Black Sabbath/Blue Oyster Cult Riot of 1980

Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio

Black Sabbath/Blue Oyster Cult on the ‘Black and Blue Tour’

Yesterday on Rock N’ Roll True Stories they discussed the Black Sabbath/Blue Oyster Cult Riot on the ‘Black and Blue’ Tour. Check it out below!

Fans throwing objects on stage has been happening for pretty much four decades. I had previously covered the time Sebastian Bach of Skid Row jumped into the audience during a concert after being hit in the head with a bottle. The link to that video is down below in the description box. But in today’s video we are going to talk about the appropriately titled Black and Blue Tour which saw Blue Oyster Cult open for Black Sabbath in 1980. The previous year original Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne had departed the group and was replaced by Ronnie James Dio. By 1980 Black Sabbath was promoting Heaven and Hell, there first album with their new singer. Blue oyster cult were promoting cultosaurus erectus During an October 9th concert in Milwaukee, Wisconcin, Blue Oyster Cult opened the show taking to the stage at 8:20 pm without any problems. According to the milwaukee journal newspaper, blue oyster cult played a pretty good set that night. The problem started following the opener’s performance when there was an hour wait until Black Sabbath took to the stage.The hour long wait was part of every show of the tour since each band had elaborate stage setups that had to be constructed and torn down. Other reports claimed that blue oyster cult played too long leaving a crowd of 9,000 people restless. Fans would grow impatient, but Black Sabbath was able to take to the stage and make it through two songs including neon knights and war pigs. As the band was about to play their third song of the night, the lights dimmed and fans started to throw objects on stage including frisbees and bottles. One of the bottles struck bassist Geezer buttler in the head knocking him unconcious. The bassist would tell Maximum Ink in 2007 that he didn’t believe that the act was malicious saying “It’s all a big misunderstanding, really, The lights were down first of all, so unless the fellow was some sort of incredible quarterback, I don’t know how he could have hit me on purpose. But I was knocked out, and the band was busy getting me off the stage and to a hospital. When the lights came back up, there was no band on stage. And of course, the crowd freaked out. Butler would reveal in the same interview that in the 1980’s venues had beefed up security from a decade prior telling “People threw a lot of beer cans in the ’70s,” he noted. “Once, in San Francisco, someone threw a huge iron cross on the stage. It bounced up, cut three strings on my bass, and the end of it poked me in the eye. Luckily, I didn’t lose my sight or anything. But that was quite an incident.” Getting back to the concert in Milwaukee After buttler was knocked unconcious Ronnie James Dio told the crowd

“We wanted to give a lot for you, but not our blood. If you don’t want to enjoy it, then tough shit!”). The band’s tour manager took to the stage and told the crowd the bad news, “Black Sabbath wants to play Milwaukee,” But Black Sabbath doesn’t appreciate being hit by unidentified flying objects. It’s been a long time since 1776, so just cool out. The band won’t be coming back on stage. The bass player is too hurt.”

According to the Milwaukee Sentinel As the band left the stage the crowd started chanting “We want Sabbath, we want Sabbath,” By 11:15 p.m., the lights came on in the venue and the fans seemingly destroyed everything in sight including chairs, railings, garbage cans, which they then threw on stage. The fans soon turned their attention to destroying the venues windows and doors. In addition to all the property damage the crowd soon turned on each other and fist fights erupted. The police who were outfitted with riot gear showed up and emptied out the venue by 11:40, but the trouble makers continued their rampage in the streets with the sentinel reporting and i quote

“WIndows were broken out of several of the Milwaukee police and county sheriff’s squad cars ringing the Arena,” “Scuffles continued on the streets outside the Arena for at least a half-hour after trouble was quelled inside the building. … Police were seen dragging youths by the hair and throwing them into patrol wagons.”

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