On January 20, 1982 Ozzy Osbourne’s bit the head off a bat he thought was rubber while performing here at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa.
833 5th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
Rolling Stone magazine in 2004 ranked this incident number two on its list of “Rock’s Wildest Myths”. Osbourne has revealed how he thought the bat was a toy,
“A fan threw it on stage and I thought it was a toy, it must have been stunned by the lights because it looked dead when I picked it up, I put it in my mouth as a joke. It’s wings started flapping and I ripped it out of my mouth but its head came off!”.
He also said he feared he had caught rabies from the animal and had to be hospitalized,
“The worst part was the anti-rabies injections in my backside. They were so painful!”
While the Rolling Stone article stated the bat was alive, the person who threw it onto the stage said it was brought to the show dead. Here’s a few shots of the scene of the crime at Veterans Memorial Auditorium.
Here’s a youtube clip of a VH1 documentary about the incident…
Here’s a photo of Ozzy from January 1982, around the time of the bat biting incident…