Greetings. Time for another admission of musical innocence. Looking back to the heady times of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s I increasingly think I was walking around with my head in the clouds. Although, hindsight is a wonderful, if sometimes deceptive, viewpoint.
I mean, was there any reason for me to instinctively know that the exciting band I saw at the Brighton Dome in the early 80’s had a musical heritage from some of the classic rock I was also listening to? I had been passed the album ‘Blizzard of Oz’ by a friend with a casual remark about ‘them’ coming to the Dome later in the month, if I was interested. I gave the album a listen and on the strength of it decided to give them a look.
It was a great gig. I seem to remember the support band were ‘Preying Mantis’ – why that name sticks in my head I don’t know, because it was the man in act that blew me away – and no wonder – for I was watching the marvellous Ozzy Osbourne and his short-lived sidekick Randy Rhodes strut their stuff. It was at least a few months later that I made the connection between Ozzy and the band Black Sabbath – not least, in my defence, because at the time my only Black Sabbath album had a certain Ronnie James Dio as its frontman.
But I wonder now if my musical innocence made that evening at the Dome even better than it would have been had I known of Ozzy’s pedigree. I wonder if my lack of expectations made the performance appear that much more sparkling and fresh? And although Randy Rhodes’ untimely death may have assured his place in a hall of fame, that evening it was his pure energy and skill that made him stand out still in my memory. All of which is a preamble to my turning to another section of my drumming-family tree – the so-called ‘New-Wave-of-British-Heavy-Metal. Here is my take on the opener from Ozzy Osbourne’s return from Rock hermitage – the album ‘Blizzard of Oz’ – “I Don’t Know.’
Til next time,