On January 20, 1982 during the Diary of a Madman Tour, Ozzy Osbourne shocked audiences at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa, when he bit the head off a live bat! Stolen from the science department of a local high school, a fan threw the smuggled bat onto the stage where it laid at Ozzy’s feet stunned by the bright stage lights. Ozzy, thinking it was a rubber toy, picked it up, put it into his mouth and bit its head off! (something he’d perfected with two doves during a record label meeting with CBS just one year earlier) Upon doing so he quickly learned it was in fact real! This resulted in him being Rushed to the Des Moines General Hospital to receive rabies shots after the show.
“Flying High Again” is from Ozzy Osbourne’s 1981 album Diary of a Madman. Released as a single, it reached number two on the Billboard Top Tracks chart in 1982. Although the song has been assumed to be about cannabis use, Ozzy has stated that the song was inspired by his successful re-emergence as a solo artist after being fired from the band Black Sabbath and subsequently believing his career was over.
This cover of Ozzy’s “Over the Mountain” is off of the 2000 release Bat Head Soup – A Tribute to Ozzy and it features Mark Slaughter of Slaughter on vocals, Brad Gillis of Night Ranger (he replaced Randy Rhoads in Ozzy’s band after his death during the Diary of a Madman Tour and performs on the Speak of the Devil live album) on guitar, Eric Singer of KISS (former Black Sabbath, Badlands member) on drums, Gary Moon (Night Ranger, Three Dog Night) on bass and Paul Taylor (Alice Cooper, Winger) on keyboards.
During their January 26, 1982 show, while performing “Over the Mountain” at the Assembly Hall (now the State Farm Center) in Champaign, Illinois, Ozzy collapsed during the middle of the song, and was pulled off stage by Sharon Osbourne and the stage crew. His band finished the song instrumentally. Ozzy was again ras rushed to the hospital and the remainder of the show was cancelled. He was given two days to rest and heal from his illness which was caused by a series of rabies shots he was receiving after biting the bats head off in Des Moines.