STEEL PANTHER singer Michael Starr has commented on Ozzy Osbourne's recent announcement that he was retiring from touring due to declining health.
The 74-year-old BLACK SABBATH frontman revealed his retirement on Tuesday (January 31),scrapping his spring/summer 2023 tour stops because of a spinal injury he suffered four years ago and other health problems.
Starr discussed Ozzy's decision to stop touring in a new interview with Andy Hall of the Des Moines, Iowa radio station Lazer 103.3. When Hall pointed out that Osbourne no longer hitting the road was "a big deal", Starr concurred. "Yeah, it really is a big deal. It's like Tom Brady retiring from football, if you're into football. It's, like, 'What?' It's coming to an end. And Ozzy is such a huge influence on so many people, including myself. And I'm happy that he's happy and he's moving on with his life. It comes to an end for everybody eventually. And I wish him well. I wish he was still playing, 'cause we had shows booked with him. That's not gonna work out. But it is what it is, and I wish him well."
Ozzy was due to embark on a tour of Europe later this year, but in the 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," he continued. "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 this week. 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.
Formed in 2000, STEEL PANTHER specializes in imitating and exaggerating the less flattering aspects of 1980s hair metal, with unrepentantly crude, non-PC sexual content as a favorite lyrical theme.
The group's music has been described as "VAN HALEN meets MÖTLEY CRÜE meets RATT meets 'Wayne's World', complete with operatic shrieks, misogyny, shredding guitar solos and libidinal overdrive."
Fifteen years ago, STEEL PANTHER changed its name from METAL SKOOL to its current moniker and shifted the focus of its act from '80s metal covers to originals.