Ozzy Osbourne recently made an appearance at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, performing the Black Sabbath classic "Paranoid" (along with a bit of “Iron Man”) with his old Sabbath band mate Tony Iommi.
It was a surprise and welcome performance, and also one that, as Ozzy explains in a new interview, was no small feat. Due to the singer’s physical challenges, which include living with Parkinson’s disease, as well as recovering from a recent neck surgery, he required some extra support onstage.
“[Wife] Sharon had them put in a bracket at the back, to hold me up,” Osbourne told The Guardian. “So I was leaning against that. And I was holding the microphone. I was kind of wedged in.”
The performance was a success, but as Ozzy states, he at first didn’t think he’d be able to pull it off. “I said to Sharon: ‘I can’t fucking perform,’ ” he recalled. “She said: ‘Are you sure?’ And I thought about it, and I thought: ‘Fuck it, I’m gonna go for it.’ It’s one song – and I’ve sung it every fucking night for the last 55 years, so it’s not like I’m going to forget the fucking words!”
Elsewhere in the interview, Ozzy and Sharon detailed the pain and physical challenges the singer has been dealing with on a daily basis.
Regarding the neck surgery he had in June, Sharon said, “The screws had come loose, and were chipping away at the bone. And the debris had lodged under his spine.”
Added Ozzy, “With the pressing on the spinal column, I got nerve pain. I’d never fucking heard of nerve pain! You know when you’re a kid, and you’re playing with snow and your hands get really cold? Then you go in and you pour on hot water, and they start getting warm? And you get those chills? And it fucking hurts? It’s like that.”
He continued, “It got so bad that at one point I thought: ‘Oh God, please don’t let me wake up tomorrow morning.’ Because it was fucking agony.”
Nevertheless, Osbourne is hopeful he’ll be able to hit the road and tour in support of his forthcoming album, Patient Number 9.
“I’m saying to you I’ll give it the best shot I can for another tour,” he said. “You have not seen the end of Ozzy Osbourne, I promise you. If I have to go up there and die on the first song, I’ll still be back the next day.”