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Ozzy Osbourne’s 5 Craziest & Most Memorable Tour Moments!

Written by Robert Sweeney. Published: March 02 2023

 

Since his start as the frontman for the legendary band Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne has revolutionized the role of the lead singer through his timeless anthems and unique stage persona. With the growing popularity of Ozzy’s 1991 song “No More Tears” on TikTok, and Ozzy’s guest appearance on thePost Malone song “Take What You Want”, it is clear that the Blizzard of Oz still maintains a lasting impact on current musicians. Sadly, Ozzy’s recently announced his retirement from touring due to spinal injuries, so now it feels only right to delve into the frontman’s crowd-rousing performances of rock anthems and outrageous pranks that made his live performances so distinctive. Here are 5 of the most memorable live performances and crazy antics from the Godfather of Heavy Metal himself! 

 

1. Performances of “Crazy Train” 

The most popular song of Osbourne’s solo career is undoubtedly the face-melting “Crazy Train”. With an all-star band backing the crazed frontman, the late, great Randy Rhoadesalmost steals the show with his shredding lead guitar riff. Ozzy immediately follows this electric cacophony as he addresses the crowd with a cackling invitation, screaming “All aboard!” Throughout this performance, he continues to leap up and down, encouraging the masses to clap their hands in tandem with the tune. This exciting action paired with Ozzy’s taunts of “I can’t hear you!” certainly cements Ozzy as one of the greatest frontmen ever, encouraging audience participation while the band performs. 

 

 

 

2. Catapulting Heaps of Meat Into The Audience During Diary of a Madman Tour

The tour that followed the Ozzy’s second studio album Diary of a Madman was quite the experience for heavy metal fans (with one specific incident even taking the top spot in our list). Throughout the tour, Ozzy and his accompanying band fashioned a catapult on stage that was used to hurl raw meat and various other items into the audience. While there is little footage of the “meat catapult” that was used onstage, it is not hard to imagine leaping and headbanging fans cackling at the sight of raw meat flying through the air at an Ozzy Osbourne concert. However wild and demented this gimmick may seem, it certainly added to the reputation of Ozzy’s tours as unique and unforgettable. 

 

3. Ozzy’s Emotional Performances of “Mama, I’m Coming Home”

As Ozzy’s concerts have a strong reputation of glorifying debauchery and overall madness, Ozzy’s performances of his emotional ballad “Mama, I’m Coming Home” serve as a painful reflection on his wild activities. With performances of the song itself often resulting in tears from the massive audiences and waving lighters, the rock ballad draws attention to Ozzy’s unique control of the audience. During the song, Ozzy dedicates his lyrics of love and devotion to his wife, Sharon Osbourne. The song’s instrumentation trades Ozzy’s signature distorted guitar for a more acoustic and piano-driven sound, as these trademarks of the metal genre return in the ballad’s explosive chorus of emotion. This notable change from thrashing, heavy metal songs is met with a moving sing-along from the swaying audience, showing Ozzy’s unique and expansive discography. 

 

 

 

4. Black Sabbath’s Performance of “War Pigs” in Paris, 1970

To this day, Black Sabbath’s anti-war anthem “War Pigs” is highly regarded as one of the best rock songs of all time. The song’s live debut in Paris’s Olympia Theater in 1970 is almost more haunting and tension-filled than the album version, with Ozzy’s wailing vocal delivery followed by thunderous instrumentation that leads the audience into a chaotic, climactic chorus. The performance was used to promote the band’s upcoming album Paranoid, which would later be hailed as an iconic rock album that helped usher in the genre of heavy metal. In this performance, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, and drummerBill Ward deliver bursts of screeching immediacy with emphasis on building up the song before its grand explosion of sound. Ozzy’s lyrics also take center stage, as his eerie delivery of lyrics such as “Sorcerer of death’s construction” further paint the picture of horror experienced on the battlefield. The song’s later legendary status would warrant covers from bands such as theArctic Monkeys, supergroup Temple of the Dog, and modern punk artistYUNGBLUD

 

 

 

5. Biting The Head Off a Dead Bat on Stage, January 20th, 1982

Perhaps the rock god’s most infamous incident took place onstage in Des Moines, Iowa, during the tour for his album Diary of a Madman. The iconic antic began as a fan threw a dead bat on stage, one of the more raunchy pieces of paraphernalia thrown during rock concerts. What happened next would result in numerous parodies throughout the decades, draw attention to Ozzy’s unhinged persona, and jaw-dropping shock. Believing it to be a rubber toy bat, Ozzy took a large bite into the dead animal, gruesomely ripping its head clean off. Ozzy then sported a menacing smile to the crowd, and unsurprisingly, the crowd went wild. This, unsurprisingly, takes the top spot as the most memorable moment from Ozzy Osbourne’s touring career, as the iconic sight of a smiling heavy metal singer holding the head of a bat in his mouth is a sight that is not easily forgotten.