Ozzy Plans Next Ozzfest Outing, Preps For Full Sabbath Reunion

October 17 [7:55 EDT] -- Given the success of this year's Ozzfest summer metal extravaganza, it's no surprise that the tour will live to see another day.

Ozzy Osbourne, the metal godfather behind Ozzfest, is already plotting next summer's round of the tour, and he says it may feature the timeless Australian headbanger band AC/DC.

Ozzfest '97 was the second-highest-grossing tour of the summer, coming in behind Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair tour.

As we previously reported, Ozzy's latest greatest-hits album, "The Ozzman Cometh," will arrive on November 11, and will feature one new track, a song called "Back On Earth.

Meanwhile, Ozzy's bandmate from his Black Sabbath days, drummer Bill Ward, will be playing the Roxy in L.A. next weekend (October 25) with his Bill Ward Band. The show will give fans in the U.S. one last chance to see the drummer before he heads to England to rehearse with his old bandmates.

Ward will be joining Ozzy, Tony Iommi, and

Geezer Butler for rehearsals in November followed by two shows in Birmingham, England December 5 and 6. Ward says he received a call from Ozzy Osbourne's wife and manager, Sharon Osbourne, last month and readily agreed to do the dates.

If all goes well, the shows will be taped and released as a live album and video, and a tour will likely follow. The Birmingham shows will be the first full reunion of the original Black Sabbath since an appearance in 1992 that was supposed to mark Osbourne's retirement. At that show, in Costa Mesa, CA., a version of Sabbath played with Rob Halford on vocals, followed by an Osbourne solo set and then a 30-minute finale with the original band, Ward included.

Black Sabbath headlined the 1997 Ozzfest, but without Ward, who (depending on who you talk to) was unable to come to terms with the band, hadn't been asked, or was too busy supporting his own recently released solo album.