Born Again Tour 1983
|World tour by Black Sabbath|
|Associated album||Born Again|
|Start date||7 August 1983|
|End date||4 March 1984|
|Number of shows||81|
|Black Sabbath concert chronology|
The Born Again Tour 1983 was a global concert tour by in support of Black Sabbath's Born Again album. Both the album and the tour were the only ones of Black Sabbath's to feature former Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan on lead vocals. Ex-Electric Light Orchestra drummer Bev Bevan was hired to replace Bill Ward, who had returned to the band for the recording of the album after a two-year hiatus, for the tour. This was the final tour to feature original Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler until 1992's Dehumanizer tour.
Between 7 and 14 August 1983, the band used the National Exhibition Centre, in Birmingham, England, as rehearsal venue. The first leg of the tour consisted of seven European shows in August, followed by a second European leg in September and October consisting of 15 shows. There were also two North American legs consisting of 31 shows from October through November, then 26 shows from January through March 1984.
The set list featured two Dio-era tracks, "Heaven and Hell" and "Neon Knights", as well as a good helping from the new album, and a few fan favorites reappeared in the set, such as "Supernaut" and "Rock 'n' Roll Doctor". Each show on the tour ended with a two-song encore, with the first song being a cover of the Deep Purple classic "Smoke on the Water", as Ian Gillan was formerly of Deep Purple. This is one of the few cover songs Black Sabbath have ever done at live shows. They played the song on Iommi's suggestion. He felt it was a 'bum deal' that Gillan had to perform so many old Sabbath songs and none of his own.
Songs played on the tour
"Children of the Grave"
"Rock 'n' Roll Doctor"
"Disturbing the Priest"
"Keep It Warm"
"Zero the Hero"
"Heaven and Hell"
"Smoke on the Water"
Songs rehearsed for the tour, but never played live
"Children of the Sea"
"Never Say Die"
"Symptom of the Universe"
There were many problems surrounding the tour for the album, including having little room on stage due to it being decorated with Stonehenge replicas. In a 2005 interview, Geezer Butler states that it was an error in the dimensions (feet vs. meters) that resulted in stones that were three times bigger:
|“||It had nothing to do with me. In fact, I was the one who thought it was really corny. We had Sharon Osbourne’s dad, Don Arden, managing us. He came up with the idea of having the stage set be Stonehenge. He wrote the dimensions down and gave it to our tour manager. He wrote it down in meters but he meant to write it down in feet. The people who made it saw fifteen meters instead of fifteen feet. It was 45 feet high and it wouldn’t fit on any stage anywhere so we just had to leave it the storage area. It cost a fortune to make but there was not a building on earth that you could fit it into.||”|
Ian Gillan recounted in interview that Stonehenge was indeed Geezer's idea, and that when asked for details by set buildings Light and Sound Design, Geezer simply said: "Lifesize". Filling three containers, it was too big for any stage, so only a small part of it was used at a time, but still the band and crew had problems edging between the monoliths.
Early in the tour, there was also a dwarf that was dressed to look like the demon-infant from the album cover. The dimension problems and use of dwarfs bear strong similarities to the infamous Stonehenge scene in the movie This Is Spinal Tap, which was released a year after Sabbath's tour. This is undoubtedly a coincidence, however, because the "Stonehenge scene" was already in a 20-minute early demo of the film from 1982.
- Tony Iommi – guitar
- Geezer Butler – bass guitar
- Ian Gillan – vocals
- Bev Bevan – drums
- Geoff Nicholls – keyboards (performed off stage)
Bill Ward was unable to play the Born Again tour because of personal problems. He explains:
|“||We did the Born Again album but I fell apart with the idea of touring. I got so much fear behind touring, I didn't talk about the fear, I drank behind the fear instead and that was a big mistake. So, I blew the Born Again tour and Bev Bevan, who is a very, very, very nice man, a very good drummer, took over the drum chair on that one.||”|
Quiet Riot was the opening act on the first American leg of the tour. In Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, the opening act slot was filled by Scottish rockers Nazareth. The bands Heaven and Ratt supported the band on their U.S. tour in 1984. The European tour featured Diamond Head and Tony Iommi's then girlfriend, Lita Ford with future Sabbath drummer, Eric Singer on drums.
- "Gillan the Hero fan site-Tour Dates". Home.swipenet.se. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
- Iommi, Tony; Lammers, T. J. (2011). Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath. Da Capo Press. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-306-81955-1.
- "Gillan the Hero fan site-Live Tracks". Home.swipenet.se. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
- "Caramba!-Anecdotage". Gillan.com. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
-  Archived October 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- [dead link]
- Karl French. "This is Spinal Tap | Books | The Guardian". Books.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
- "Bill Ward: From Jazz to Black Sabbath Part 2-2". Allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
- Gillan the Hero – Fan site with information on the tour.