In 1974, Black Sabbath played the California Jam festival alongside Deep Purple and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, which at the time set the record for the highest paid attendance at a rock festival. Now, 50 years later, Ozzy Osbourne is looking back at the event on the latest episode of his Madhouse Chronicles series.

As Ozzy explains, he and his Sabbath bandmates hadn’t seen each other in several months ahead of the gig.

“We were in a f****** hotel room with no amp, and [guitarist] Tony [Iommi] is going through the set,” Ozzy recalls of rehearsals. “I’m still trying to remember the f****** lyrics.”

Ozzy also remembers getting to the show in helicopters, and seeing aircraft lower down pinball machines, which were apparently requested by members of ELP.

Cal Jam was attended by 250,000 paying fans — many thousands more reportedly crashed the gig without tickets. Parts of the festival also aired on ABC.

A second Cal Jam took place in 1978. In 2017, Foo Fighters resurrected the name for their own festival.

(Video contains uncensored profanity.) 

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