Flashback to 1978:
Black Sabbath teamed up with Van Halen to insure that Never Say Die was the tour to end all tours.
Van Halen shared bills with tons of big acts in 1978 during their first world tour, and all of them immediately regretted the decision because VH was next to impossible to upstage. We mean, how do you follow a band that shows up to a gig by parachuting from a plane, then jump into a van waiting for them on the ground, and start playing the show still wearing the jumpsuits they jumped out of the plane in?
Oh, of course, the members of VH didn’t actually jump out of the plane at Anaheim Stadium Summer Fest in September of 1978, they had stuntmen do it, so they didn’t miss out on “happy hour” before the show. You know? Priorities!
So, when you think of sex, drugs and rock & roll there are two names that usually come to mind – Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath and David Lee Roth of Van Halen.
But what did happen in 1978 when Black Sabbath invited Van Halen to open for them? Well, we guess they had plenty of downtime, because both bands’ frontmen had themselves a friendly little competition.
Somewhere in between the Cincinnati and Nashville gigs near the end of the tour, Roth and Osbourne decided to stay up until 9:00 am snorting lines to see which would be the first to fall flat on their face. Chalk one up for David Lee Roth just for having the balls to challenge Ozzy to a competition involving any kind of drugs, and without dying in the process.
Somehow, both Roth and Ozzy made it to the airport, arrived safely in Nashville, and checked into their hotel. Later that day when it came time to head off to do sound checks, The Ozzman didn’t show up!
What soon followed was nothing less than an all out police manhunt as management and crew presumed Ozzy to have been kidnapped or perhaps dead.
“Ozzy Osbourne may have been kidnapped or been the victim of some other form of foul play. Here’s a man who makes a lot of money and has never missed a show in ten years. He doesn’t drink or use dope. He disappears and his people are so frantic.
So it was possible that something had happened to this man. While all the time he’s sleeping.” – Lt. Sherman Nickens of Nashville P.D
Lt. Nickens surly “had his finger on the pulse”. Laugh Out Loud
So what the hell happened? Well, Ozzy ended up in the wrong hotel room and crashed-out. When he woke up he realized that wasn’t his room and stumbled around the hotel until he found his suite, that’s where authorities found him the following day.
You May Also Enjoy: Cocaine & Private Planes: A Black Sabbath Tale
Thanks to Dangerous Minds for their brilliant research on the story, you can find the extended article on their site.