Why Rob Halford Thinks Ozzy’s Retirement From Touring Is the ‘Right Call’
Last month, Ozzy Osbourne stated that his “touring days . . . have ended” following the cancelation of his 2023 spring tour with Judas Priest (due to medical complications). Naturally, there were a plethora of concerned and appreciative reactions from fans, and now, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford has offered his own supportive response to the Prince of Darkness’ decision.
In a new chat with Metal Hammer, Halford clarified that although he hasn’t “spoken to Ozzy in person,” he “sent him a text the other day congratulating him on his two Grammys – ‘well done bab, love ya!” Obviously, he’s referring to Osbourne’s recent 2023 Grammy award wins (Best Rock Album for Patient Number 9 and Best Metal Performance for “Degradation Trip”).
Halford continued [via Metal Hammer]:
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. 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!
We couldn’t say it better ourselves.
Halford also commented on Judas Priest's plans to tour the U.K. prior to commencing work on the follow-up to 2018's Firepower. Specifically, he explained that they're "frantically trying to figure out if [they] can do something this year to reward all those fans who have been waiting so patiently."
He added. "We’ve been away from our British fans for too long, and we’re trying behind the scenes to put things together for this year if we can make it happen and if we’ve got something to announce, we absolutely will.”
Last month, Osbourne addressed the situation on SiriusXM's Ozzy's Boneyard, including the fact that he’s unhappy with how the press has interpreted and reported his earlier announcement:
Well, I've been working my guts out to try and get back on my feet. I've come to the point where Sharon says to me, “You know what, the truth of the marriage, you can't keep booking tours and failing, cancelling.” So 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. . . . This fucking press drive you nuts. 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? You’ve got no idea. You got no idea what my, I feel like a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest.
In happier news, Osbourne appeared in a 2023 Super Bowl commercial called “Rock Star” (alongside KISS’ Paul Stanley, Billy Idol, Gary Clark Jr. and Joan Jett). In it, he acts as a shirt-and-tie office worker. Elsewhere, he – and Sharon – showed up in an awesome advertisement for Playstation’s Horizon Call of the Mountain (arguably the biggest launch title of Playstation’s new VR2 system).
Of course, only time will tell what the rest of 2023 holds for Osbourne and Judas Priest on stage.