What If…

Black Sabbath with Rob Halford on vocals
Pacific Amphitheatre
November 14, 1992

Rock&Roll stars – especially Metal stars – have always felt like superheroes to me. Everything about them – their shrieking voices, stylized clothing and massive personalities – always seem so much larger than life. When I was a kid, I remember reading a Marvel comic book series called, “What if?” It explored alternate universes and asked questions like the infamous #1 issue, What if Spider Man joined The Fantastic Four? This photo of Rob Halford singing lead for Sabbath reminds me of that series.

To commemorate Ozzy’s “retirement”, a historical show was put together – Sabbath opening for Sabbath – Dio’s incarnation of Sabbath opening for Ozzy’s Sabbath. Just days before the show, out of respect for Ozzy, Ronnie James Dio decided to pull out. Rob Halford, a big time Sabbath fan, who happened to be in L.A. to present the original line-up of Sabbath with a Rock Walk Award in Hollywood, offered to step in. A few hours later, Sabbath was in rehearsals with Halford on vocals, and a major moment in metal history was underway.

As the amphitheater lights went dark, the intro to Priest’s Love Bites rang out and a jolt shot through the crowd. They had no idea what they were about to bear witness to, but they could sense that it was something big. The lights then fired up and Sabbath, fronted by Halford, busted into a blistering version of The Mob Rules. This was, without question, one of the most legendary gigs I ever shot.

Photographed with my Canon EOS-1 and a Canon 70-300mm lens using Kodak Ektachrome film.

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4 Responses to “What If…”

  1. Amazing Kevin.Absoloutely amazing!

  2. Andy Tuba Says:

    Kevin,

    You have told me many times about this once in a lifetime show. I can only imagine the power that was created in the combination of Black Sabbath with Rob Halford at the mike… THE MOB RULES!!! The world not hearing this performance en-mass should be illegal in 49 states. Keep em’ coming. This site kicks axe.

    TUBA

    P.S. where’s my vintage B/W Van Halen? I won’t stop asking until…

  3. Dirt Junior Says:

    sweet shot dirtbag!!!!

  4. KMerritt Says:

    This was such a memorable show for me too….Last day of what was supposed to be Ozzys final tour….and you told me that you were planning to get hitched that day…..Seems like a lifetime ago, but great memories!
    -K

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