21 Years Ago: Rob Halford Joins Black Sabbath – Temporarily
In the fall of 1992, despite the fact that his career was riding high on the strength of the ‘No More Tears‘ album, Ozzy Osbourne decided to announced his retirement. He committed to play two farewell shows, Nov. 14 and 15, in Costa Mesa, California and asked his old band, Black Sabbath, to do the honors of opening the shows. But that’s not how things worked out.
This plan might have sounded good to Ozzy, and to Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, but wasn’t so appealing to vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who, according to Iommi’s autobiography, ‘Iron Man,’ told the guitarist, “I’m not doing that. I’m not supporting a clown.” Dio made his case, then left the band, leaving Iommi to figure out another plan of attack. Enter another powerhouse vocalist from their native Birmingham, England, Mr. Rob Halford.
Halford, having recently left Judas Priest behind, gladly accepted the invite to share the stage with Sabbath to perform the two concerts. Not surprisingly, he delivered the goods, as you can see above. He would reprise this role again at a concert in 2004, when Osbourne (than as now, back with the Sabs) had taken ill.