Ozzy Osbourne and his son Jack are gawking at a hulking M24 Chaffee army tank in a Nokesville, Virginia, field, as its owner gets ready to fire a blank missile into the woods. Bang! As the smoke clears from the gun nozzle, Ozzy turns to Jack – his hand on his chest – and says, “You felt that, didn’t you?”
The scene plays out in the first episode of Ozzy Jack’s World Detour, a new History Channel show that premieres this weekend and finds father-and-son visiting historical sites around the world and doing an even mix of goofing off and learning. They visited the Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles – the United States’ largest collection of vintage, World War II tanks – on their way to Jamestown, Virginia, the first English settlement in the Americas and (of interest to Ozzy) a place of cannibalism. Their travels for the show also took them to Stonehenge, Cuba, Roswell, New Mexico, and the Alamo, among other locales.
But while a year and a half have passed since the Osbournes began their big return to television, Ozzy can still feel that tank blast.
“It was just like a big firecracker,” the Black Sabbath frontman tells Rolling Stone.
Jack agrees. “That’s the only thing you could really compare it to,” he says. “It was like this really deep concussion. You could properly feel it.”
Since The Osbournes, Jack – now age 30 – has been working behind the scenes in the television and film industries. When he looks back on the series that catapulted the rest of his family to Ozzy-level stratospheres of fame, he laughs and says, “I was a teenager and kind of angsty … I was kind of a dick,” but he’s happy he did it. In part, it taught him that the people behind the camera have more control than those in front of the lens. He’s since gone on to produce the documentary Bed Stuy: Do or Die, the National Geographic series Alpha Dogs and a few docs about Ozzy and Black Sabbath.
The idea for Ozzy Jack’s World Detour came when Jack was spitballing project ideas with a producer friend of his who suggested, simply, a history program with his dad, age 67. Usually when people suggest television shows involving Ozzy, Jack turns them down. “My dad just doesn’t do TV,” he says. “He won’t do it.” But he decided to pitch it, since some of his earliest memories of his father are watching historical shows on TV. He was shocked to find out that his father was into it.
Ozzy, as it turns out, has always been a history buff. “I was born in ’48,” he says, “and as a young kid, we used to play on bomb sites. For many years after World War II, I’d watch films about it on TV and the insanity of it all just got me interested.”
With his dad aboard, Jack began mapping out the places he wanted to visit – the Alamo and Stonehenge topped his list – and they began scheduling shoots between tour dates of Black Sabbath’s farewell tour. “I don’t get a break for myself,” Ozzy says with a laugh. “But it’s OK. We’re getting on great.”
The two Osbournes traveled with a crew of about 25 people, some of whom did location scouting, and they’d typically arrive with about 10. One of the producers, Greg Johnston, previously worked on The Osbournes. (Incidentally, Jack says he didn’t invite his mother Sharon or sister Kelly along since they’ve established themselves already and have commitments to other projects.)
The travels were largely low-key, with one major exception being Ozzy’s return to the Alamo – the San Antonio, Texas, landmark which he was accused of urinating on in 1982, leading to him being banned from the city. The ban was lifted in 1992. But regardless, when the media got word that the singer was going to check it out, a crowd of what Jack estimates to be around 1,000 people swarmed the entrance, freaking out Ozzy who was already nervous to return.
“I warned the producers,” he says, stressing his speech with his trademark hilarious wry inflection. “I said, ‘You go to the Alamo, everything’s going to happen.’ And it’s a fucking riot when we get there.”
Throughout the episode, Ozzy becomes more and more tense leading up to the visit. In one driving scene, he yells at Jack, who is behind the wheel, to stop checking his phone and then he puts headphones on and listens to Chicago. (“He’s been on, like, a heavy Chicago kick,” Jack says.) Despite the singer’s racked nerves, Jack says his father thought going back to the Alamo would be funny.
“When it came out in the press and the news story blew up, he was like, ‘Ah, fuck this,’” the younger Osbourne says. “Thirty years ago, people legitimately wanted to kill my dad. So when he saw all those people, he was really freaked out like they were going to beat the shit out of him.”
