Black Sabbath

return to New Zealand for the first time in 40 years in April - though founder and frontman Ozzy Osbourne's memories of their headlining set at 1973's Great Ngaruawahia Music Festival are a little hazy.

"When we were last there we played at this place by a big lake or something. There were some local Maoris there. But I can't remember what it was called," he said on the phone this week ahead of today's tour announcement.

TimeOut informs him that the band, whose psychedelic blues rock set the foundations for heavy metal in the early 70s, not only requested a cross be burned at midnight just before they took the stage, but they also played the beautiful Changes from 1972's Black Sabbath Vol. 4, a song they have only ever played twice in concert.


"Oh, I can't remember, that was a long time ago now," says Osbourne in his trademark rambling drawl.

It's perhaps not surprising his memory from that time is patchy given the years of booze and drugs excess he's put his body through.

Still, the now-sober music legend is chatty and enthusiastic about the latest Black Sabbath reunion.

"Over the years I've had the pleasure of being on stage and in the recording studio with some of the greatest musicians on the planet, and we do versions of the old Black Sabbath numbers in my [solo] set, but no one plays them like Black Sabbath," says the singer who turns 64 next month.

The original band, made up of Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bass player Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward have reunited a number of times over the years, including special headlining appearances at Ozzfest during the 2000s.

Though Ward is not part of this reunion the rest of the band are recording their first album together in 33 years, to be released early next year, and then heading out on a full world tour including playing Vector Arena on April 20.

Not bad considering earlier this year 64-year-old Iommi was undergoing intensive treatment for lymphoma, which is now under control. Pre-sale tickets for My Live Nation members starts Monday, November 26. Ticketmaster's pre-sale runs from midday, Wednesday, November 28 with general sales from 9am, November 30. For more information see

Also returning are 90s rock superstars Garbage who play shows in Auckland and Wellington in February.


The band, fronted by Shirley Manson and featuring drummer Butch Vig, who also produced, among other albums, Nirvana's Nevermind and Foo Fighters' Wasting Light, rose to prominence after the release of their self-titled debut in 1995 with singles Stupid Girl and Only Happy When It Rains.

They released three more albums and in the late 2000s went on hiatus, but reformed in 2010 and released Not Your Kind of People in May this year. The band will release a greatest hits compilation, The Absolute Collection, to coincide with the tour.

They play February 19 at Wellington's Michael Fowler Centre (tickets from and Auckland's Civic Theatre on February 20 (tickets from

- TimeOutt