JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford has shared his words of support for Ozzy Osbourne following the cancelation of their joint European tour.
The trek, originally set for 2019 and then rescheduled three times, was officially scrapped this week because of a spinal injury Osbourne suffered four years ago and other health problems. The tour was scheduled to begin in Helsinki, Finland, on May 3, and include gigs in Nottingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester, Dublin and London, before finishing in Ozzy's original hometown of Birmingham on June 14.
When he canceled his spring tour, Osbourne said in a statement that he was "not physically capable" of dealing with the grueling travel that touring entails, prompting the media to perceive his comments as the end of his touring career.
In a new interview with Metal Hammer, Halford said about his longtime friend and fellow metal icon: "I can only reinforce what all of Ozzy's fans, including us in JUDAS PRIEST, have said to him though, which is that he has done so much for all of us in rock and metal. He's done so much for his fans, and we all know how bad he feels about having to cancel because he lives for those fans. You can see that every time he goes onstage, he's beaming and connecting with everybody.
"It was terrible for him to have to make that important — and, to be honest, right — decision," Halford continued. "He made the right call. I don't think he wanted to put himself through a thing where it's, like, 'Okay, we'll have a go' then have to cancel after a couple of shows. Even though there's a lot of love for him and a lot of care and understanding, I've seen what the British metal maniacs have been saying and it's exactly how I feel too — put your feet up; you've earned it."
Earlier this week, Ozzy said during an appearance on SiriusXM's Ozzy's Boneyard channel that his career is not over and he would hit the road again if he were physically able to do so.
"I've been working my guts out to try and get back on my feet. I've come to the point where [my wife and manager] Sharon says to me, 'You know what, the truth of the matter, you can't keep booking tours and failing, canceling.
"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 go tour. But right now I can't book tours because, right now, I don't think I could pull them off," he added.
Osbourne also commented on the fact that some of the media outlets reported that he was retiring from the road after he released a statement earlier this month 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.
"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 said that he was open to other types of live events, including a potential residency in Las Vegas.
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.
Ozzy Osbourne photo credit: Ross Halfin