The Nasty Feud Between Iron Maiden and Sharon Osbourne Dates Back To 2005
Today on Rock N’ Roll True Stories they take a look at the Iron Maiden/Black Sabbath and Sharon Osbourne feud resulting from Ozzfest that year. Check out the full story below.
Both hailed as some of one of the most influential rock bands in history, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath found themselves on tour in 2005, but it wasn’t all peace and harmony as we’ll find in today’s video.
Established in 1996 Ozzfest was a travelling tour that consisted of the top metal acts at the time along with Black Sabbath who would frequently headline the tour. The 2005 incarnation of the the traveling circus was playing stadiums in America with Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden co-headlining. Also on the bill was Mudvayne and Rob Zombie. The tour ran from July 15 to August 20th
During ozzfest that year iron maiden frontman bruce dickinson was pretty open about what was bothering him slagging off ozzy and the corporate nature of the tour during live shows and in the press. Ahead of the tour starting in the summer of 2005 Maiden finished a show in Sweden after which Dickinson told Kerrang I’d like to go to America and say ‘You’re very good, but you’re not as loud as 56,000 fing vikings in a football stadium.’
In 2006 Dickinson gave his version of events of what led to the feud escalating recalling “Ozzfest is a corporate rock event at which they sell the front 10-12 rows to corporate seats and not to kids. Most of the bands pay a lot of money to be on the Ozzfest, they get paid next to nothing. The whole way it’s being portrayed as being some kind of altruistic holiday for all the bands is absolute nonsense, it’s complete bss. Most of the bands are there because they paid to be there. That’s the way it’s run. We went out and we were like, ‘Okay, why aren’t there any people down the front?’ Well, because it’s restricted seating and because they don’t have tickets. ‘What?!’ That’s f’ed, so we said so. I said so every night.
According to Ozzy’s manager and wife Sharon Osbourne, Dickinson would consistently complain backstage saying and i quote: “We don’t need a teleprompter” and “we don’t need a reality show to be legit”. Sharon took these as thinly veiled insults against her husband and family. It all culminated with the tour’s final stop in Devore, California. Attendees reportedly told news outlets that ahead of Iron Maiden taking the stage that night a voice chanting, “Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy,” could be heard over the venue’s public address system. That same night Iron Maiden’s power would be cut several times during their set and several songs into Iron Maiden’s performance they would be pelted with eggs, ice, bottle caps and lighters.
Obviously angered, Bruce Dickinson told the audience members to break the arms of those throwing objects at the band. During the band’s performance it was reported that Dickinson slammed festival organizers for cutting the group’s power and slammed ozzy once again. The Orange County register county claimed claimed that during band’s performance of The Trooper that that typically for the song Dickinson would be waving a British flag. Towards the end of the song a man wearing an american flag with the words don’t f with ozzy appeared on stage but was removed by Iron Maiden’s entourage. It was initially reported in the press that one of the bands on ozzfest that year Bury Your Dead were responsible for hurling objects at Iron Maiden. It got so bad that the band received death threats from angry Maiden fans and they had to issue a statement claiming they were not involved. Sharon would admit to trying to sabotage Maiden’s performance including taking responsibility for cutting their power and hiring friends of hers who turned out to be hospital staff she met while undergoing cancer treatment to throw eggs on stage. Following Maiden’s set that night Sharon took to the stage to slam Iron Maiden’s behavior on tour with some in the audience chanting Maiden’s name during her rant to show their support. Sharon would claim her only issue was with Dickinson and not with the rest of the band or their crew who she admitted were great. She would admit in an interview with Howard Stern on his sirius xm show that maiden was paid $185,000 a night and Ozzy would claim he didn’t know what Dickinson was saying night after night as he was busy getting ready for each night’s show.
Iron Maiden’s manager Rod Smallwood would issue a statement that read “The scale, viciousness and concentration of the throwing made it obvious that this was a premeditated and coordinated attack.”
Sharon would put out an open letter to Iron Maiden’s manager Rod Smallwood after the tour concluded that read
“I know you would love to keep talking about this, because this is the most press that Iron Maiden has had in the U.S. in 20 years, but let’s move on, shall we?” She signed the letter “The ‘Real’ Iron Maiden,” and accused Smallwood of fueling the tension “to try and sell record[s] and the [band’s] upcoming shows.”
“I did cut [the band’s] sound,” she wrote. “Ozzfest is our tour. Dickinson doesn’t have the manners to realize that when you are invited into someone’s home, are seated at their dinner table, are eating their food and drinking their wine, you shouldn’t talk disrespectfully about them. Otherwise, you just might get your but handed to you. Every action has a reaction. Was Dickinson so naive to think that I was going to let him get away with talking sh– about my family, night after night? I don’t think he realizes who he’s dealing with.”
She would go on to claim that Dickinson never discussed his concerns with Ozzy or herself. And would go on to say say We had to listen to his bullsh– for five straight weeks. He only had to suffer a couple of eggs on the head.”
In the years that followed Ozzy weighed in on the feud saying he never said anything negative about Iron Maiden or Dicksinon and that he supported his wife’s actions.
Speaking to The Quietus in 2010, Ozzy would also claim and i quote “the bass player [Steve Harris] came round at the last gig and said ‘I’m sorry about Bruce’, and I’m like, ‘What the f are you talking about?’ Nobody had told me, you know. I said, “You know what? I don’t understand what the f you’re talking about here.”
“And so, I mean, Sharon got pissed off… it was nothing to do with me
In 2017 Dickinson would tell NME Magazine “It’s a complete storm in a teacup. I grew up listening to early Sabbath with Ozzy. Ozzy and Sabbath are icons so that’s that, end of story. The fact that I don’t like reality TV shows, well I’m not gonna offer an olive branch to the Kardashians either.”