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|World tour by Black Sabbath|
|Associated album||Born Again|
|Start date||7 August 1983|
|End date||4 March 1984|
|No. of shows||96|
|Black Sabbath concert chronology|
The Born Again Tour 1983 was a global concert tour by in support of Black Sabbath's Born Again album. Both the album and the tour were the only ones of Black Sabbath's to feature former Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan on lead vocals. Ex-Electric Light Orchestra drummer Bev Bevan was hired to replace Bill Ward, who had returned to the band for the recording of the album after a two-year hiatus, for the tour. This was the final tour to feature original Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler until 1992's Dehumanizer tour.
"There had been conversations during the Born Again sessions about going on tour," Bill Ward recalled, "and I was barely making it through the sessions, let alone touring. The thought of touring put me in such a state of panic, anxiety and dread that I couldn't possibly face the idea… but I was too ashamed to tell everybody. And rather than tell everybody, I drank and I disappeared. I escaped. That's how I used to do things: when I couldn't handle a situation, I would just drink and just run away… I came back to the United States, got hospitalised a couple of times, ended up back on the streets and, in the early part of January 1984, I went into my final detox. And from that point on I haven't taken a drink. And I haven't used any narcotics."
Meanwhile, between 7 and 14 August 1983, the band used the National Exhibition Centre, in Birmingham, England, to rehearse. The first leg of the tour consisted of seven European shows in August, followed by a second European leg in September and October, featuring 16 shows.
"We were on flight 666 to Helsinki," recalled Geezer Butler, "and even the baggage label said 'HEL'. We were all shitting ourselves getting on that plane. I got pissed, of course. I was severely boozing then. I was pissed for that whole tour."
Two North American legs consisted of 36 shows from October through November, then 34 shows from January through March 1984.
There were many cancellations during the North American tour owing to problems with an oversized Stonehenge stage set. This was the reason that initial shows in Canada were cancelled, delaying the first North American leg. The crew also got caught in a November blizzard while crossing the Continental Divide, forcing the cancellation of two shows in Salt Lake City and Reno.
There were more difficulties during the second North American leg which delayed their shows for nearly a week. One show in Salisbury, Maryland (28 February 1984) was beset by local religious protests that were noted in the local papers, but was ultimately cancelled due to poor ticket sales. Of the 96 currently confirmed shows, 30% were likely cancelled for one reason or another.
It wasn't all doom and gloom for the Sabs as they did manage to sell out at least a dozen shows including Saginaw, Worcester, Rockford, Providence, Cleveland, Detroit, New Haven, Portland, Philadelphia, Toronto, East Rutherford and Chicago. [Updated by Rob Dwyer - Black-Sabbath.com; With special thanks to Bev Bevan]
|First European leg|
|18 August 1983||Drammen||Norway||Drammenshallen|
|19 August 1983||Stockholm||Sweden||Johanneshovs Isstadion|
|21 August 1983||Helsinki||Finland||Helsinki Ice Hall|
|23 August 1983||Lund||Sweden||Olympen|
|24 August 1983||Copenhagen||Denmark||Falkoner Teatret|
|27 August 1983||Reading||England||Reading Festival|
|28 August 1983||Dublin||Ireland||Dalymount Park|
|Second European leg|
|Mulhouse||France||Sun Rise Festival '83 - Hippodrome de Schlierbach|
|13 September 1983||Barcelona||Spain||La Monumental|
|14 September 1983||Madrid||Estadio Román Valero|
|15 September 1983||San Sebastián||Velódromo de Anoeta|
|18 September 1983||Offenbach||Germany||Stadthalle Offenbach|
|19 September 1983||Düsseldorf||Philips Halle|
|20 September 1983||Mannheim||Mannheimer Rosengarten|
|22 September 1983||Munich||Circus Krone Building|
|24 September 1983||Frauenfeld||Switzerland||Festhalle Ruegerhols|
|25 September 1983||Geneva||Pavillon Des Sports Del Champel Geneve|
|27 September 1983||Neunkirchen am Brand||Germany||Hemmerleinhalle|
|28 September 1983||Böblingen||Sporthalle|
|30 September 1983||Paris||France||Espace Balard|
|1 October 1983||Brussels||Belgium||Forest National|
|2 October 1983||Zwolle||Netherlands||IJsselhallen|
|3 October 1983||Nijmegen||Concertgebouw de Vereeniging|
|First North American leg|
|17 October 1983||Rimouski, Quebec||Colisée de Rimouski|
|18 October 1983||Chicoutimi, Quebec||Centre Georges-Vézina|