“The crowd started going nuts,” Ozzy says. “It was scary.”
“I’m like, ‘No. People like you,’” Jack says.
After they made it through the crowd, the visit went off without incident. Once inside, they took a breather and Ozzy marveled at Davy Crockett artifacts and about how they made the interior into a museum and had “done it up a little bit.” The crew at the Alamo even helped them sneak out the back.
To lighten things up while in Texas, the Osbournes also visited NASA, where they tried driving a moon rover (it got stuck), scouted out a mission control room (“On TV it looks huge, but it’s not very big at all,” Ozzy says) and donned astronaut suits.
“It’s not a very comfortable outfit at all, to say the least,” Ozzy says. “I don’t get the way them astronauts walk around wearing them. They got these underpants … They’re like big bloomers.”
“It’s kind of like a wetsuit,” Jack says. “And the thing you always see astronauts carrying around is a cooling unit; it makes it feel like cold water is circulating under the suit to keep you cool, but you’re not wet. The funny thing to me was that the overalls under the suit are made by Patagonia. Like, ‘Oh, yes. Patagonia is making space overalls. They must make, like, four of them a year.’”
“The astronaut suit was all right until I tried to take that fucking helmet off,” he says. “It almost took my head with it.”
Jack’s favorite places to visit were Cuba – a visit Ozzy called “mind-blowing” in an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year – and South Dakota. The former locale astounded the younger Osbourne with its food and Cold War-era architecture and cars, while the latter surprised him by being “very hipster-y,” he says, “like Portland, Oregon, 10 years ago.” He also liked Rapid City, South Dakota, because of its proximity to the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Little Bighorn and missile silos.
Ozzy liked South Dakota, Jack says, because of the history of gold mining. “We went panning for gold one day,” he says, “and the rest of the time we were filming he was saying, ‘I want to go panning for gold again.’”
The singer, however, fondly remembers visiting the dinosaur museum in South Dakota, though the scenes were ultimately cut from the series. “Have you ever seen a full fossil of a T. rex?” he asks. “They were big, bad fucking things. … When you see them in the Spielberg movies, Jurassic Park, that’s one thing but up close they’re fucking huge. They were killing machines.” Asked if he got to touch the fossils, Ozzy perfectly deadpans, “Touching my dick … that’s a fossil.”
Although the show is over-the-top funny, Jack strived to make World Detour as earnest as possible. He wanted it to be unpredictable. “When you start scripting quote-unquote ‘reality TV,’ viewers tune out,” he says. “They say, ‘Yeah, that’s bullshit.’”
One thing that Jack is proud to say is real is the genuine affection you can see between father and son onscreen, as they razz each other and are wowed by the same historical facts. “It’s kind of awesome to be 30 years old and spending, like, 10 weeks traveling with your dad,” Jack says. “By the time you’re 30 and married, this type of thing usually doesn’t happen. So it was a pretty awesome opportunity.”
“He’s a very fair-minded guy,” Ozzy says of his son. “He’s a great father to his kids and a great husband to his wife.
“I don’t need a ring to prove that you’re worthy,” Sara Quin sings on Tegan and Sara‘s hooky synth-pop anthem “BWU.” The track’s video, directed by Clea DuVall, takes the lyric literally, as Quin proposes marriage to several women with an empty ring box. After earning numerous rejections, she finds love by the clip’s conclusion.
“I was happy when the Supreme Court ruling legalized same sex marriage in the U.S.A.,” Sara Quin told Entertainment Weekly, reflecting on the track’s lyrical themes. “But I was also relieved that I could finally ‘come out’ as a person who actively dislikes the institution – specifically the assumption that by not participating in the ritual you are a deviant or unlikely to share the same common values as someone who does.”
“‘Be With You’ is interesting because Tegan and I were such big advocates of the same-sex marriage movement in the United States and in Canada,” she said. “But the twist is that I, personally, don’t want to be married. I don’t have any interest in that sort of social hierarchy, where if you’re not married then your relationship is not as significant as people who are. I hate all of that. Now that I’ve fought for the right, and we’ve had success with the Supreme Court, I feel like it’s important for me to be honest, too. There’s strength in saying, “I don’t need a piece of paper or a ring or a wedding or photos to show how significant my commitment to a relationship is.”
