Ozzy Osbourne's longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde says that he will take the stage again with the Prince Of Darkness whenever the legendary heavy metal singer is "ready to roll."
Earlier this week, Ozzy 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.
Wylde, who rejoined to Ozzy's touring band in 2017, shared words of support for his longtime bandmate and "hero" while reacting to the news that Osbourne was no longer going to be doing any touring. The guitarist wrote on his social media: "Oz – keep hitting the iron, staying strong & positive. Everybody is praying & rooting for you – your strength, resilience & heart of a lion is just one of the many reasons you're a hero to me & millions around the world – when you are ready to roll – we roll. I love you Oz. Zakk XOXO."
Osbourne 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," the 74-year-old musician 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.
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 and Zakk first teamed up 36 years ago when Zakk (whom Ozzy describes as "a fucking absolutely amazing guitar player") joined Ozzy's band in 1987; they last recorded in 2022 on Ozzy's acclaimed new album "Patient Number 9".
Photo credit: Mark Weiss Photography