Could OZZY OSBOURNE Perform On Tour In A Wheelchair?March 16, 2023
According to The Sun, Ozzy Osbourne has vowed to return to the live stage, even if he has to perform in a chair.
The report comes a month after Osbourne released a statement in which he said that he would have to cancel his tour because of a spinal injury he suffered four years ago and other health problems.
Ozzy has reportedly taken inspiration from GUNS N' ROSES singer Axl Rose, who performed on tour with a damaged foot on a throne, and Phil Collins, who completed GENESIS's last tour while sitting on a chair.
A friend of Ozzy told The Sun: "Ozzy is refusing to give up on his hope of getting on stage despite his statement last month. He has declared: 'I am gonna fucking get back on stage.' He still has issues with his balance and cannot stand unaided for long periods of time on his legs. It frustrates him that doing a full-90 minute show, filled with his famous stage stomping and crowd interactive moves, is off the table. But he is considering doing gigs in a throne, like what Axl did in 2016 with GUNS N' ROSES. He was really impressed by that move. And he feels Phil showed that audiences do resonate with you.
"Ozzy worries that he may not be able to sit still, which could be challenging. But there is talk of bringing in some special effects and even stage machinery to have the chair move around. He feels a lot of options are on the table, but Oz is not ruling out Vegas or L.A. runs."
The source added: "That is Ozzy's determination. However, Sharon [Ozzy's wife and manager] is concerned about her husband being put through a heavy duty work load around gigs. Firstly, she has deep concerns about his balance and wants him to get back to walking properly, before even discussing comebacks. And she is particularly worried about him losing his balance and suffering injuries. Oz has spoken too about Sharon's fears of his Parkinson's condition prompting him to suffer falls like Michael J Fox."
Ozzy most recently gave an update on his touring status last month during an episode of SiriusXM's "Ozzy Speaks". He said: "Well, I've been working my guts out to try and get back on my feet. I've come to the point where Sharon says to me, 'You know what? The truth of the matter is you can't keep booking tours and failing, canceling. So, if I can ever get back to where I can tour again, fine. But right now, if you said to me, 'Can you go on the road in a month?' I couldn't say yes. I mean, if I could tour, I'd tour. But right now I can't book tours because right now I don't think I could pull them off."
Osbourne also commented on the fact that some of the media outlets reported that he was retiring from the road after he released his statement canceling his tour.
"The fucking press drive you nuts," Ozzy said. "I mean, I looked in the magazine, 'Ozzy's on his last legs.' I'm fucking not dying… Come on, guys. Haven't I've had it bad enough already? If I get okay today, if the doctor said to me today, 'Oh, you can tour, it would take another six months to get it together, you know?"
Osbourne also touched upon his ongoing health issues, saying: "You've got no idea. You got no idea what my… I feel like a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. The only thing I've got that keeps me going is making records. But I can't do that forever. I gotta get out there… [I'm] still in constant pain. I do to the best I can to stay away from the pain medication, but there are times when I go, 'You know, I've gotta take something.' I mean, last week I couldn't… I've been sleeping great, and all of a sudden for two back-to-back nights. I never slept a wink. If you're gonna torture me, just keep me awake for a couple of days. I'll tell you whatever the fuck you want me to say."
Osbourne was due to embark on a tour of Europe later this year, but in the aforementioned statement said that he has "come to the realization that I'm not physically capable … as I know I couldn't deal with the travel required.
"This is probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to share with my loyal fans," the 74-year-old musician continued in his statement. "As you may all know, four years ago this month, I had a major accident, where I damaged my spine. My one and only purpose during this time has been to get back on stage. My singing voice is fine. However, after three operations, stem cell treatments, endless physical therapy sessions, and most recently groundbreaking Cybernics (HAL) treatment, my body is still physically weak.
"Believe me when I say that the thought of disappointing my fans really FUCKS ME UP, more than you will ever know," he wrote. "Never would I have imagined that my touring days would have ended this way."
In the statement, Osbourne added that he was looking into "ideas for where I will be able to perform without having to travel from city to city and country to country", and thanked his fans for "their endless dedication, loyalty and support, and for giving me the life that I never ever dreamed I would have".
Osbourne's previously announced European tour with guests JUDAS PRIEST, originally set for 2019 and then rescheduled three times, was officially canceled in early February. The trek was scheduled to begin in Helsinki, Finland, on May 3, and include gigs in Nottingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester, Dublin and London, before finishing in his original hometown of Birmingham on June 14.
Ozzy has had extensive spinal surgery and other treatment over the past four years, after a fall at home in 2019 aggravated injuries he suffered in a near-fatal quad bike crash in 2003. But despite his health problems, Osbourne has performed a couple of times in recent months, including at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last August and at the NFL halftime show at the season opener Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills game last September.
Photo credit: Schneider Rondan Organization / Epic Records
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