In 1992, when Ozzy Osbourne was 43, he announced that he would be retiring from touring in order to spend time with his family. To mark his —admittedly ephemeral— break from touring, the Prince of Darkness invited his old band, Black Sabbath to support his two farewell shows at Costa Mesa in California

Whilst Ozzy’s old bandmates were keen on the celebration, his replacement vocalist, Ronnie James Dio refused to play. Instead of missing out on the celebration, Black Sabbath enlisted the help of Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford. Who gleefully committed to fill in as vocalist for the night with a moments notice.

During a recent interview with Talk Is Jericho podcast, Rob Halford delved into the experience of touring with Black Sabbath.

“Both of them were like a combination of a kid in a heavy metal family stool, but also being terrified because, as I’ve said many, many times, love of my life is Priest, but there is Sabbath,” he mused.

“So that first time [in 1992], we did have a little bit of preparation – because Tony [Iommi, guitar] called me in advance, we talked about the setlist, and then the guys came through Phoenix on their way to California, and we had one rehearsal.

“I learned the songs, which I already knew – I know all the Sabbath songs – and then like a day or two later, we had those two shows and that was just so surreal.”

Halford went on to detail an incident in which he was pranked by Iommi moments before the show started.

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“We all got dressed, you know, and I walked out with Tony to the left side of the stage, and then the lights get down, the fans start screaming, and then the intro tape starts, and I go, ‘Tony, when are walking on?’ – and he’s gone,” he recalled.

“‘Tony… Tony…? I can’t find Tony… Oh, shit.’ And we said previously, ‘We go to the left and I go to the right,’ so I’m stumbling in the dark by myself, trying to find the entrance to the stage…

“I find it and I’m looking, there’s smoke, so I start to walk out thinking that the band is there, so I walk out to the middle of the stage, and it was like a little bit of lighting, fans are going mad, and I look around, there’s nobody on stage…

“I’m like, ‘God, I’ve come out too early – shall I walk back off again?’… And then I see Tony walking in and he’s laughing his head off…

“He’s a real jokester, Tony loves to pull pranks, everybody in that band is a jokester.”

On September 29th, Rob Halford released his memoir, Confess.