Archive for the ‘Ozzy Osbourne’ Category

The Olympic Torch Concert: Rod Stewart with Ronnie Wood in The Mall London 26th June 2004

The Olympic Torch Concert The Mall London 26th June 2004
olympictorchtixTickets were given away free, through a ballot, for this concert to mark the arrival of the Olympic Torch in London in 2004. The publicity at the time announced: “As the Olympics draw closer, London will host the Olympic Torch Relay and we have tickets to give away for the Olympic Torch Concert. It will be a landmark event for London and the UK as the torch is carried though 11 London boroughs on Saturday, 26 June. The Mall, for the first time, will become a gigantic open-air venue for 70,000 people, linking sport and music. Rock legend Rod Stewart will headline with James Brown and many other music stars such as Jamelia and Emma Bunton will also be performing in celebration of the Olympic flame coming to London” (BBC, 2004). David Campbell, chief executive of Visit London, said: “We are enormously proud to be associated with the Olympic flame’s visit to London, and are delighted at the support we have been given by all the artists for what will be a spectacular concert and day of entertainment. Visit London wanted to stage an event that encompassed the ethos of the Olympic ideal, bringing it to the people in one of the world’s most famous capital cities. We are confident that the Olympic Torch Concert and all the events on 26 June will do just that.” This was the first time the Olympic torch had come to Britain since 1948.
The full line-up of the concert was: Rod Stewart, Ozzy & Kelly Osbourne, James Brown, Will Young, Emma Bunton, Beverley Knight, Jamelia, McFly, Rachel Stevens, Razorlight. OlympicTorchprog Marie and I were lucky enough to score a couple of tickets in the ballot so we went to London for the weekend for this special event. We arrived early, but the place was completely packed, with the stage right down the bottom of The Mall. It was impossible to get anywhere near the stage, but video screens had bee erected along the length of The Mall to show the concert and the progress of the Olympic torch as it was carried through London boroughs by 140 torchbearers. Sir Roger Bannister, 75 at the time, and the first man to break the four-minute mile in 1954, started the relay and brought it to a close by running up the centre of The Mall onto the stage. Highlights of the concert were Ozzy and Kelly singing “Changes”, James Brown and Will Young dueting on “Papa’s got a brand new bag” and Rod Stewart’s short three song set, which featured the cast from “Tonight’s The Night” (a big West End success at the time) on “Sailing” and “Rhythm of my heart”. But more importantly the concert also featured Rod with his old Faces mate Ronnie Wood on guitar for “Stay With Me”. You can see it below on YouTube. We are right at the back of the crowd watching a screen 😦 We probably would have had a better view watching it on TV, but the atmosphere in London was great 🙂 .

Rod’s performance with Ronnie Wood made the day, and the trip to London, worthwhile for me. It was great to see the two of them performing together again, even it was only for a few moments, and it brought back many happy memories.

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Ozzy Osbourne live 1982 to 1986

Ozzy Osbourne live 1982 to 1986
ozzytixOn 19 March 1982 a light aircraft piloted by Andrew Aycock (Ozzy’s band’s tour bus driver) carrying guitarist Randy Rhoads and Rachel Youngblood, the band’s make up designer, crashed while performing low passes over the band’s tour bus. In a prank turned deadly, the left wing of the plane clipped the bus, causing it to crash, killing Rhoads, Aycock, and Youngblood. Randy was only 26, and although he played for only a short period, he has been an immense influence on a whole generation of musicians in heavy rock and metal. Guitar World proclaimed that the guitarist “could have been the greatest”.
The Ozzy band were shocked and crushed by the tragedy, but regrouped with a new line-up (Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake had left the band). By the time I saw Ozzy again on the Speak of the Devil tour when it called at Newcastle City Hall on 18th December 1982 the band was: Ozzy, Brad Gillis (from San Francisco band Ranger) on guitar, Tommy Alridge (from Black Oak Arkanas, and the Pat Travers Band), Pete Way (UFO) on bass. They were also joined by actor John Allen who was executed in a mock hanging as part of the now highly theatrical stage show. ozzyprog1Support once again came from Budgie. From the 1982 tour programme: ” Tragedy struck, and rock lost a great guitar hero and a friend in Randy Rhoads. And yet in the midst of the quiet that followed our loss, there was movement. When the music stopped there was silence. However, it wasn’t a simple silence. It was a silence that would whip itself into a greater sound – a sound that would Speak of the Devil. As time changed me, as time has no doubt changed you, my infatuation with horror made things move faster. The tracks you’ll hear capsulize a real life story that helped cleanse my soul of the 13th anniversary of my career. I am Ozzy Osbourne…and sometimes we all Speak of the Devil”.
Setlist: Over the Mountain; Mr. Crowley; Crazy Train; Revelation (Mother Earth); Steal Away (The Night); Suicide Solution; Goodbye to Romance; Flying High Again; Believer; Sweet Leaf; Children of the Grave; Iron Man. Encore: Paranoid.
ozzyprog2Ozzy was back in Newcastle on 18th November 1983 at the Mayfair for the Bark at the Moon tour with support from Heavy Petting. The line-up had changed again and was Ozzy, Jek E Lee on guitar, the return of Bob Daisley on bass, Don Airey on keyboards, and the legend Carmine Appice (Beck, Bogert and Appice; Vanilla Fudge) on drums. Ozzy had morphed into a werewolf, and the show was even more theatrical. I saw the show again as part of the 1984 Monsters of Rock festival at Donington where Ozzy joined a bill headed by AC/DC and also featuring Van Halen; Gary Moore; Y&T; Accept; and Mötley Crüe.
Ozzy setlist from Donington 1984: I Don’t Know; Mr. Crowley; Over the Mountain; Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebel; Bark at the Moon; Revelation (Mother Earth); Steal Away (The Night); Suicide Solution; Centre of Eternity; Flying High Again; Iron Man; Crazy Train; Paranoid
ozzyprog3Two years later I saw Ozzy again; back at Newcastle City Hall on 12th February 1986. Support came from US rockers Ratt. A new tour and yet another line-up: Ozzy; Jake E Lee remaining on guitar; Phil Soussan on bass; the late Randy Castillo on drums (who went on to join Motley Crue) and John Sinclair on keyboards. The tour was in support of The Ultimate Sin album. From the programme: “”Ozzy Osbourne is still the reigning madman of rock’n’roll. He’s still an intense performer who often pushes himself too far……The music’s great, the band is hot and we’re ready to take on the world”.
Setlist: O Fortuna; Bark at the Moon; Suicide Solution; Never Know Why; Mr. Crowley; Shot in the Dark; I Don’t Know; Killer of Giants; Thank God for the Bomb; Flying High Again; Secret Loser; Iron Man; Crazy Train; Paranoid.
This was the last time I saw Ozzy live until the current Black Sabbath tour. Ozzy’s visits to the UK became less and less frequent as he concentrated on the US. I did have a ticket to see him at Newcastle Arena 10 years or so ago, but the concert was cancelled as Ozzy was not well at the time. Ozzy is a great heavy rock singer, and a crazy and compelling front man whose stage presence is as powerful today as it ever was.

