Monday, June 01, 2009

Ozzy the Dumb Ass Sues Tony Iommi

This has Sharon Osbourne written all over it. According to the Associated Press, Ozzy is suing Tony Iommi, who owns the Black Sabbath name, for 50 percent ownership of same name.

Check out Sharon's full statement:

“It is with great regret that I had to resort to legal action against my long term partner, Tony Iommi, but after three years of trying to resolve this issue amicably, I feel I have no other recourse. As of the mid-1990’s, after constant and numerous changes in band members, the brand of "Black Sabbath" was literally in the toilet and Tony Iommi (touring under the name Black Sabbath) was reduced to performing in clubs. Since 1997 when Geezer, Bill and myself rejoined the band, Black Sabbath has returned to its former glory as we headlined sold-out arenas and amphitheatres playing to upwards of 50,000 people at each show around the world. We worked collectively to restore credibility and bring dignity back to the name “Black Sabbath” which lead to the band being inducted into the UK and US Rock & Roll Hall of Fames in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Throughout the last 12 years, it was my management representatives who oversaw the marketing and quality control of the “Black Sabbath” brand through OZZFEST, touring, merchandising and album reissues. The name "Black Sabbath" now has a worldwide prestige and merchandising value that it would not have had by continuing on the road it was on prior to the 1997 reunion tour. Tony, I am so sorry it’s had to get to this point by me having to take this action against you. I don’t have the right to speak for Geezer and Bill, but I feel that morally and ethically the trademark should be owned by the four of us equally. I hope that by me taking this first step that it will ultimately end up that way. We’ve all worked too hard and long in our careers to allow you to sell merchandise that features all our faces, old Black Sabbath album covers and band logos, and then you tell us that you own the copyright. We’re all in our 60’s now. The Black Sabbath legacy should live on long after we have all gone. Please do the right thing.”

Ooops, I meant Ozzy's statement.

Here is my take - I agree that Ozzy injected new life into the band when the original four Sabbath members reunited. I am sure he was paid very well on those tours. But here's the thing. I saw Sabbath with Ozzy a few years ago and they sucked. Well, Ozzy sucked. I was even impressed with Bill Ward - but Ozzy couldn't hack it. They did the same old songs they had been doing the last bunch of tours. Ozzy's voice went out and he threw the mic to the ground and stormed offstage. It was sad, actually.

Fast forward a few years. The band is touring with Dio, who is singing better than ever. Not only did they write three strong songs for a Dio retrospective CD set, they have a brand new album, which is not the greatest but at least they have a brand new album! According to Iommi, had they been trying to do an album with Ozzy, they wouldn't even have written the first song yet.

The new album, which goes by the name Heaven and Hell, by the way - not Black Sabbath - debuted at number 8 on the Billboard charts.

So of course Sharon is bitter and wants a piece of the pie. From reading Rudy Sarzo's book, she has always been this way, trying to get Ozzy to put out Speak of the Devil - a live album of Sabbath covers - before the real Sabbath could put out the Dio-fronted Live Evil.

Just get back to your reality shows, Sharon, and quit trying to roll Ozzy out on more tours. Let the man rest. And give credit where credit is due. I contend that if Iommi had skipped the Ozzy reunion and went right back to working with Dio in 1997, they'd be as big as ever.


Chris said...

I agree with you pretty much across the board; the only difference is I probably like the new record more. Not only that, but Sabbath put out some good records in the 90s too, and it really wasn't until Ozzy sold out his dignity to the reality crowd that people started paying attention to him again as well . . . and for all the wrong reasons!

Budd said...

I hope that Geezer is getting his share, he wrote most of lyrics to all of the classic Sabbath tunes.