Back in 2007, Ozzy was supposed to come to Portland with Rob Zombie.

I actually had tickets to this show when it was announced. I'd seen Ozzy a handful of times, and it was always a blast. Ozzy always delivered, back in the day at least. As often happens, for some reason the show had to be postponed. Ozzy's people swore there would be a makeup date in the near future.


When that date was finally announced, Rob Zombie had moved onto another tour, and wouldn't be able to play. So Ozzy's management (which we all know is Sharon, of course) decided that a local opener would be sufficient. A few anmes were tossed around, and it was settled that Maine music icons, Twisted Roots, would get the gig.

The countdown was for Sonny to call and want to use my gear, haha.

As soon as I heard what the deal was going to be, I joked with some coworkers that it would only be a matter of time before Sonny Robinson, the drummer for Twisted Roots, was going to call me and ask to bring my gear, haha. Normally, I'd tell someone to go pound sand, but the chance to hang backstage at an Ozzy show? I couldn't pass that up.


The day of the show, I packed up all the necessary gear and headed to the gig. This was at what's now known as the Cross Insurance Arena. Load-in was cool. But for me, the highlight was dinner. At the time, Mike Bordin, former drummer of Faith No More, was Ozzy's drummer.


Mike's been a hero of mine for years, as we're both lefty's that play on a right-handed kit. He came by the table during dinner and had a great conversation with us. He was so mellow it was unreal. He probably chatted with us for close to half an hour. I was such a fanboy, it hurt.

Twisted Roots put on a killer friggin' show.

That kind of goes without saying. They had rehearsed a ton and were obviously more than prepared. I sat behind a guitar cabinet so I could be near Sonny, in case he needed anything during the set. When we got all the gear offstage, Zakk Wylde was ribbing everybody about not working hard enough. He laughed and slapped me on the back on his way by. He's as huge in person as he looks, by the way. Here's a song from Twisted Roots' set that night, courtesy of Lenny Smith/Lennyvision.

When Ozzy actually entered the building, you'd think the president was rolling through. Tons of extra/personal security came out of everywhere. Then Ozzy looked like he literally floated into the building. It was very surreal, haha.

So, was I onstage at an Ozzy show? Yes, for the whole 40 minute Roots set. Obviously, with the insane amounts of security, I could never actually get near the stage during Ozzy's actual set. But hey... It was Ozzy's stage, and I was on it. Just not at the same time as him. You can't take that away from me, hahaha!

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