Ozzy Osbourne Blizzard of Ozz September/October 1980

Ozzy Osbourne Blizzard of Ozz September/October 1980
OzzyprogWhen Ozzy left Black Sabbath in 1979 I honestly thought it could be the last we saw of him. Sure; he was a great, mad front man in Sabbath, but I really didn’t see him as a solo act. Ozzy always struck me as crazy, fearless, yet almost child-like. He fitted well within the Sabbath context, and as part of a group; but on his own? How wrong I was. No-one could have predicted just how successful his career would turn out to be. But it was obvious from the first time I saw him in concert and heard him play his new songs that Ozzy was going to be OK, more than OK in fact. The new album had some great tracks in “Crazy Train”; “Goodbye to Romance”; and “Mr. Crowley”, and he included Sabbath favourites “Iron Man”; “Children of the Grave”; and “Paranoid” in the live show, so how could he not be great. Oh, and Randy Rhoads was a simply incredible guitarist, just as good as his legend suggests. The tour called at Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle Mayfair and Sunderland Mayfair. Now this is another one of those gigs that has tested my memory; which has been playing tricks on me again. Now in my mind I went to see Ozzy at the City Hall concert; but I can’t find a ticket for that show, and I always keep them. I do have a programme so I know that I did see Ozzy that year, and on that tour, and I can definitely remember it was shortly after the Blizzard of Oz album was released. I can only conclude that I must have gone to the Sunderland Mayfair gig, and  I either paid at the door or tickets were collected on the way in. I’m learning just to accept things like that now; I can’t always remember details fully these days, and it’s no good dwelling on them or trying to figure it out; it just drives me nuts 🙂 . The line-up of Blizzard of Ozz was Ozzy (of course) on vocals, the late and truly great guitarist Randy Rhoads; Bob Daisley from Rainbow on bass, Lee Kerslake fom Uriah Heep on drums and local lad Don Airey on keyboards (replaced by Lindsey Bridgewater for the tour). Support came from those excellent Welsh rock heroes Budgie.
Setlist for the tour was: I Don’t Know; You Lookin’ at Me Lookin’ at You; Crazy Train; Goodbye to Romance; Mr. Crowley; Suicide Solution; Iron Man; Children of the Grave; Steal Away (The Night). Encore: Paranoid

AC/DC: Monsters of Rock Donington Park 1984

AC/DC at Monsters of Rock Donington Park; 18 August 1984
Line up: AC/DC; Van Halen; Ozzy Osbourne; Gary Moore; Mötley Crüe; Y & T; Accept
This was probably the best Monsters of Rock festival that I attended. I’d won tickets in the local newspaper (note “complementary” stamp on ticket at left), which was a positive to start with, so my mate and I went along free of charge for once! The weather was great, hot and dry, and the line-up was as strong as you could get in terms of heavy rock in the mid 80s. The bottle fights really took off this year, as I recall, with bottles of piss being lobbed across the crowd throughout the day. I have never been one for trying to get to the front at such events, and staying near the back of the crowd was definitely wise on this particular day.
I don’t remember much about Accept or Y&T. Motley Crue were OK, but didn’t have the scale of theatre and excess that I would see on their Theatre of Pain tour the following year (review to follow at some point). Gary Moore played some great blues guitar, as always. Ozzy was at the top of his game during this period in my view. At this time he was playing Mr Crowley, Crazy Train, along with Sabbath classics Iron Man and Paranoid. Van Halen were OK but, for me, had already lost some of the power and hunger they had in the early days when they supported Sabbath on their 1978 tour and on their first UK headline tour shortly after that (review to follow). As I recall there was a lot of talk about Van Halen blowing AC/DC off the stage, which just didn’t happen at all in my view. AC/DC were, as always, excellent and brought a great day to a close. AC/DC setlist: Guns for Hire; Shoot to Thrill; Sin City; Back in Black; Bad Boy Boogie; Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution; Flick of the Switch; Hells Bells; The Jack; Have a Drink on Me; Highway to Hell; Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap; Whole Lotta Rosie; Let There Be Rock; Encore: T.N.T.; For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)