‘No, this is not happening’: Ozzy Osbourne on the obstacles that nearly derailed Black Sabbath’s reunion

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After so long apart, and so many aborted reunions, Ozzy Osbourne says that Black Sabbath’s sessions for 13 seemed at times once again to be doomed. In the end, he credits Tony Iommi’s resiliency with keeping things on track.

“When Tony came down with the diagnosis of lymphoma, I thought: ‘No, this is not happening; not really,'” Osbourne tells DC101’s Mike Jones in this video. “I mean, we had been keeping everybody waiting for like 35 years or so for another album. Every time we got down to writing, or trying to write something would happen.”

A snafu with Bill Ward also slowed things. In fact, the band never came to a contract agreement with their original drummer, electing to go with Brad Wilk at Rubin’s suggestion.

“It’s like, we don’t have another 35 years left in us, you know?” Osbourne adds. “Tony was in treatment, but he came down and he never missed one session. I suppose working for him was kind of like therapy, in a way for him.”

Black Sabbath begins a long-awaited U.S. tour with Ozzy next week, beginning at the Woodlands, Texas on July 25, 2013. Dates in Austin; Tampa, Florida; and West Palm Beach, Florida follow this month. Dates continue through September.

Osbourne said fans can expect a deep setlist, plenty of their charttopping new album — and the reliably brilliant Iommi to once again impress: “He’s one of those guys — nothing phases him,” Osbourne says. “He’s very creative. I think Tony Iommi is one of the underrated guitar players in the world.

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