OzzFest 1999 Memories

This was written in 1999, shortly after attending OzzFest, an all-day Heavy Metal concert/festival event. It’s a little edited to fix some typos and stuff, but otherwise, this is exactly what I wrote at age 17. Beware the ramblings of a teenage boy.

-Psycho Andy, 2022


That’s right, OzzFest ’99 rocked my world. But there’s quite the interesting story leading up to the metal festival of all metal festivals.

It all started that fateful morning I was listening to the radio..

“..And on July 22nd, we have OZZFEST coming up!” said the radio announcers. My favorite local radio station, 98 KUPD, took all rights to OzzFest ’99s Phoenix date, and turned it into their annual concert, U-Fest. I must go! The LAST TIME Black Sabbath will be in Phoenix? Yikes! Promos raged on and on for months (From the announcement in February until the concert in late July). I told my parents of the concert. My dad, being a quasi-Ozzy fan himself, seemed fairly excited about it. My mom, who listens mostly to light rock and new-age music, didn’t care much. But I did indeed point out that the concert was the Thursday after my birthday. Quite the gift would Ozzfest tickets be. So I waited.. and waited.. and waited..

Jump ahead to my birthday. Depressed for the day, because only three people seemed to remember it’s my birthday – my little brother, my friend Chris, my other friend Chris, and my friend Moussie. Finally my parents get home, and I recieve my gifts – a total of seventy dollars from the two of them, and OZZFEST TICKETS!! WOO!! Other presenst included a Playstation memory card from my brother, twenty dollars from my Grandparents in Florida, and twenty more dollars from my mom’s best friend. Not too bad, actually.

Jump ahead a few days – I went to the CD store, and bought the Godsmack CD. Upon my return home, I called my friend David whom I had previously invited to come to OzzFest with me. He told me he hadn’t yet found out if he could go with, and he’d call me back the next day.

The next day – Didn’t hear from David. Excited about OzzFest/ U-Fest (UzzFest?)! Only three days away! WCW Monday Nitro and WWF Monday Night Raw is War entertain me for the night.

Tuesday afternoon – I call David. And he can’t go. DAMMIT!! Luckily, I had told my friend Chris he could be my backup plan to OzzFest. And he can’t go! Shoot! One last chance.. Mayhaps Ben can go. He went with me to U-Fest last year, where we saw Metallica, Days of the New, and Jerry Cantrell (of Alice In Chains fame). Calling Ben. Damn him! He’s not home! Ugh..

Wednesday – Finally get ahold of Ben. *whew!* He can go! Still sorry about not being able to let you take your driver’s permit test, man. But it’s a scheduled 12 hours of fun and loud music!! Stupidly, I go to bed at 1 AM, and I have to be up in six hours.. Oi.

Thursday – Upon awakening, I realize It’s THE BIG DAY! OzzFest is upon me!! After a couple hours of hanging out at mom’s work before we pick Ben up and head out to Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavillion, we.. well.. leave to pick up Ben. His parents, as always, are really nice. And we’re off! Off to twelve hours of over-priced food, ear-deafening metal, topless chicks, and excessive food.

July Twenty-Second: Ten-thirty, AM – Ben and I arrive at the front gates of Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion (the venue at which OzzFest was taking place). After standing in line for only ten minutes and being patted down by security guards, we made our way to the concession stands. Ben bought a steak sub, and I got a Coke. After a bit of searching, we found our seats. We sat in place and talked for about ten minutes, when we decided it was too hot to sit in the sun. I pointed out that there was no security to stop us from sitting under the shade, at least until the owners of the seats came by. So we trudged downhill a bit, to sit in the shade. We conversed about attempting to avoid getting in a fight with a large, surly individual who may be pissed about us stealing his or her seat. It was a pretty funny conversation, actually.. Around twelve minutes later, the owners of the seats came by. There were two guys, and one fine-ass girl. If you’re reading this, girl sitting in one of the first 3 seats in row VV, e-mail me, please? You were cute.

*ahem* Anyhow.. Ben and I went back to our seats in the sun (in fear that large, surly, pissed-off individuals may be the owner of the next seats we sit in), and toasted for another few minutes, when Crusher came on the scene.

Crusher, for the unawares, was the host/DJ/VJ of the OzzFest tour. After drenching the people in the shaded seats (Dammit!) in “the demon’s semen” (he claimed it was Ozzy’s sperm from the past six months.. But I’m pretty sure it was just water. Back on track.. Crusher informed us that Static-X was starting over on the second stage. But we didn’t know where the second stage was! So after a short walk of following the masses, we made our way to the second stage. The lead singer from Static-X had his hair all spiked up, and his beard in a long, long braid.. It was funky! We enjoyed ourselves, until they had finished playing. Stopping at the Todd McFarlane Productions booth (they had Ozzy figures on display!) for a brief moment, we returned to our seats.

Over the course of the day, we saw Drain STH, Slipknot, System of a Down, Godsmack, Primus, Slayer, and the Deftones, and skipped out on a few of the bands – Apartment 26, HeD(pe), and most of the other bands playing on the second stage – mostly because neither of us knew who they were. Personally, my favorite performances were from Godsmack (who are also from Boston! Yay!), who really got the crowd working. They put each half of the crowd in competition with each other, during “Whatever,” and my half won! Woo! They also said that Phoenix was the best town they’d heard, but they also probably said that to every town; Drain STH, the chick band from Stockholm (that’s what the STH stands for, y’know – Stockholm) that make the Spice Girls look like the mouseketeers they are; and Slayer, who just plain kicked ass. Also, it was fun that the Deftones played as the sun went down – It just added to the effect of their music.

