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2.1 What the hell is this about biting a bat? (Diary of a Madman) (The Osbournes)




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This article is from the The Osbourne FAQ, by Mike L. with numerous contributions by others.

2.1 What the hell is this about biting a bat? (Diary of a Madman) (The Osbournes)

The following year, "Diary of a Madman" was released. An
interesting note, Ozzy's son, Elliot is shown on the album cover.
Though production of the album was rushed towards the end so that
the band could get out and tour, Ozzy has said he liked this album
better of the two. The album came out the same time as Sabbath's
Mob Rules album. Diary soared to the top 15 on US charts while Mob
Rules remained at #29. Ozzy's first two albums would sell over 6
million copies. As they toured, Randy would often hold a guitar
clinic for kids who wanted to learn to play guitar. A kid named
Joe Holmes took lessons from Randy, and would later have an impact
on Ozzy's life as well.

The Diary tour was nicknamed Night of the Living Dead tour due to various
misfortunes: The entire band was expelled from a San Diego over Ozzy's
reputation, the prop truck broke down, and in Minneapolis a crane fell and
crushed $8000 worth of synthesizers. On the upside, the stage setting for
Diary of a Madman was a huge castle complete with fog. The drummer was
situated on a raised platform, and there was an opening in the center of
the stage where a dwarf would come out to give Ozzy water and towels. The
dwarf was actually Little John Allen who played R2D2 in Star Wars. It has
been brought to my attention that Kenny Baker actually played R2D2 so I
don't know which name is correct. John Allen suffered mock abuse by having
pig entrails tossed at him, he was stuffed into a hole and he was even
hanged for prolonged periods from a noose (as shown on some videos). This
was accomplished with a harness so as not to really choke him, but how did
he manage to stay up for so long??

During the Diary tour, Ozzy would throw raw meat at his audience. It was
even part of his contract that 25 pounds of calves livers and pigs
intestines be thrown. A parent once phoned the promoter of the show asking
how to get blood out of the clothes. As the tour continued, people would
bring meat to the show to throw back at him. As time passed, the audience
brought dead frogs, cats, snakes, etc. to throw onto the stage. Once,
someone threw a toy doll onto the stage and Ozzy freaked out thinking that
someone had thrown a real infant up on stage.

On Jan. 20 at a Des Moines, Iowa concert some winner threw a real bat up on
stage. The bat lay still because of the spotlights on the stage, and so
Ozzy picked it up, THINKING IT WAS A TOY RUBBER BAT. He bit into the bat,
taking off its head. Immediately the audience and Sharon freaked out. Ozzy
was rushed to emergency to have rabies shots. It is reported that at the
time he was treating the whole thing as a joke, apparently barking like a
dog when wheeled into the hospital. He sent the crew back to find the bat
to find out if it was in fact real or not, the bat could not be found. The
shots would continue for about a week, with needles in each buttock, arms
and leg. Ozzy would also faint or collapse at the concerts which followed.
Ozzy's advice on the situation is, "if you want to be a complete dick, try
it". Subsequently the bat would become a symbol for Ozzy on his upcoming
albums, and even a tattoo. The animal humane society would become involved
and show up to boycott Ozzy concerts. From this point on, he was marked a
madman and his reputation began to precede him. One such nasty rumor, and
sure sign of people's ability to go overboard with gossip and rumors is
this little gem: Before one concert even started, Ozzy supposedly threw
three small dogs into the audience. He refused to play the show until all
the dogs came back to him dead. The story is not true. It was the honest
mistake with a bat which would cement itself in people's minds, even to
this day.

[Ed: I can recall when Ozzy came to my home town on the Diary tour, the
SPCA and police were there threatening to take action if any animals were
harmed on stage. Ozzy has never returned.]

"If they were buzzing the bus, like people say, it probably meant
that Randy was struggling with the pilot to stop him from crashing it"
-Kevin Dubrow of Quiet Riot

 

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