By Lisa Morgan

Brace yourselves Coachella Valley. As the shadow of Mount San Jacinto casts itself upon the desert floor this Saturday night, so will the presence of OZZMANIA. Tapped by “The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands”, AXS TV’s weekly live concert series now in their fourth season, OZZMANIA will take you on a Crazy Train like no other (the exception of course being Ozzy and Black Sabbath themselves, and even that has been debated). Host and executive producer Katie Daryl introduced the all-new lineup of tribute bands this week, and OZZMANIA is one of them. I asked Katie how OZZMANIA, a band stacked with our local Coachella Valley musicians, was selected. She shared, “‘The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands’ looks for acts that look and sound just like the real thing. Ozzmania does a great job with their tribute to Ozzy and Black Sabbath! When you see them perform your jaw will just drop. I’m so excited to have the guys as part of season 4! This way everyone around the country can tune and see their mind blowing talent 100% live from the Whiskey A Go Go in Hollywood on AXS TV!” Fortunately for those of us here in the Coachella Valley, you can see their jaw altering performance live and in person at Schmidy’s Tavern this Saturday, August 23rd at 9:00 pm.

OZZMANIA consists of Michael Reade, AKA Snozzy Snosbourne as Ozzy, Mark “Metal Mark” Knapp as Zakk, Vince Pacelli on Bass, and Michael Clemens on drums. Newly inducted to the tribute band is Fred Corradi, who with his keyboard stack, brings depth and fullness of sound that takes this already stellar band to galactic levels. The tribute band was formed in 2007 when Mark Knapp and Michael Reade decided to make a change in their music career.

Reade: “We were in original hard rock bands for many years, when we saw the tribute thing really take off. There weren’t many venues for original music at the time. We were playing for 100-200 while people in the tribute bands were playing for 1000-2000. Then one day, we were watching Ozzy’s ‘Live at Budokan’, and Mark and I said to each other, ‘Hey, let’s do this!’ ”


CVW: Do you ever get tired of doing the same thing – performing only one artist’s work?

Knapp: Everybody gets tired of doing the same thing, but we always have fun. When I can hear the sound of the crowd bouncing back to me from the drum riser, that’s a satisfied crowd. It pumps me up and drives me. It takes me to a whole other level.

Clemens: The big reward is the crowd. To hear 1000-2000 people at HOB singing along louder than us…yeah, that’s the real reward. It’s pretty awesome. It’s all about being the best we can be and giving the fans what they need.

CVW: Do die hard Ozzy/Black Sabbath fans ever get critical in comparing you to the original artist?

Knapp: Fans teach us all the time about Ozzy. There’s seriously A LOT of big Ozzy fans. But they are never critical. In fact, most of our fans tell us we’re better live than Ozzy. I’ve never heard any negativity from the fans.

CVW: What do you think it was that got you selected as “Best Tribute band”?

Knapp: I’m still trying to figure that out.

Clemens: Just a lot of hard work actually. Putting the right guys together, keeping the best chemistry, being passionate about what we do. People have been saying for a while now, ‘Wow! You’re giving Ozzy a run for his money.’”

Knapp: It was actually a two year process, submitting video and information to AXS.

Corradi: The first time I saw Ozzmania I was just absolutely floored. I was familiar to the tribute industry working with ‘Hollywood U2’ so I had an incredible amount of discernment. The best thing about these guys apart from their musicianship is that you can tell these guys really love this music and love what they do. It’s all about the music for these guys.

OZZMANIA embodies the true spirit of the ultimate rock legend. Having played to thousands of people, Ozzmania continues to blaze a trail and fly the flag in honor of the Prince Of Darkness. These four musicians have banded together to become the best and only true showcase of Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath music, and the nod from AXS confirms that they have truly succeeded.

The ‘World’s Greatest Tribute Bands’ is broadcast live, nationwide on AXS TV and hosted/produced by Katie Daryl, and celebrates the music from iconic artists in history. The show airs Tuesdays starting Sept 9 at 7pm PT/ 10ET. Ozzmania’s debut will be filmed live at the Whiskey A Go Go Oct 28th. “With several hundred band submissions from across the world, Ozzmania was an obvious pick for the show, they’re so talented- and can ROCK!” ~ Katie Daryl


Joining OZZMANIA for this show, is the Alice in Chains tribute band, DIRT. Founder Vince Pacelli, started the tribute in Chicago 1995. What was a unique choice in tributes at the time, performed consistently on a series of tours booked by one of the largest tribute agencies in the world.

Pacelli talked about those early days: “Everybody in the tribute industry was starting to do bands like Metalica, Ozzy, Kiss, ACDC… all the big names you could think of. There must have been 4-6 bands covering the same tribute. We wanted to do something different and cutting edge. We thought Alice and Chains fit that bill even if they were a bit under the radar at the time. There was only one other band in the country doing an AIC tribute, and that was our favorite band. We played anywhere and everywhere. We were honest to God, road warriors, working 4-6 nights a week.” When Pacelli married and relocated to California, the tribute was put to rest, but only for a spell. Today, DIRT consists of Mike Cordero on vocals, Vince Pacelli, guitar and vocals, Aaron Lee on bass and vocals, and Jason Piazza on drums.

These bands are not only a tribute to the artists they embody; they are a tribute to the depth of our valley’s local talent. Every member of OZZMANIA and DIRT are local. For the cost of two cups of coffee, fans can be treated to an incredible sonic and sensory experience in climate controlled tavern with misted patio. It is highly recommended you show up early as nearly 200 people are already expected to show. The first 50 people through the doors will be treated to complimentary Ozzmania swag.

Show Details:Saturday, August 23rd @ 9 PM (Doors open at 8)
Location: Shmidy’s Tavern, Palm Desert (corner of Fred Waring and Hwy 111)
Cost: $10 at the door (first 50 receive Ozzmania swag)

Links to follow:




Schmidy’s Tavern: