Ozzy Osbourne has told Rolling Stone in a new interview that he initially postponed four shows on his current tour after he learned he had contracted a potentially deadly staph infection.
“I didn’t feel sick, so I was cracking jokes,” Ozzy recalled about his trip to the emergency room. “The doctor said, ‘I don’t know if you realize, Mr. Osbourne, this is a very serious problem you have.’ Sharon said, ‘Would you stop fucking making jokes?'” He laughed. “So I said, ‘Well, it’s my hand.’ The thing was, nobody was laughing. They’re all extremely, deadly serious about it,” he said. “I judge it based on the expression and the body language of the doctor. If he comes in with a really solemn face, I go, ‘Oh, okay. My time to go is up.'”
After examining Ozzy, the doctors realized he didn’t have just one staph infection but three individual ones in his thumb — and one had spread to his middle finger.
At one point, Ozzy asked how he could have gotten it. “The doctor said to me, ‘Can you remember talking to someone and shaking hands?'” Osbourne recalled. “Well, I do that meet-and greet at the gig and I must shake fucking 200 hands a day. He said, ‘That explains it.'”
As a result of his surgery, Ozzy hasn’t “been able to do anything” since he got home. “I’m right-handed,” he explained. “You can’t wipe your own ass. And I didn’t have many fucking volunteers who would do it for me.”
Osbourne, who is visiting with his specialist once a week, is excited about returning to the stage. “I was really looking forward to doing the Hollywood Bowl,” he said. “I’m going to make those shows up next year. It could have been a lot worse. I could have been dead.”
The four scrapped shows were originally scheduled as follows: Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California (October 6), Mattress Firm Amphitheatre in Chula Vista (October 9), the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles (October 11) and MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (October 13). The three California shows had previously been rescheduled following his initial prognosis from doctors. All four shows have now been rescheduled for July 2019.
Ticketholders for the four shows should hold on to their tickets, as they will be honored for the rescheduled dates. Refunds are also available at point of purchase.