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Ozzy Osbourne On Return of Ozzfest, Departure of Zakk Wylde

January 22, 2010 12:00 AM ET

Ozzy Osbourne may not be planning a Black Sabbath reunion, but he is in the final stages of recording his next solo album. The disc was originally titled Soul Sucka, but Ozzy recently changed his mind about that. "When we put that on the Internet none of my fan base liked the title," says Osbourne. "They were like, 'I can't imagine me walking around the fucking house with the words 'Soul Sucka' on my T-shirt.' So I was like, 'Fuck it. I've got to come up with something else!' " The now untitled set is due out in July, the same month Osbourne says that Ozzfest will return after a one-year break. "After Ozzfest I'm doing the most extensive tour of my life," he says. "It'll be something like, 3,025 dates."

Check out Rolling Stone's collection of Black Sabbath photos.

The new album will be Osbourne's first without Zakk Wylde since the guitarist joined the band in 1988. Taking his place is Greek guitarist Gus G. "People are going to say, 'Oh, you're falling out with Zakk,' " says Ozzy. "No, I haven't fallen out with Zakk. I mean, he doesn't need me anymore. He actually has his own fucking thing, you know. I knew I had to get another guitar player for a while. I just kept putting it off and putting it off."

Even though he recently turned 61, Ozzy says he has no plans to retire. "I'm sure at some time I'll be face down in a box with a pine door closing over me," he says. "In the meantime, this is what I do. Sometimes I'm OK, sometimes I have a good time, and sometimes my voice blows out, but I still have fun. It's not like a fucking job. I mean, I'm talking to you from Hawaii right now!"

Related Stories:
Ozzy Osbourne Says He's Dropping Zakk Wylde: "I Wanted a Change"
Ozzfest 2009 Canceled as Ozzy Osbourne Works on New Album
"Dimebag" Darrell Abbott Honored With Ozzfest Superjam

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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