Friday, January 3, 2014

New Years Evil

New Years Eve means parties, good food, and champagne.  In 1998, in Phoenix, it meant Ozzy was going to usher in 1999 for us all!

The baseball stadium, Bank One Ballpark (currently Chase Field), home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, was just completed and opened early in 1998.  Max and I had once snuck on the grounds with Glen LaFerman and did a photo shoot for ESP Guitars, and also for the Rainbow Bar and Grill in Hollywood, CA.   We were thrilled when our booking agent contacted us and said Soulfly had been invited to open the show.  It was a huge honor for us to play to our hometown crowd with the great and powerful Ozzy and Black Sabbath.  This was to be the first concert in the ballpark and the media coverage in Phoenix was huge!!!

The days ticked by and soon it was December 31st and we were loading our gear in to the ballpark.  We were stunned by the enormous size once we were inside the stadium.  At the time, the stadium was one of the largest open-air stadiums in the world because of its retractable roof. 

Soulfly was actually going to be the first band to play at Bank One Ballpark.  Our nerves got rattled when one of the band members didn’t show up for soundcheck, and arrived 15 minutes before the set was to begin.  We thought we were going to be forced to cancel the sold out show.  Our nerves were electric.

The wind blew in the missing member, and the show was savage!  The Phoenix crowd welcomed their boys with a roar of affection.  Next up was Slayer, Megadeth, Pantera, and Black Sabbath, so you can imagine how much fun the backstage was that night. 

New Years approached and Ozzy was reeling em’ in, spraying water and mooning with that never ending smile of true love for his people.  Sharon was there, and everyone was like family that night.  We all waited for the countdown, but Ozzy was having so much fun that he blew right past it.  It didn’t matter….we were all too busy swaying with him. 

Get your swagger on……Happy New Years!

Class dismissed.  See you next semester.