Ozzy Osbourne and his bandmates are back in Black -- Sabbath, that is.
But not for long.
The iconic British hard rock group is on the final North American leg of its The End farewell tour, which wraps for good during early February in its home town of Birmingham, England. With the three founding members -- Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler -- abetted by Detroit-born drummer Tommy Clufetos and Adam Wakeman, son of former Yes member Rick Wakeman, on keyboards -- It's been a triumphant run since starting during January, offering a full array of enduring hits such as "Paranoid," "Iron Man" and "War Pigs."
As the end of The End nears, here's three things to know about the tour and what's ahead for Sabbath...
* The End really is the end: "We're not gonna be one of these bands that says 'It's over' and then we're back, like five years later. This really is it," Osbourne, 67, says. "And I think it's great we're going out and ending it on a high note. I wouldn't mind extending the tour for another few gigs, but Tony wants to do 80 shows, so we're doing 80 shows, and it's great. I'm having a blast with it. I'm sure when it starts counting down to five shows left or something, it's gonna be kind of emotional."
* Tony Iommi really IS the Iron Man: Iommi was diagnosed with lymphoma in early 2012 and has been through several rounds of treatment since. This month he said he's cancer-free, and Osbourne marvels at the guitarist's work ethic while fighting the disease. "Tony Iommi is one of these guys who goes, 'OK, whatever I got to do. What do I have to take? What do I have to stop taking? What Do I have to eat?'" Osbourne says. "When he got diagnosed, we were like, '(Expletive)! This is not really happening. But he's out there, and if it was met hat was diagnosed with that I'd have been a mess, like 'Woe is me...' But not Tony."
* Sabbath may be ending, but Ozzy isn't going anywhere. "It's not me that wants to retire. It's Black Sabbath. I'm not Black Sabbath," says Osbourne, who plans to record a new solo album and continuing touring on his own. He's also being seen on the History channel in "Ozzy and Jack's World Detour," a travel show with his son Jack Osbourne. "I retired when I was 57 or something, and then five minutes after I retired I was like, 'Why the (expletive) did I retire from this?!' So after the band I'll be back to doing what I've always done."
Black Sabbath and Rival Sons
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31
DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township.
Tickets are $35-$150 pavilion, $35 lawn with a $99 four-pack.
Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.
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