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Black Sabbath Reunion Tour Becomes 'Ozzy & Friends' Tour
Three months after announcing a 2012 tour and album, Black Sabbath has reshuffled its reunion plans in light of guitarist Tony Iommi's battle with lymphoma.
The hard rock legends have confirmed that they plan to play only one show on their planned European tour -- Download Festival, which takes place June 10 in Donnington, U.K. In between the lone performance, Ozzy Osbourne will head out on a 15-date tour as part of "Ozzy & Friends," which will feature special guests like Slash, Zakk Wylde and Sabbath's own Geezer Butler on select dates.
The news follows Black Sabbath's announcement in November that it would embark on a massive tour and record its first album with Osbourne since 1978. Last month, the 63-year-old Iommi, who helped form the original lineup of Sabbath in 1968, announced that he was battling lymphoma and was "determined to make a full and successful recovery." Fortunately, a press release states that Iommi "continues to make excellent progress," and that the planned, Rick Rubin-produced new Black Sabbath album is still in the works.
Meanwhile, Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, who issued a lengthy statement on his website threatening to pull out of the reunion without a "signable" contract, has sent out a new message on his website clarifying that he hopes to participate in the group's upcoming reunion. "I have not declined to participate in the Sabbath album and tour," he wrote on Friday. "At the earliest opportunity, I am prepared to go to the U.K. and record, and later tour with the band. Last week, we sent further communication to the attorney handling the negotiations to try to reach an agreement. At this time we are waiting to hear back. I remain hopeful for a 'singable' contract and a positive outcome."
Here are the dates for the Ozzy & Friends Tour:
May 23: Helsinki, Finland (Hartwall Arena)
May 25: Stockholm, Sweden (Stadium)
May 27: Jelling, Denmark (Jelling Festival)
May 29: Bergen, Norway (Bergen Calling Festival)
May 31: Oslo, Norway (Spektrum)
June 2: Malmo, Sweden (Malmo Stadium)
June 4: Dortmund, Germany (Westfalenhalle)
June 6: Prague, Czech Rep (O2 Arena)
June 10: Donnington UK (Download Festival) -- as Black Sabbath
June 15: Vitoria, Spain (Azkena Rock Festival)
June 17: Clisson, France (Hellfest)
June 22: Dessel, Belgium (Graspop Metal Meeting)
June 24: Milan, Italy (Gods of Metal Festival)
June 26: Vienna, Austria (Stadthalle)
June 28: Belgrade, Serbia (USCE Park)
July 1: Athens, Greece (Rockwave Festival - Terra)