Zakk Wylde tells Ozzy Osbourne: “When you are ready to roll, we will roll”

Ozzy Osbourne and Zakk Wylde
(Image credit: Icon Sportswire / Scott Dudelson / Getty)

Zakk Wylde has voiced his support for Ozzy Osbourne, telling the metal icon he remains “a hero to me and millions around the world”, after Osbourne announced his forced retirement from touring.

Wylde posted in response to Osbourne’s recent statement that he was not “physically capable” of completing his rescheduled world tour dates at present. 

In particular, the guitarist and frequent collaborator emphasized that he would always be ready and waiting, should the man he’s affectionately called ‘The Boss’ for 35 years decide to make a live return.

“Oz – keep hitting the iron, staying strong and positive,” says Wylde. “Everybody is praying and rooting for you – your strength, resilience and heart of a lion is just one of the many reasons you’re a hero to me and millions around the world – when you are ready to roll – we roll. I love you Oz. Zakk XOXO.”

For his part, Osbourne maintains he has not taken the decision lightly. In the statement released earlier this week, Osbourne told fans: 

“I am honestly humbled by the way you’ve all patiently held onto your tickets for all this time, but in all good conscience, I have now come to the realization that I’m not physically capable of doing my upcoming European/UK tour dates, as I know I couldn’t deal with the travel required. Believe me when I say that the thought of disappointing my fans really fucks me up, more than you will ever know.”

In recent years Osbourne has been struggling to recuperate from complications and further injuries that date all the way back to his ATV accident in 2003. Numerous surgeries and treatments have thus far failed to restore Osbourne’s full mobility and he remains reliant on a cane for walking. 

However, the metal icon did say in the aforementioned statement that his team were looking at non-touring performance options, so Wylde and Osbourne may yet share the stage again in some capacity down the line.

In the meantime, Wylde has been keeping busy with his role in the revamped Pantera lineup, filling the shoes of Dimebag Darrell across a monster list of 2023 and 2024 tour dates.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.