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A healthy dose of Ozzy

Fast, hard and loud, Wizard of Oz tribute band back with black



Who: Wizard of Oz

When: Monday, Jan. 30

Where: Boot Pub

It became highly questionable whether frontman Gary Wood of the Ozzy Osbourne tribute band Wizard of Oz was going off the rails of his own Crazy Train.

From the Vancouver General Hospital, the Ozzy clone chatted about the Wizard of Oz’s upcoming show Monday, Jan. 30 at the Boot Pub, just minutes before being wheeled in for surgery.

"Definitely had better days," he said, noting it was nothing that was going to keep him from next week’s show.

The tribute band also took a little sick leave before starting up the touring van once again last fall.

"We took a year and a half off," he said, joking. "We didn’t like each other very much. We patched things up…. It is good to have friends back on stage again. When a band is happy, they play better."

Fast heavy metal is never dead with the Wizard of Oz around, rallying the loyal head banging masses of Ozzy Osbourne fans to slam out classic favourites including the likes of Paranoid, No More Tears, War Pigs and of course, Crazy Train.

Hailing all things Ozzy and Black Sabbath, the Vancouver bangers have set out to duplicate the high-intensity stage show Ozzy fans have grown to know and love.

With the resurgence of Ozzy into mainstream consciousness with the MTV cult reality show The Osbournes , the timeless Godfather of Metal just keeps rocking the universe and building on his empire of heavy metal mayhem.

"We grew up with the music," Wood said. "We don’t know too many shitty songs. He’s fun to play. I get to go out and play a 50-year-old drug addict, alcoholic every night. It doesn’t get any better."

The metal slingers accompanying Wood, drummer Bart Ings, bassist Mike Wilson and keyboard virtuoso Mike Russell, are always up for the challenge of recreating the Sabbath sounds, which bridge generations wherever they go.

"We want to see the music done to perfection," Wood said. "People I play with are absolutely brilliant. We are old school professionals who are going to do what we do. If you like Ozzy and Black Sabbath, you are going to love our show."