The SUNSET STRIP MUSIC FESTIVAL kicked off last night at the House of Blues with a ceremony celebrating the legendary Ozzy Osbourne. Close friends like Billy Morrison, comedian Jim Norton, Henry Rollins, Tommy Lee, Slash, Billy Bob Thornton and, via video, Jimmy Kimmel and Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister all praised Ozzy's tremendous contributions as a member of Black Sabbath and solo artist, as well as a friend, husband and father. All had great Osbourne anecdotes to share, but perhaps Billy Bob Thornton said it best with his quip: "Who said the Prince of Darkness can't be a nice guy?" The ceremony concluded with Ozzy being presented with the Elmer Valentine award from Lou Adler, founder of The Roxy; yesterday was also proclaimed "Ozzy Osbourne Day" by the City of West Hollywood, which is hosting the three-day event. West Hollywood Council members on hand included Mayor Abbe Land, Mayor Pro Tempore John Heilman, Councilmember John J. Duran and Councilmember Lindsey Horvath.
Other guests on hand to honor Ozzy included past and present bandmates including close friend Bill Ward of Black Sabbath, along with Gabriel Byrne, David Spade, Michael Des Barres, The Donnas, System of a Down's John Dolmayan, Chelsea Girls (Samantha Maloney, Corey Parks, Allison Robertson) and Vains of Jenna. The evening wrapped up a set from Camp Freddy and their special guests (Billy Morrison, Donovan Leitch, Chris Chaney, Mark McGrath, Kenny Aronoff, Steve Stevens, Corey Taylor, Steve Jones, John5 and Frankie Perez) performing songs that encompassed Ozzy's solo career ("Crazy Train") and Black Sabbath ("Iron Man"). In addition to The Strip's six signature music venues hosting diverse music lineups of 40 bands, the Sunset Strip (between Doheny Drive and San Vicente Blvd.) will be closed--for the first time ever--to host two concert stages on Saturday with performances from 10 acts including a headlining set from Osbourne. For more information on the festival, please go to http://www.sunsetstripmusicfestival.com/. Photos from the event can be seen here: