I had the privilege of seeing Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, and a phenomenal drummer named Tommy Clufetos the other night in Philadelphia. There was also a front man who waddled around in a stupor(sober as can be) singing Black Sabbath songs along with them, inbetween endless head dunks in a water bucket and a handful of teleprompted cliches. His name was Ozzy. Lets just say(then go on to comment in torrid detail) that the only song he should be singing is "Mama, I'm Coming Home. Home to rest. Rest up, drink tea and watch the History Channel until the bats crawl up into the belfry one last time.
Ozzy Osbourne has lived many lives and survived several deaths and conquered many arenas of heavy music and high pharma in his 64 years. He, along with Keith Richards will outlive all of us to entertain the advanced strain of cockroach left after the next and last apocalypse. I mean, the guy just got out of his 30th rehab and makes an album and decides to tour. But even after all of the hype of a true Black Sabbath Reunion, and the Bill Ward in/then out drama, and the Tony Iommi health issues, I decided to go and see the old gang.
Tony Iommi has cancer. Tony Iommi went back and forth from England to Los Angeles this past spring to work long hours in a studio on one end of the trip and take a chemo drip on the other end. Tony made the call to move on after Bill Ward's non committal stalemate took hold. Tony wanted to beat the devil. Finish the album. Tour the world maybe one last time. Tony came on to that stage the other night with something to prove to himself, to his fucking disease and his fans.
Mission accomplished. The SG blazed. The capped fingers flew. The tri- tones triumphed. The problem was not the problem. His health was a total non issue, even evident from the ridiculously overpriced nosebleed vantage point. The victory was spoiled. The man in trouble is not Tony. The man in trouble is Ozzy.
Ozzy can't sing anymore. Yeah. Yeah. We expect Ozzy to be the spectacle.The shaky prince of darkness that he is at this advanced age, and after all of the damage. But this is deep doo doo, for 50 dollar cheap seats and the darkest of dark dark blasphemy for the 100 floor seats. But why take the piss on us Yanks? Either there was no possibility he was tour ready, or there's just plain no possibility at all anymore. He was off key so bad during War Pigs/ Into The Void/Under the Sun/Black Sabbath/Behind The Wall Of Sleep and N.I.B. that my thoughts went from giggly anger to blatant concern. I kept thinking his old mates Geezer and Tony(as amazing as they were) just didn't have the nuts to throw a flag somewhere on this tour, let alone that night. Disclaimer: I've perused footage from the other tour stops with carbon copy set lists, and the Ozzman doesn't Cometh. The Ozzman Isnt Eventh Therefh. Ditto, people. Back to Philly though: He pulled out all three of the standard stops on the mic between songs ad nauseum to the point where I kept thinking "I wanna see your hands!!!!" and "We love you motherfuckersssss!!!!" were the only things non- teleprompted that he could think of to say. The waddle, the clap-stomp, all in force and enforced in drunken robotics. Sharon gets more dog jewelry, I guess.
Sad Shite. Sabbath Cruddy Sabbath. And I'm feeling a bit fleeced. Even the outstanding out of body- like drumming of Mr. Clufetos(very you tube worthy) and the most brain- cuddling contact high I've
had since my mullet was in check didn't change my sentiments.
And no new tour t shirt sold by any band (geriatric or not) is worth 40 bucks, even if they were made from black headless goat hair and printed with bat blood.