The group recently announced a eight-date U.K. swing for its The End farewell tour at the beginning of next year, wrapping up appropriately enough Feb. 2 and 4 in Birmingham, England, where Black Sabbath formed in 1968. And the group’s resolve to end for good has not wavered. “[Guitarist] Tony Iommi wants to do 80 shows. We’re doing 80 shows. It’s good enough,” Osbourne tells Billboard. “I wouldn’t mind extending the tour for another few gigs. There’s a lot of people who won’t get to see us, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
Sabbath wraps up its current European tour on July 12 and returns for a final run through North America on Aug. 17, with late-year dates in South America before next year’s end run. “It’s great. I’m having a blast with it,” Osbourne says, though the emotion of saying goodbye hasn’t kicked in just yet, he notes. “Right now I’m OK with it. I’m sure as it starts counting down to five shows left or something, it’s gonna be kind of emotional, I think. I mean, we started off as four guys from Aston who had a dream and it became true beyond our wildest dreams. And then we were manipulated, we were ripped off, we were conned, all of the above. We lost each other within each other, if you like. But it’s great to have got this back just to end on a high note, y’know?”
Osbourne is starting to hash out his post-Sabbath life with his estranged wife but continuing manager Sharon Osbourne. “It’s not me that wants to retire; it’s Black Sabbath. I’ll be continuing my own musical thing,” he says. “My wife is good at telling me partial information, y’know, but I know I’m not hanging ’em up for awhile. Being Ozzy Osbourne solo again is not a job. It’s a passion. It’s a love. It’s the biggest, greatest love affair of my life.” Before Sabbath ends, however, Osbourne will also be returning to TV, this time on the History Channel with son Jack Osbourne for Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour, a travel show that premieres on July 27 and visits sites around the U.K., including the Alamo, Mount Rushmore, Stonehenge, Sun Studios in Memphis and more.
“It’s kind of like a father-son deal,” Ozzy says. “He comes to us and he goes ‘Dad…’ and I go, ‘Don’t say anything. ‘Yes,’ the answer is. I’ll do anything. I adore him. When I’m on some downtime and he asks me something, I’m ‘Sure, Jack, no problem — and then it lands right smack bang in the middle of when I’m doing a tour!”
One thing we surely won’t see the older Osbourne doing is entering the political fray — even verbally. “I don’t know what to say about politics or politicians. I don’t understand any of it,” he confesses. But he’s as baffled by Donald Trump’s candidacy as anyone else. “He’s a bit radical. To be honest with you, I probably thought he would’ve lasted maybe a month or so, but he’s in the race for the big shot now. I’ve met Hillary Clinton; she seems nice enough, but I understand there’s people who don’t like her for one reason or another. In America they go crazy with somebody; as soon as they get in, they start saying bad things about them, so what’s the point in the first place?”