In a rather bizarre incident during Iron Maiden's final co-headlining performance at Ozzfest on Saturday, the band wound up getting egged by fans and dissed on stage by Sharon Osbourne. The show took place at Devore, California's Hyundai Pavilion of Glen Helen on Saturday, and according to the Orange County Register, Iron Maiden's set was preceded by a voice chanting, "Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy," over the venue's loud speaker. Iron Maiden then took the stage, setting off a wild string of incidents.
First, fans started pelting them with eggs, bottle caps and ice. Then, during Maiden's next song, "The Trooper," singer Bruce Dickinson carried a British flag on stage, just as he's always done during that song. However, a man brandishing an American flag made his way on stage wearing a shirt that read, "Don't f--k with Ozzy." He was soon escorted off by members of the Maiden camp. Finally, during significant moments of Maiden classics "Run To the Hills," "Hallowed Be Thy Name" and "Number Of The Beast," the P.A. system was switched off, cutting power to Dickinson's microphone and the band's instruments. MTV.com reports that in audio captured during the concert and posted on various online Metal forums, one can hear Dickinson accusing the festival's organizers of deliberately cutting off the power. He also questioned how anyone could sneak cartons of eggs past Ozzfest's security, insinuating that a premeditated assault was planned by insiders. Dickinson also took a shot at the Osbournes, saying fans would never see Iron Maiden in a reality show.
Things got even weirder when after their set, Sharon Osbourne took the stage and told the audience that, while she "absolutely loved [the rest of] Iron Maiden and their crew," Dickinson was "a prick and had disrespected Ozzfest since they began their stint with the tour."
A statement posted on Ozzfest.com reads, "Iron Maiden were chosen for the Ozzfest tour because the Ozzfest committee felt they were a good band, plus the fact that they had not done shows in the U.S. for some time. From day one, Bruce Dickinson started berating Ozzy and belittling the Ozzfest audience. He stated he 'didn’t need a reality show to give him credibility,' said, 'we're not just some f*cking reunion band,' and continuously complained about the sound system, saying that when he comes back to America he’ll have a better one. Out of 200-plus bands over the last 10 years, he has been the only person who hasn’t had the Ozzfest spirit."
Maiden's Web site counters with, "Iron Maiden wish to thank all the 45,000 Metal fans at Ozzfest in San Bernardino on Saturday night for sticking with us and giving us such a great response at the end of a difficult set. It was obvious to all there that we had a 'series of unfortunate events' throughout! These made it difficult for us to keep our momentum but your incredible support certainly helped us get through it. We guess it all adds up to a pretty memorable gig though! This is, however, a Metal festival. It is supposed to be fun for all. You fans pay very good money to be there and deserve to get a full and unhindered performance from all the bands. This was not the case last night. So with this rather bizarre end to a good tour we are returning to the U.K. today for the Leeds and Reading festivals and once again thanks to all of you who came out to see us these last few weeks."
Velvet Revolver will take Maiden's slot for the rest of the tour.