Friday, June 14, 2024

Sharon Osbourne Has Always Been a Formidable Rock Manager, She Won’t Let Concert Promoters Tell Her What to Do


Sharon Osbourne is probably known to most as a TV personality. But in the real world, she is a formidable, savvy rock manager who guided her husband, Ozzy Osbourne, and Black Sabbath, to incredible fame and wealth. She’s the power, really.

Sharon objected to being told which venues Ozzy had to play in– that’s the rock promoter game, if you didn’t know, and always has been. The competing companies– Live Nation, AEG, and Azoff/MSG– prevent artists from playing in competitor’s stadiums, arenas, and theaters.

Sharon wanted Ozzy to play London’s O2 Arena, which is run by AEG. She also wanted Ozzy not to play AEG’s Staples Center in Los Angeles, but Azoff/MSG’s Forum. That caused a commotion in the promoter universe. Most managers just go with the flow, but not Sharon. She is really great. She won’t let anyone tell her what to do. Read her statement below. The “Mr. Anshultz” she refers to Philip Anschutz, the A in AEG, a very nice man who I once watched the Oscars with when he owned the Kodak Theater. I doubt he knows what’s going on here. But kudos to Sharon!

Sharon Osbourne Statement re AEG Lawsuit

We know Mr. Anshultz (aka “Daddy Big Bucks”) is living in his billionaire bubble, but the fact is that Ozzy sued AEG for the right to perform at the O2 in London. We won the case and Ozzy’s show at the O2 went on sale on September 5 for a show next year (February 11, 2019)–so in my world that means we won the case. Ozzy is playing the O2 without having to play the Staples Center, which is all that mattered to us. From the start of this dialogue in February, this has been a battle about respect for the artists and their personal preferences. It wasn’t then and isn’t now a battle between promoters, which is how this is being portrayed by the recent statement from AEG claiming this as a “victory.”

To say that this “suit was instigated by Azoff and paid for by MSG and Live Nation,” and that “it was hatched on the back of an artist who we believe had no idea what he was biting off,” is untrue and disrespectful to Ozzy, myself and the entire team working on this tour. Whatever differences you have with Irving Azoff, don’t presume you know who instigated the lawsuit or you know anything about Ozzy Osbourne, because you obviously don’t know anything about Ozzy’s history or mine. So stop with your hubbildy, bubbuldy BULLSHIT and your little pissing contest with Live Nation and MSG.

Regarding the allegations in the AEG statement that this “suit was a transparent public relations ploy,” if that was indeed the case, why then did AEG rush out a statement of victory? While we, throughout this process, until now have only made one statement around the initial filing.

Ozzy’s preference was to perform at The Forum, a venue that has been a part of his music history for more than 46 years. From the start, this was not a battle solely for Ozzy, as much as one for other artists who were being forced to abide by these rules and regulations. Let’s not all forget why you’re here…the artists.

The only thing remotely interesting in your statement was your pitiful attempt at humor with your quote that Ozzy “had no idea what he was biting off.” If you’re interested, Ozzy and I have got something nice for you bite on…our assholes…see ya loser!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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