Last November, the four original members of Black Sabbath announced that they were working on a new record with producer Rick Rubin, which they would then take out on the road for a run of dates in 2012. Looking at the four geezers (one of whom is actually called “Geezer”), it was pretty easy to be all, “Yeah, okay. Sure thing, pops.”
After all, Ozzy Osbourne’s name has never been synonymous with dependability and respect for schedules and timetables. Then word came that guitarist Tony Iommi was suffering from lymphoma, but that that (somehow) wouldn’t slow down the band’s reunion plans. Then drummer Bill Ward threatened to drop out due to the “unsignable” contract offered to him.
Well anyone who bet against the Black Sabbath reunion ever actually coming to fruition in their office pool (or their record store back-office pool) now stands to make a tidy profit. Almost. According to a post that just went up on the band’s official Facebook page, the fully reunited, officially licensed Godfathers of Heavy Metal-era Black Sabbath will only be playing one proper show, June 10 at the Download Festival in Donnington, UK. The rest of the European tour will be rebranded as “Ozzy and Friends,” featuring the intermittently cognizant Osbourne and a bunch of special guests (including Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Zakk Wylde), which is kind of like being told you’re getting Black Sabbath but then instead just getting Ozzy Osbourne and a bunch of other people, which is pretty much exactly what Black Sabbath fans have been getting for the past 34 years. Just another lesson to never say “never say die.”