Jan 20, 2022 - News

The day Ozzy Osbourne bit off a bat's head in Des Moines

Ozzy Osbourne in 1985

British rock star Ozzy Osbourne, left, performs on Jan. 17, 1985 at the Rock in Rio music festival in Brazil. Photo: AP Photo

Thursday marks a rather, er — batty day in Des Moines history.

Driving the news: Forty years ago, Ozzy Osbourne bit off a bat's head while he was performing his "Diary of a Madman" tour at Veterans Memorial Auditorium on Jan. 20, 1982.

State of play: That fateful night, the drugged-out rockstar chomped down on a bat’s head after it was thrown onto the stage as a “gift” by a 17-year-old fan. The fan claimed it was dead when he threw it.

  • To Ozzy's surprise, it was not rubber.

What he said: "Immediately, though, something felt wrong. Very wrong. For a start, my mouth was instantly full of this warm, gloopy liquid, with the worst aftertaste you could ever imagine," he wrote in his memoir, "I Am Ozzy," the Washington Post reports.

  • "I could feel it staining my teeth and running down my chin. Then the head in my mouth twitched ..."

Our thoughts: Des Moines is more metal than people think.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Des Moines.

More Des Moines stories