When Ozzy Osbourne plays the Voodoo Music and Arts Experience at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Halloween, it won’t be with Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Black Sabbath. Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi was diagnosed with cancer late last year, and his health has curtailed his musical activities. The band plans one final tour, which Osbourne insists really will be it.
“He said he’s doing fine,” Ozzy said by phone. “He sounds fine. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’m sure he’ll be all right.”
Instead, Osbourne will perform at Voodoo with members of his own band, Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash and Tom Morello, former guitarist with Rage Against the Machine.
These days, Osbourne is focused on live performances on his own and with Black Sabbath. In interviews, he talks about a possible new album, but he doesn’t sound committed. He and his wife and manager, Sharon Osbourne, have talked about a blues record, but he doesn’t say that with any certainty.
He has a few songs written, but one thing he learned with 2010’s “Scream” is the importance of a block of time, a stable environment and a band. He didn’t have any of those when he began work on the album, so it was very much the product of producer Kevin Churko.
It reached No. 4 on Billboard’s album chart, but it seemed like the too-obvious culmination of a marketing plan, following as it did on the heels of the publication of his autobiography, “I Am Ozzy,” and the early release of tracks from it straight to the Rock Band video game. Ozzy came off more like the Prince of Synergy than the Prince of Darkness.
Osbourne attributes the distracted effort to “The Osbournes,” the MTV reality show that featured his family from 2002 to 2005.
“On my last two albums, I wasn’t that into doing them,” he said. “When that TV thing happened, it took me a while to find out who I was again.”
He remembers the taping being OK at first, but he quickly tired of the intrusion of cameras, lights and boom microphone operators in the house. Still, Osbourne takes some irascible pride in the fact that the show was real.
“I can honestly say that was 100 percent real TV,” he said. “Saying that, I never watched one episode. I hate to see me on TV.”
Whether he likes it or not, “The Osbournes” changed America’s relationship with Ozzy.
Now, at 67, he’s appearing in a British TV series with his son, Jack, visiting famous English monuments, and he signed on for a cameo appearance in the reboot of “Ghostbusters.”
He may never be a menacing figure again, but he has become a sympathetic one.
His lineup for Voodoo will be a one-time thing. He has done other Ozzy and Friends shows, and has one planned for Japan later this year with Morello, Jane’s Addiction’s Dave Navarro and former Ozzy lead guitarist Zakk Wylde.
Part of the appeal of each of his guests is musical, but part is personal. Each, he says, is a good hang.
“I haven’t come this far up the road to play with people who give me a hard time,” Osbourne said.