Tony Iommi Reveals Why Black Sabbath Won’t Play Power Trip Festival
Earlier this year, it was announced that Ozzy Osbourne was one of the featured acts for the legendary lineup of the Power Trip festival taking part this fall. But, according to Tony Iommi, there was at least an inquiry about whether or not Black Sabbath might reform for the event. Iommi revealed as much during a Thursday appearance on Eddie Trunk's Trunk Nation show for SiriusXM.
The event, set to be held this Oct. 6-8 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, features some of the biggest acts in heavy music history. Each night features two iconic performers, with Guns N' Roses and Iron Maiden playing the first night, Ozzy and AC/DC paired up for night two and Metallica and Tool closing out the weekend.
While speaking with Trunk, Iommi revealed that there had been some talk of Black Sabbath playing, telling the host (as transcribed by Blabbermouth), "Yes, there was [talk]. But I didn't [follow through], at that point… It's hard, because Ozzy's been going through a lot of stuff lately. He's in hospital and out of hospital, and he's really been fighting it; he really wants to get out there. But in my mind, it's very difficult to sort of say yes. I've gotta think of the people in the band as well. I've gotta think of Ozzy, if he's gonna be all right to do a show and whatever. So I wasn't that comfortable with it."
But the guitarist then laughingly added, "But I didn't know Ozzy [chuckles] would be doing it on his own. But it's great. I hope he can do it and that it'll be really good. He really wants to do it. And he's really trying to pull to get himself back. He's had to go through such a lot of hard stuff lately. It's such a shame, really. But he's still fighting there."
As far as how far the discussions went, Iommi says they were "sort of" asked, adding, "We hadn't approached the others as far as doing it. They might have said no. But it didn't get much further than me, really. But, yeah, that's the way it is."
Further adding some context as to why it didn't move any further, the guitarist explained, "If you're gonna go out, I want to do a good show. I want to go out on the top and do it. I don't wanna just go and slap something together. And I'm not saying it would have been, but it could have been difficult."
Iommi told Trunk he's not opposed to doing one-off Black Sabbath performances, but notes that it would have to be done under the right circumstances. "To do a full show, you've gotta make sure everybody's in good shape because people are gonna remember you by that show. And I don't want our reputation to go downhill all of a sudden. If something goes wrong or somebody can't make it and we have to cancel… 'Cause I don't know everybody's health; I don't know how Bill's [Ward] feeling these days. You just don't know. So I'd like to be sure. If you're gonna do anything, it's gotta be good or [you should] not bother."
Black Sabbath Touring Finale And What's Happened Since
Black Sabbath officially disbanded on March 7, 2017 after playing the final performance of their farewell tour. That trek saw drummer Bill Ward fall out prior to hitting the road over a contractual disagreement, while Tony Iommi was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2012, leading the band to schedule the tour around his treatments.
While a full-fledged reunion hasn't taken place since the show, Bill Ward turned up with Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler at a Grammy Salute to Music Legends event in 2019 honoring the band with a Lifetime Achievement award.
In 2022, Osbourne made a surprise guest appearance along with guitarist Tony Iommi performing at the Commonwealth Games in their respective hometown of Birmingham, England. Iommi also performed on Osbourne's Patient Number 9 album, appearing on the song "Degradation Rules" as well as the deeper cut "No Escape From Now."
In 2021, Ward stated in an interview that he felt he didn't have the "chops" to play live with Black Sabbath anymore, but later in the year expressed his interest in doing at least one more album with the band.
Earlier this year, bassist Geezer Butler revealed that he and Ozzy Osbourne no longer talk, but that's more due to their wives and he insists they haven't "fallen out." "He's got a big heart and was always there for me," Butler said of Osbourne.
READ MORE: The Greatest Ozzy Osbourne Stories Ever Told
As for Osbourne, his health issues have been well documented. In February of this year, Osbourne canceled his oft-delayed tour explaining, "Never would I have imagined that my touring days would have ended this way" in a statement.
"This is probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to share with my loyal fans," Osbourne explained. "As you may all know, four years ago, this month, I had a major accident, where I damaged my spine."
He continued, "My one and only purpose during this time has been to get back on stage. My singing voice is fine. However, after three operations, stem cell treatments, endless physical therapy sessions, and most recently groundbreaking Cybernics (HAL) Treatment, my body is still physically weak."
He added, "My team is currently coming up with ideas for where I will be able to perform without having to travel from city to city and country to country." That brings us to the Power Trip festival that was announced earlier this year, with Indio being a short drive from Los Angeles.
Perhaps teasing his return to the concert stage, Ozzy said on his Ozzy's Boneyard show on SiriusXM back in March, sharing his frustration with the retirement talk, "This fucking press drive you nuts. I mean, I looked in the magazine, 'Ozzy's on his last legs,' I'm fucking not dying. Come on, guys. Haven't I've had it bad enough already? If I get okay today. If the doctor said to me today, 'Oh, you can tour,' it would take another six months to get it together, you know? You’ve got no idea. You got no idea what my, I feel like a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest. The only thing I've got that keeps me going is making records. But I can't do that forever. I gotta get out there."