|20 October 1983||Quebec City, Quebec||Colisée de Québec|
|21 October 1983||Montreal, Quebec||Montreal Forum|
|22 October 1983||Ottawa, Ontario||Ottawa Civic Centre|
|24 October 1983||Sudbury, Ontario||Sudbury Arena|
|25 October 1983||Toronto, Ontario||Maple Leaf Gardens|
|London, Ontario||London Gardens|
|27 October 1983||Buffalo, New York||United States||Buffalo Memorial Auditorium|
|29 October 1983||East Rutherford, New Jersey||Brendan Byrne Arena|
|30 October 1983||Uniondale, New York||Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum|
|1 November 1983||Providence, Rhode Island||Providence Civic Center|
|2 November 1983||Landover, Maryland||Capital Centre|
|4 November 1983||Worcester, Massachusetts||Worcester Centrum|
|5 November 1983||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Spectrum|
|6 November 1983||Portland, Maine||Cumberland County Civic Center|
|8 November 1983||New Haven, Connecticut||New Haven Coliseum|
|9 November 1983||Rochester, New York||Rochester Community War Memorial|
|Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Stanley Theater|
|11 November 1983||Detroit, Michigan||Cobo Arena|
|12 November 1983||Cleveland, Ohio||Public Auditorium|
|13 November 1983||Cincinnati, Ohio||Richfield Coliseum|
|14 November 1983||Saginaw, Michigan||Saginaw Civic Center|
|15 November 1983||Rockford, Illinois||Rockford MetroCentre|
|16 November 1983||Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin||Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena|
|18 November 1983||Chicago, Illinois||UIC Pavilion|
|19 November 1983||Madison, Wisconsin||Dane County Coliseum|
|20 November 1983||Bloomington, Minnesota||Met Center|
|Salt Lake City, Utah||Salt Palace|
|23 November 1983||Reno, Nevada||Lawlor Events Center|
|25 November 1983||Paradise, Nevada||Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts|
|26 November 1983||Phoenix, Arizona||Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum|
|27 November 1983||Tucson, Arizona||Tucson Community Center|
|29 November 1983||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Tingley Coliseum|
|30 November 1983||El Paso, Texas||El Paso County Coliseum|
|Second North American leg|
|Calgary, Alberta||United States||TBA|
|Edmonton, Alberta||Northlands Coliseum|
|Vancouver, British Columbia||TBA|
|Seattle, Washington||Seattle Center Coliseum|
|Spokane, Washington||Spokane Coliseum|
|Portland, Oregon||Memorial Coliseum Complex|
|25 January 1984||Daly City, California||Cow Palace|
|26 January 1984||Long Beach, California||Long Beach Arena|
|28 January 1984||El Paso, Texas||El Paso County Coliseum|
|29 January 1984||Salt Lake City, Utah||Salt Palace|
|31 January 1984||Denver, Colorado||University of Denver Arena|
|1 February 1984||Amarillo, Texas||Amarillo Civic Center|
|2 February 1984||Lubbock, Texas||Lubbock Memorial Civic Center|
|3 February 1984||Corpus Christi, Texas||Memorial Coliseum|
|4 February 1984||San Antonio, Texas||Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center|
|7 February 1984||Houston, Texas||Sam Houston Coliseum|
|8 February 1984||Dallas, Texas||Reunion Arena|
|10 February 1984||Beaumont, Texas||Beaumont Civic Center|
|11 February 1984||Little Rock, Arkansas||Barton Coliseum|
|New Orleans, Louisiana||Lakefront Arena|
|13 February 1984||Birmingham, Alabama||Boutwell Auditorium|
|14 February 1984||Jacksonville, Florida||Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum|
|16 February 1984||Lakeland, Florida||Lakeland Civic Center|
|17 February 1984||Sunrise, Florida||Sunrise Musical Theater|
|Savannah, Georgia||Savannah Civic Center|
|20 February 1984||Atlanta, Georgia||Fox Theater|
|22 February 1984||St. Louis, Missouri||Kiel Auditorium|
|24 February 1984||Toledo, Ohio||Toledo Sports Arena|
|25 February 1984||Trotwood, Ohio||Hara Arena|
|26 February 1984||Kalamazoo, Michigan||Wings Stadium|
|29 February 1984||Utica, New York||The Stanley Center for the Arts|
|1 March 1984||Albany, New York||Palace Theatre|
|4 March 1984||Springfield, Massachusetts||Springfield Civic Center|
The set list featured two Dio-era tracks, "Heaven and Hell" and "Neon Knights", as well as a good helping from the new album, and a few fan favorites reappeared in the set, such as "Supernaut" and "Rock 'n' Roll Doctor". Each show on the tour ended with a two-song encore, with the first song being a cover of the Deep Purple classic "Smoke on the Water", as Ian Gillan was formerly of Deep Purple. This is one of the few cover songs Black Sabbath have ever done at live shows. They played the song on Iommi's suggestion. He felt it was a 'bum deal' that Gillan had to perform so many old Sabbath songs and none of his own.
