[ENTERTAINMENT]Hide women and chickens, Ozzy's coming

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[ENTERTAINMENT]Hide women and chickens, Ozzy's coming

Hard-core heavy metal fans who find the peninsula's lip-synching pop acts revolting got some good news this week: They'll soon be able to see the artist famous for chucking raw meat at audiences and biting off animals' heads.

On Feb. 22, Ozzy Osbourne will play for the first time in Korea, the local organizer of the concert, Access, recently announced. Korea's Ministry of Culture and Tourism has always been loath to allow controversial acts such as Osborne and fellow shock-rockers Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper to play here; all have in the past tried to schedule Korean shows as part of their Asian tours but were denied permission by the government. So Osbourne's concert, part of a Far East tour including shows in Alaska and Japan, represents something of a breakthrough.

A heavy metal pioneer, Osbourne got his start in the late 1960s as the frontman for the seminal metal band Black Sabbath. The band fired him in 1978, when Osbourne was having substance-abuse problems.

Now 54, Osbourne's tattoo-covered hide and gift for gory theatrics, along with his dark, powerful music and controversial lyrics, have made him both famous and notorious. Animal rights groups often boycott his concerts.

After the Sabbath split, Osbourne worked on forming his own band. The first lineup, including the ex-Quiet Riot guitarist Randy Rhoads, gelled nicely to create Osbourne's debut LP, "Blizzard of Ozz," which came to be regarded as the definitive heavy metal album. But in 1982 tragedy struck when Rhoads was killed in a bizarre plane crash.

With all of the allusions to death, darkness, doom and Satanism in his music, Osbourne attracts his share of controversies. He has been sued several times for allegedly encouraging teenagers, through his music and lyrics, to commit suicide. He incurred the wrath of the entire city of San Antonio, Texas, in 1982 when, while drunk, he urinated on a cenotaph of the Alamo. He later showed contrition for the tipsy tinkle by donating $10,000 to the caretakers of the monument.

Although you never know what Ozzy will do next, he has promised to behave himself in Seoul. "Ozzy told us that he would not do anything weird or controversial," said a representative of the organizing agency. Will local headbangers be disappointed? Maybe not: Osbourne is said to be hauling some 10 tons of stage equipment and props to Seoul - details are confidential, the organizers said.

Osbourne will perform at the Jamsil Indoor Gymnasium in southern Seoul. To get there, take the No. 2 subway line to the Olympic Stadium station and leave via exit 7. Tickets are available at the Web sites www.ticketpark.com and www.ticketlink.co.kr or by calling 1588-1555 or 1588-7890. Tickets are 77,000 won ($60), 55,000 won and 44,000 won and going fast, evidently. "If you want to buy tickets you'd better hurry," said the representative at the agency. "This concert is the one Korea's heavy metal fans have been waiting forever for." For more information, call 02-3141-4956.

by Chun Su-jin

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