Tegan and Sara will launch their Love You to DeathNorth American tour September 9th in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Nearly two weeks after Joe Perry collapsed backstage during a concert in Brooklyn, the guitarist returned to the Hollywood Vampires Friday for the band’s gig in Rohnert Park, California.
“Joe is back!,” the supergroup proclaimed on Twitter Thursday, trumpeting the return of their guitarist who missed five concerts plus a charity performance after dealing with a serious bout of “dehydration and exhaustion.”
At that Brooklyn concert July 10th, video caught Perry stumbling offstage after one song where he spent the majority of the performance sitting on the drum riser. After losing consciousness and collapsing backstage, Perry was rushed to a nearby hospital in stable condition.
The Hollywood Vampires continued on with their trek while Perry recovered, but they were obviously delighted to have the guitarist back Friday night. In the above video (via Ultimate Classic Rock), during the Hollywood Vampires’ cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together,” Perry showed no signs of wear, with Johnny Depp draping his arm around the shoulders of the guitarist during Perry’s solo.
Perry will remain onboard for the remaining three dates on the Hollywood Vampires’ Raise the Dead tour: Saturday night in Jacksonville, Oregon, Sunday night in Saratoga, California and the tour-ending gig in Paso Robles, California on July 25th. After that, Perry has two more months to recuperate before Aerosmith begin their month-long tour of Latin America.
Ricky’s ABC variety show Malibu U lasted a mere seven episodes in the summer of 1967, but they managed to cram in a ton of A-list music talent into that time, including the Doors, Marvin Gaye and Buffalo Springfield. But it’s the second episode, which aired on July 28th, that has become the stuff of legend in the world of world of geeks. Leonard Nimoy came on in full Spock regalia and lip-synced his new song “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.” It was the union of Star Trek and The Hobbit, and perhaps one of the most surreal moments of the Summer of Love.
Star Trek‘s first season had ended three months earlier, but it had already become a sensation. Dot Records was eager to cash in on signed Nimoy to a record deal despite his complete lack of music experience. Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music from Outer Space came out in June of 1967 featuring such memorable tunes as “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Earth” and “Lost In The Stars.” This was the exact same month that the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper, but it still managed to reach Number 83 on the Billboard album chart.
“The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” wouldn’t appear until the follow-up LP in 1968, but it was already in the can when the Malibu U appearance came around. Ricky Nelson portrayed the dean of the fictional Malibu University on the show, and every week musicians would stop by the school to play some tunes. Apparently, this also included aliens from the 23rd century with a strong interest in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. For years this amazing video was only available on bootleg VHS tapes traded around at Star Trek conventions, but here it is thanks to the magic of YouTube.
The surprise success of Leonard Nimoy’s musical career quickly lead to Decca Records giving William Shatner his own record deal. Never one to be upstaged, he upped the crazy factor of Nimoy’s album by cutting a psychotic spoken word rendition of “Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds” as if he were having some sort of bad LSD trip. It’s also become the stuff of nerd lore, though it loses some points because it didn’t find a way to incorporate another touchstone of geek culture.
The full details of David Bowie‘s Who Can I Be Now? – a box set that collects the rock legend’s works from his 1974 to 1976 “American phase” as well as his unreleased LP The Gouster – have been revealed.
Due out September 23rd, the box set arrives in a variety of formats – including a 13-LP, 12-CD box or digital download – that features newly remastered versions of Bowie albums like 1974′s Diamond Dogs, 1975′s Young Americans and 1976′s Station to Station, plus the live LPs David Live from 1974 and Live Nassau Coliseum ’76. David Live appears in both its original and 2005 mix formats, while Station to Station is included with the original version alongside its 2010 Henry Maslin mix.
