all attendees under the age of 18

be accompanied by an adult for Manson's April 25 show. The Saginaw City Council

has already voted to allow the concert to continue, saying that a cancellation

would violate Manson's first amendment rights.

Osbourne's response to

Meadowlands officials opened with his declaration that, "I love America...This

is the only country in the world to have an instituted an act as progressive as

the First Amendment."

Osbourne went on to say that the Ozzfest concerts

"are all about having a good time. I don't believe that anyone, regardless of

age, should be prohibited by law from enjoying themselves at a rock

show.

"But situations like this are cyclical," Osbourne continued. " They

tried to stop Elvis in the '50s, the Beatles in the '60s, A Clockwork

Orange in the '70s and Ozzy Osbourne in the '80s. There are always people

who want to impose their standards on you by any means necessary. Blackmail is

a stain on free society, and I will not give in to it on any level.

"This

is not an issue of taste," Osbourne's statement concluded. "It is an issue of

civil liberty and freedom. You could be next and don't believe

otherwise."