On August 12, Ozzy Osbourne announced that after ten years of headlining Ozzfest, the Black Sabbath front man is finally taking his day of rest. Osbourne still plans to make scattered appearances on future tours, though only in select cities. Sure, that's big news and all, but real news came a week later, during Iron Maiden's final Ozzfest show in San Bernardino, California. What could have been a poignant farewell to the heavy metal greats turned into a nightmare; the band was pelted with eggs, taunted with chants of "Oz-zy! Oz-zy!" and had the power cut during its set. The problems started after vocalist Bruce Dickinson butted heads with Sharon Osbourne, who complained that Dickinson berated Ozzy and belittled Ozzfest. The first lady of metal later issued a statement on Ozzfest.com, as did Maiden manager Rod Smallwood on the band's website -- each pointing the finger at (and giving the finger to) the other.
Says Osbourne: "Bruce is in fact a jealous prick and very envious."
Says Smallwood: "It is a good thing that the power was turned back on before there was a riot."
Ah... so Smallwood dealt the old riot card. Nice touch. Let's just hope Velvet Revolver's Scott Weiland gets along with Osbourne -- his band is Maiden's replacement as the tour wraps up this Sunday in West Palm Beach. Aside from Black Sabbathand Velvet Revolver, here's a peek at this year's lineup:
Rob Zombie: This guy still makes music? Well, no shit, Sherlock. Just because Zombie's had mild success as a filmmaker -- with House of 1000 Corpses and its follow-up, The Devil's Rejects -- doesn't mean he can't still scare you with his industrial-strength metal. Chunka-chunka-chunka... Boo!
Mastodon: Coming at you with mammoth-sized riffs and low-end fills deeper than gigantosaurus footprints, Mastodon has been taking the metal world by meteor storm, sending so-called alternative metal acts back to the Ice Age. This is one beast you'll enjoy being gorged by.
Arch Enemy:Aha! Finally, a female-fronted band joins Ozzfest. Composed of ex-members of Carcass and Mercyful Fate, Sweden's Arch Enemy is defiantly serious about its music, which fits into the genre of melodic death metal. Vocalist Angela Gossow is a welcome break from the hordes of burly, goatee-frontin' bands.
Rounding out Sunday's finale are Shadows Fall, Mudvayne, Killswitch Engage, Black Label Society, A Dozen Furies, John5, As I Lay Dying, Bury Your Dead, Gizmachi, In Flames, It Dies Today, Soilwork, the Haunted, Trivium,and Wicked Wisdom, featuring -- don't laugh -- Jada Pinkett Smith (see music section for an interview). This could be the last time the Ozzman comes to South Florida, so it's important to bid farewell in the appropriate fashion, whether it's biting the head off a bat, snorting a line of ants, or pissing on the Alamo. Jesus, did he really do all that?