"Children of the Grave"
"Rock 'n' Roll Doctor" ("Horrible," recalled Iommi. "It was difficult for him [Gillan] to sing certain Sabbath songs.)"
"Disturbing the Priest"
"Keep It Warm"
"Zero the Hero"
"Heaven and Hell"
"Smoke on the Water"
"Children of the Sea"
"Never Say Die"
"Symptom of the Universe"
|“||It had nothing to do with me. In fact, I was the one who thought it was really corny. We had Sharon Osbourne’s dad, Don Arden, managing us. He came up with the idea of having the stage set be Stonehenge. He wrote the dimensions down and gave it to our tour manager. He wrote it down in meters but he meant to write it down in feet. The people who made it saw fifteen meters instead of fifteen feet. It was 45 feet high and it wouldn’t fit on any stage anywhere so we just had to leave it in the storage area. It cost a fortune to make but there was not a building on Earth that you could fit it into.||”|
Ian Gillan maintained that Stonehenge was indeed Geezer's idea – and that, asked for details by set buildings Light and Sound Design, Geezer had simply said: "Life-size." Filling three containers, it was too big for any stage, so only a small part of it was used at a time, but the band and crew still had problems edging between the monoliths.
"We couldn't believe the size of it when we saw it," recalled Iommi. "We seen it when we rehearsed at the NEC [in Birmingham] for a whole and we'd only seen it on the floor; parts of it – they hadn't finished it… It gets to [the 1983] Reading [festival] and we've got these huge ones at the back that are just, like, gigantic."
The tour's early stages featured a dwarf, dressed to look like the demon-infant from the album cover. The dimension problems and use of dwarfs bear strong similarities to the infamous Stonehenge scene in the movie This Is Spinal Tap, released a year after Sabbath's tour. However, this is simply a coincidence, because the "Stonehenge scene" was in a 20-minute early demo of the film from 1982. "It was great when I saw that film, though," recalled Butler, "because it was at the end of that tour with Gillan… I thought they'd had a spy with us or something – it was so like us."
Bill Ward was unable to play the Born Again tour because of personal problems. He explains:
|“||We did the Born Again album but I fell apart with the idea of touring. I got so much fear behind touring, I didn't talk about the fear, I drank behind the fear instead and that was a big mistake. So, I blew the Born Again tour and Bev Bevan, who is a very, very, very nice man, a very good drummer, took over the drum chair on that one.||”|
Pretty Maids were the support act on the initial Scandinavian dates (18–24 August 1983). Diamond Head provided support on the remaining European dates (13 September to 3 October) together with Lita Ford (27-28 September), but was also supplanted by Girlschool during the Spanish gigs (13–15 September 1983) and Belgian speed metallers Acid in Brussels (1 October).
Streetheart were originally scheduled to be the support act at the beginning of the 1983 Canadian leg, but those initial shows were canceled. Instead, Scottish rockers Nazareth filled in on the majority of the Canadian shows (from 20 October through 24th) until Quiet Riot were available for the show in Toronto (25 October). However, Nazareth paired with Quiet Riot in London, Ontario (26 October) and replaced Black Sabbath as the headliner when their Stonehenge set wouldn't fit into the arena!
Quiet Riot appeared with Sabbath for the remainder of the first North American leg and all U.S. dates through 30 November. Fastway also made an appearance in New Haven on 8 November.
Heaven provided support at the beginning of the 2nd North American leg from 25 January through at least the end of January. Ratt appeared only at the first show in Daly City on 25 January. Girlschool reappeared for a single show in San Antonio on 4 February. Night Ranger joined the tour from 7 February through 26. They were replaced by Canadian band Helix for two shows in New York. The final show in Springfield, MA was supported by Cryer.