Ozzy's here

A month ago, rock legend Alice Cooper complained about today's young Turks of rock.

"A lot of hard rock today sounds joyless," he said in an interview. "Bands forget to have fun." Rock stars from his era, he said, knew "rock should be played from the crotch — not the brain."

This much we know about Ozzy Osbourne: When he performs at 1st Mariner Arena on Monday, he won't be playing from the brain.

Now in his 60s, Osbourne still knows how to have fun. Earlier this year, he headlined the 14th annual Ozzfest, the heavy-metal festival he founded. In October, he announced he was disgusted by use of his song, "Crazy Train," by the Westboro Baptist Church (the group that demonstrates at troops' funerals).

And in what was perhaps the best moment of the Stephen Colbert- Jon Stewart rally at the National Mall, he played that very song right after Cat Stevens performed "Peace Train." The double whammy became an instant YouTube moment. This late in his game, he shows no sign of slowing down.

Soon after the D.C. rally, he headlined New Orleans' Voodoo Fest, where he played alongside some of those young bands Cooper complained about, like MGMT and My Morning Jacket. Osbourne is just finishing a series of fall dates, in support of his 10th studio album, "Scream," and in January will kick off the second leg of the tour.

The fall shows, in particular, are something of a walk down memory lane. Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford was the opening act. Now if they could just get Alice Cooper up in there, it would be a real "Grumpy Old Men" of metal reunion.

Osbourne's January dates will get a shot of '90s nostalgia: Guns N' Roses' guitarist Slash will open for him. The show lasts about two hours. And even though he's aiming to stay current, expect to hear some Black Sabbath numbers.

The clearest evidence that Osbourne doesn't intend to join the death-metal retirement villa is in one of the tracks on his new album. On "Fearless," he sounds as defiant as ever: "I'd rather die on my feet than live a life on my knees," he sings.

It's good to know that after all these years, he's still on the crazy train.

Ozzy Osbourne performs Monday at 1st Mariner Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $31.50-$77. Call 410-547-7328 or go to ticketmaster.com.

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