Back when I was a senior in high school, a friend called me up and was yelling at the top of his lungs about an “Ozzfest.” When he told me about the dream line up, I was beyond excited. Who on this earth wouldn’t have wanted to see OZZY, DANZIG, SLAYER, SEPULTURA, and FEAR FACTORY in 1996? Unfortunately, my friend didn’t care enough to actually go with me to the show and I was the only person in my school that cared enough to go. Thus, I missed the show.
So 1997 rolls around and I’m a freshman in college and working as a school teacher during the summer. Most importantly, I had my own damn car. When the announcement for the second Ozzfest came out, I was beyond excited. To be able to see the reunited original line up of BLACK SABBATH meant everything to me. SABBATH were my favorite band at the time (and still are). Those first six albums changed my life. Not even Technical Ecstacy or Never Say Die hurt my feelings as much as Load but that probably has more to do with the fact that I was born in ’78 and not ’68. I still have those first SABBATH albums on cassette tape.
Unlike 1996, I wasn’t going to be deterred by the fact that I did not know a single soul who wanted to go. Armed with a Thomas Guide map, I set out in my car on the furthest drive of my 19 year old life. After the over two hour drive, I arrived at the venue, which is out in the middle of shitsville (AKA San Bernardino County, California). Lots of dirt, rocks, scorching heat, and rednecks. As I pulled up to entrance of the venue, there were the obligatory Christian groups protesting the show with a focus on Ozzy. They were holding up signs about damnation and devil worship…completely harmless stuff.