Hundreds of Ozzy Osbourne fans lined up to pose with the heavy-metal pioneer Tuesday night in Hollywood at the first of five in-store appearances around the country to promote his new album, Down to Earth.
“I am doing this for them,” Osbourne said, pointing to screaming fans as he strolled down the red carpet outside Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard. “They’re loyal. It’s like a family.”
Nearly 1,000 fans showed up for the event, according to Osbourne’s publicist. During the three hours he was there, most made it into the store to pose with Ozzy and get his autograph on their copy of his Tuesday release.
Osbourne was joined by his wife and manager, Sharon Osbourne, their daughter Amy and one of the family’s many dogs. Before taking a seat inside Tower, Ozzy talked to several of the reporters who lined up along the red carpet, prompting one fan to yell, “Forget about them. I’ve been waiting here for two days!”
Nicole Daugherty, a 19-year-old fan from Los Angeles, had first dibs on Ozzy after winning a radio contest. “I won ‘Porno Price Is Right,'” she said. “This has definitely been worth the embarrassment. I’ve been a fan for years.”
Down to Earth is Ozzy’s first solo album since 1995’s Ozzmosis. The cover of the album features an X-ray of the Black Sabbath frontman.
“They X-rayed me for like three hours,” Ozzy said. “The guy kept saying, ‘It’s going to be fine, Ozzy.’ I thought I was going to come out of there glowing. It was very frightening.”
After Osbourne wraps up the promotional tour on October 20 in Chicago, he will head to Tucson, Arizona, for the Halloween kickoff of the two-month A Night of Merry Mayhem Tour with Rob Zombie, Mudvayne and Soil.
By early next year, Osbourne hopes to finish Black Sabbath’s first album with their original lineup since 1978’s Never Say Die!
“I’m actually doing more work now than when I started doing this,” said Osbourne, 52. “It never gets old. It’s a great feeling. There’s not a lot of people my age doing what I am doing.”