Who Can I Be Now? also boasts a pair of compilations unique to the box set: The Gouster – Bowie’s original vision for what ended up becoming Young Americans, featuring unreleased alternate mixes of the Young Americans tracks – plus Re:call 2, which compiles all the single edits and B-sides from this era in Bowie’s catalog, including a largely unreleased Australian edit of “Diamond Dogs” that was only available in that country until now.
Bowie’s longtime producer Tony Visconti described The Gouster as an “outrageous brand new, funkafied version of David’s classic.” Visconti also oversaw the mastering on The Gouster‘s original tapes for the release.
The box set, which follows 2015′s Five Years (1969-1973), also touts a hardcover book with rarely seen and previously unpublished photos, historical press reviews and technical notes about the albums from Visconti and Maslin.
Check out Bowie’s site for the entire Who Can I Be Now? tracklist.
Arcade Fire performed their first U.S. show of 2016 Friday night at the opening day of New York’s inaugural Panorama Festival. Immediately following their headlining set, the group and guests the Preservation Hall Jazz Band teamed up for a second line tribute to David Bowie similar to the one they staged in New Orleans soon after the music icon’s January death.
This time around, Win Butler and company performed Bowie’s “Heroes,” “Suffragette City” and “Rebel Rebel” with instruments in hand as the second line navigated through the crowd at Randalls Island, with a large screen projecting an image of Bowie on the ‘Heroes’ cover.
In January, less than a week after Bowie’s death, Arcade Fire and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band coordinated a traditional second line parade through the streets of New Orleans to memorialize the rock legend, a tribute that also received the blessing of the Bowie estate. Two months later, Butler performed Bowie’s “Fame” as part of a all-star superjam at the Okeechobee Festival in Florida.
“David Bowie was one of the band’s earliest supporters and champions,” the group said in a statement at the time of Bowie’s death. “He not only created the world that made it possible for our band to exist, he welcomed us into it with grace and warmth. We will take to the grave the moments we shared; talking, playing music and collaborating as some of the most profound and memorable moments of our lives. A true artist even in his passing, the world is more bright and mysterious because of him, and we will continue to shout prayers into the atmosphere he created.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Pet Sounds. Brian Wilson is celebrating by playing the album straight through on a worldwide tour with Al Jardine, while the Mike Love-led lineup of the Beach Boys continues their endless tour of casinos, fairs and theaters. There are also dueling biographies hitting stores this fall by Love and Wilson.
Now we have a question for you: What is the best Beach Boys deep cut? Anything that wasn’t a big hit is fair game here. Feel free to vote for an early tune, like “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” and “Wind Chimes,” something from the 1970s like “Feel Flows” and “Solar System” or something more recent, such as “Think About the Days” and “Pacific Coast Highway.” Just please only vote once and only for a single selection.
Jayna Brown went from fangirl to having a famous fan herself during her audition for America’s Got Talent, which aired Wednesday. The 14-year-old blew away judges and audience alike with her rendition of Andra Day’s “Rise Up” and received the coveted Golden Buzzer from One Direction‘s Louis Tomlinson, who was serving as a guest judge.
“I’ve been a One Direction fan ever since 2010 when my mom showed me them performing on The X Factor,” the Baltimore teen recalls, noting that their song “Clouds” has been on repeat for her lately. “It was a really amazing experience having Louis press the Golden Buzzer. After the confetti was raining down and the whole stage was glowing gold, I ran down and he said, ‘Well done, well done.’ I was freaking out. It was high praise coming from someone like him, especially since he had been on a competition like this before.”
Though she didn’t get to speak with Tomlinson much before or after her time onstage, Brown is thankful for the quick post-performance interaction they had. “If I had any more time with him, I probably would have passed out,” she says with a laugh.
Brown’s current foray was not her first stab at AGT. She originally auditioned at age nine but didn’t make the cut. This time, the show reached out to her to return, having seen her YouTube channel where she has been posting covers of songs like Adele’s “Hello” and Shawn Mendes’ “Stitches” for the past five years. “At that time, I was already committed to another project,” she says before noting that she had been launching a gig as a Kidz Bop Kid prior to the show. “They kept calling me and finally I just decided to do it.”
