Ozzy Osbourne’s recovery from a fall earlier this year has been an extremely slow and painful one, to the point where the metal legend questions whether he’ll be ready to resume touring in 2020.
Last year, Osbourne was wrapping up a very successful and well-received North American leg of this “No More Tours 2” farewell trek when he contracted a staph infection in his hand in October, forcing him to nix the last few shows of that tour. Then he had to cancel his early 2019 European tour after coming down with the flu in the new year.
But it was a fall at home that really knocked the Prince of Darkness out for the year. Osbourne had tripped while returning to bed after a bathroom break in the middle of the night, dislodging metal rods that were inserted in his body after his 2003 ATV accident. That forced him to cancel his spring North American tour, and all other remaining 2019 shows.
Now, in his first interview since being sidelined from the fall, Osbourne tells Rolling Stone that it’s been a very difficult road to recovery.
“For the first, say, four months, I was absolutely in agony,” he told the magazine. “I was in agony beyond anything I ever experienced before in my life. It was awful. I’m taking physical and occupational therapy classes, but the progress is very slow.”
He continued, “They say it’s going to take at least a year. I’m hoping that I’ll be OK and ready to go by January. I’m really keeping my fingers crossed.” Ozzy’s rescheduled dates are set to begin at the end of January.
Ozzy underwent surgery on his neck and spine as a result of the fall, and it has wreaked havoc on the 70-year-old singer’s body. “When they do surgery on your neck, they cut through all the nerves, and it f**ked everything up,” he explained. “So I’m wobbling all over the place. And since they cut through the nerves, my right arm feels permanently cold.”
The worst time for Ozzy was his hospitalization, which took up two months of his ongoing recovery. “I cannot describe to you the helpless feeling that I had. I had to use [a walker] to go for a pee. I had to have nurses, day and night. Just being in hospital is enough to drive you nuts. I thank God I didn’t paralyze myself when I had that accident. I wouldn’t be here now. I would have jumped off the f**king roof — or fell off the roof, whatever.”
Ozzy also revealed that he has developed blood clots, and that a mere walk up the road leaves him “bushed.”
“The most depressing thing I’ve been thinking is, ‘Am I gonna walk properly again? Am I gonna be able to perform again?’ … I don’t think I can do a rock concert right now. I’ll go, ‘Hello,’ and that’s it.”
Ozzy was also working on new music, and had about nine song ideas, at one point joking in the interview that the album should be called Recuperation.
As mentioned, Ozzy’s rescheduled tour dates begin with a UK and European leg that is set to kick off January 31st in Nottingham, England, followed by a spring North American tour that is set to launch May 27th in Atlanta.
For now, Osbourne is holding out hope that he’ll be ready by then. “My date is January, I hope to f**king God, ’cause I’m gonna go f**king nuts. We’re just keeping our fingers crossed.”