After the sun went down, the clouds started rolling in. Luckily, it’d be a while before Rob Zombie hit the stage. Ben does 3D animation, and he was afraid that the storm would be taking place at his house. Unfortunately, the payphones were crowded as Hell.. There was a guy with a cellphone not too far, and he was nice enough to let Ben call his house, so his sister could turn off his computer. Thanks to the guy with the cellphone!! Before Zombie started, Ben and I agreed that everybody we had met that day was a nice guy – We all knew that everybody else was here just to have fun, and so everybody was in a good mood. Which was good, because I dislike it when people are mean. I then bought a sausage.

As we went back to the main stage, Ben and I goofed around a bit.. we talked about the lack of topless babes, our personal tastes in music, and a couple of other things. Shortly afterwards, the video monitor started showing the “Z…O…M…B…I…E” display, and the “666” light on the stage started flickering. “Call of the Zombie” (track one on Rob Zombie’s Hellbilly Deluxe CD. It’s the voice of a little girl saying “And all through the darkness the Zombie did call / True pain and suffering he brought to them all. Away ran the children to hide in their beds / for fear that the devil would chop off their heads!! *giggle!*”) played over the PA system, and the crowd went absolutely NUTS!!

Zombie ran out on stage, and started to perform “Superbeast,” as well as many of the other songs on his solo album. He played some of the more popular White Zombie songs, too, including “Devilman” (during which he had the anime of the same name by Go Nagai playing on the video monitor), and “More Human Than Human.” Between each song, he worked the crowd for a bit, and he got the girls all rowdy and naughty, convincing them to take off their tops and stuff. It was pretty funny, actually.

“Stone Cold” Kerry Kringle from Slayer came out (wearing a “Stone Cold” Steve Austin shirt, no less!), and along with Blasko (bass), Riggs (guitar), Tempesta (drums), and Zombie himself, they performed “1965” by White Zombie. “Mix a little old White Zombie along with a little Slayer, and you’re sure to raise some hell and get a huge ass-kicking!!,” said Mr. Zombie.

Zombie left, and about a half-hour later, Black Sabbath hit the stage with “War Pigs.” During their performance, several “Ozzy! Ozzy! Ozzy!” chants started. I attempted to start a “Sabbath! Sabbath! Sabbath!” chant, showing respect to Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, and Bill Ward. Unfortunately, only a couple of people followed my lead, and the chant never really got anywhere. Ah well. Oh, and Ozzy gave us permission to get drunk off our asses and wasted off smoking crack. “You have OZZY OSBOURNE’S PERMISSION to get all f*cked up!!”

“Faeries Wear Boots,” “Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath,” “Into the Void,” and “Black Sabbath” were just a few of the songs they performed. During “Black Sabbath” (the song) there was a scene from some movie I saw about six months back, with a character that resembeled Satan, as well as torches and stuff on the stage. It was cool. Oh, and Tony Iommi played a 7-minute guitar solo that kicked ass. That was even cooler.

“Paranoid” was the end of the show, with confetti and fireworks going off left, right, and upside down from the stage. Ozzy wished us a good night, and reminded us that friends don’t let friends drive drunk. Ozzy’s a nice fella. And he’s looking good, considering he’s in his 50’s, now.

So all in all, OzzFest was a great show. Thanks to KUPD for sponsoring it, and to Ozzy’s wife (who is also his manager), for scheduling a Phoenix stop this year, as well as every band that played, whether I saw them or not! You guys rocked! 

So after the end of “Paranoid,” Ben and I headed to the payphones. Our eyes were caught by two very scantily-clad women (or, at least mine were. Ben’s seeing somebody. I don’t know if he was looking) who were letting one get a picture taken of oneself with the ladies on a motorcycle for five dollars. So while we were waiting for the line to progress, we watched people get thier pictures taken. 

Finally I made it to the phone, and I called my momma, telling her to come pick us up. It was a bit earlier than we had planned, but we still had the same meeting place scheduled – Under the Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavillion sign. After a brief conversation on the phone, I hung up, and Ben and I started on our way to the sign. Under the sign we sat for several minutes, before we realized (actually, he realized, and I noticed he was correct).. WE WERE UNDER THE WRONG SIGN! So we started walking, looking for the OTHER sign. We ended up walking all the way around BDSP, and through the parking lot again, before we FINALLY found the right sign. I had rocks in my boots the entire time, which was not fun. It didn’t make it very easy for me to walk, either..

We sat down for about forty-five seconds (enough time for me to empty my boots of those damn rocks), when we realized my mom was parked across the street. So we got back up, dashed across the street, and jumped in the car. After the standard “How was it?” “Quite good” conversation, we headed on our way home. I almost fell asleep on the ride home, twice. 

After dropping Ben off at his house, mom and I headed home.. of course. I came in, had the “How was it?” “Quite good” conversation with my dad, drank a couple glasses of water, and headed up to sleep. Quite the day I had. But it was well worth it.

So thanks for reading my report on OzzFest/U-Fest ’99. For the few cities that Black Sabbath is planning on visiting, I recommend you go see them. However, because there probably aren’t too many people outside of Arizona that visit my site, I guess that won’t help too much. But I recommend anyone see Black Sabbath, if they’re given the chance.

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