Brown’s audition was filmed back in May and the rising star recalls how kind fellow participants were backstage as they prepared for their auditions. She had been debating between two songs for her debut: the Cure’s “Lovesong” and Day’s anthemic hit, which she went with in the end for personal reasons. “I felt like I could really convey it more since I had a personal connection with it,” she says. “[My mom and I] don’t have our own home and we’ve been staying with family and friends. Now we’re staying with my grandmother and things are looking up for us. I’m actually really happy.”
Luckily for Brown, through whatever hardships she has faced with her mother, she has held onto her dreams of becoming a musician. She began honing her talent around age four and began taking it seriously at age nine, starting to post videos online. By the time she was 11, she had her first big live performance when she sang an original song called “I’ll Do Me” with Snarky Puppy.
Currently, Brown is in the heart of Hollywood and preparing for the AGT live shows that begin on Tuesday at the Dolby Theater. “I’m nervous and excited because so many incredible artists and celebrities have passed through that stage,” she says of the location where the Oscars are filmed.
She’s planning to take the competition week-by-week, but may have something big in store for her “Brownies,” as she recently deemed her “fanily” on Twitter following the outpouring of excitement over her audition. “I would love to do one of my original songs,” she teases. “Actually, if I make it to next round, I’m hoping to sing one of my originals. No promises, though.”
For the second time in three months, Pearl Jam‘s Eddie Vedder appeared onstage with Sting. This time on Thursday night, he joined the singer’s joint Rock Scissors Paper Tour with Peter Gabriel, docked at Seattle’s Key Arena. It seems Vedder was returning a favor to Sting who joined Pearl Jam onstage at New York’s Madison Square Garden in May, when they performed the Police’s “Driven to Tears.”
In addition to playing “Tears” again, Vedder stuck around – Sting and Gabriel sometimes trade off songs mid-set during their anything-goes trek – to help out Gabriel by taking lead on the second verse of ”Red Rain.” Gabriel and Vedder also split vocals on the track’s chorus. As “Red Rain” ended and Vedder walked off the stage, Gabriel simply told the crowd, “That’s Eddie.”
The Seattle gig was the final U.S. show and third-to-last concert on the Rock Scissors Paper trek, which continues Calgary on Saturday before closing out Sunday in Edmonton.
Major Lazer recruited Justin Bieber andDanish singer MØ for its dancehall-flavored single “Cold Water,” on Lazer’s forthcoming LP, Music Is the Weapon. The Caribbean-tinged track picks up where Bieber’s “Where Are Ü Now,” also produced by Major Lazer’s Diplo, left off in summer 2015.
“It was spontaneous, no one thought it would work,” Diplo tells Rolling Stone about bringing the track to Bieber. The song, written by Diplo, Ed Sheeran and Benny Blanco, has the pop star harmonizing with MØ over a smooth African guitar and reggaeton drum wave. “Take a deep breath and let it go/ You shouldn’t be drowning on your own,” Bieber intones in “Sorry” mode.
Diplo says that Major Lazer songs like “Cold Water,” full of diverse acoustic and Eastern flourishes, are embraced because pop is in a time of experimentation. “On the radio, we went through a bland period for a while, but now there is just some awesome music,” Diplo says, citing Drake’s “One Dance” and Rihanna’s “Work” as two songs that are pushing commercial limits.
“You can tell if something’s authentic or not,” he says. The producer found originality in the young singer, MØ. The pair met haphazardly in Amsterdam when MØ rented out an AirBnB for a day in order to stay and meet him, he says. “I felt like she was so ambiguous, having grown up singing pop and punk … Her word choice and her metaphors are just so foreign from American songwriters who tend to overuse the same phrases.”
MØ leant her vocals to Major Lazer’s Number One hit “Lean On” with DJ Snake, which Diplo says is his favorite song of his own. “MØ gave it a bit more edge.”
Last month, Major Lazer released a fire-filled video for Peace Is the Mission single “Night Riders,” featuring Pusha T, 2 Chainz and Travis Scott. Catch Major Lazer playing new cuts like “Cold Water” and “Night Riders” this summer at Panorama Festival and Lollapalooza.