Heaven & Hell Tour

The Heaven & Hell Tour was the ninth world concert tour by Black Sabbath between April 1980 and February 1981 to promote their 1980 studio album, Heaven and Hell.[1][2] The tour marked the band's first live shows with vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who replaced original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne the previous year;[2] drummer Vinny Appice, who replaced original drummer Bill Ward in the middle of the tour's North American leg after Ward suddenly left the band due to personal issues;[3] and keyboardist Geoff Nicholls, who played keyboards on the Heaven and Hell album and accompanied the band on this tour as a sideman.[4] For a portion of the North American tour, which was popularly known as the "Black and Blue Tour", Black Sabbath co-headlined with Blue Öyster Cult,[4] with whom they shared a manager, Sandy Pearlman. The arrangement reportedly set attendance records but caused friction between the two bands as well as between Black Sabbath and Pearlman.[5]

Heaven & Hell Tour
Promotional tour by Black Sabbath
North America
Associated albumHeaven and Hell
Start date17 April 1980 (1980-04-17)
End date2 February 1981 (1981-02-02)
No. of shows128 (147 scheduled)
Black Sabbath concert chronology



In April 1980, Black Sabbath released Heaven and Hell, the band's ninth studio album and first with former Rainbow and Elf lead singer, Ronnie James Dio, who was hired to replace original lead singer, Ozzy Osbourne.[6] The band began the Heaven and Hell Tour in Europe to promote their new album, which was released shortly after the tour started. The response from fans and critics was generally positive.[2] According to Black Sabbath lead-guitarist, Tony Iommi, some audience members were initially displeased that Osbourne was no longer in the band, but "eventually Ronnie won them over." The band's stage setup for the tour included an electronic cross that flashed lights and burst into flames, which Iommi said "hardly ever worked."[7]

Europe (first leg)Edit

The band first toured Europe, where according to David Konow, "they knew the audience would still be there for them" despite the change in lead singers.[8] The initial shows were intended to "break the band in while out of the spotlight" (according to Garry Sharpe-Young) before taking on larger shows in Vienna, Landshut and the United Kingdom.[4] Almost all the dates on this first leg of the tour were either in West Germany or the United Kingdom, where the band had a four-night sell-out run at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, supported by Girlschool.[4] Support bands for other dates included Angel Witch and Shakin' Street, who later supported some U.S. tour dates.[1][9] The American heavy metal band Manowar traces its origins to this time, when Ross the Boss, who was then the guitarist in Shakin' Street, met Sabbath's bass tech Joey DeMaio at a United Kingdom show. The two became friends during the tour, and later founded Manowar.[5][10]

North America (Black and Blue Tour)Edit

During the North American leg of the tour, Black Sabbath co-headlined most of their shows with Blue Öyster Cult at the suggestion of Sandy Pearlman, who at that time was managing both bands. This became known as the Black & Blue Tour. The two co-headliners were supported by opening acts including Sammy Hagar, Saxon, Riot, Molly Hatchet and Shakin' Street.[1][5][9] The shows were a financial success, drawing high attendance and frequently placing in Billboard's weekly "Top Boxoffice" surveys.[4][11][12] However, Sabbath was unhappy with the arrangement since Pearlman had a close relationship with Blue Öyster Cult after having founded the band and being involved with their career for over a decade as both a manager and record producer, while he had started managing Sabbath in 1979. Sabbath felt that Pearlman was favoring Blue Öyster Cult and that Blue Öyster Cult was also appropriating elements of Sabbath's musical style and performance. Friction erupted between the two bands over which band would close the show as well as the logistics of dealing with each band's stage set (which for Blue Öyster Cult included a huge Godzilla structure that took time to remove from the stage). Pearlman has said that Sabbath resented having to share the tour proceeds with Blue Öyster Cult.[5][7] Iommi has indicated that this situation contributed to the band's decision to fire Pearlman shortly thereafter.[7]

Bill Ward's departureEdit

Ward was increasingly suffering from substance abuse issues.[5][8] "Alcohol had become more important than Black Sabbath, our audience, my family, everything, and that included me," he reflected later. "Also, I was absolutely missing [Osbourne]; really missing him and I wasn't coping with my grief that well because I was so drunk. My mother had died and I wasn't coping with the grief for my mother and I was feeling overwhelmed with loss. Lastly, as much as I loved Ronnie James Dio, it [the new band lineup] didn't work for me."[13]

Ward performed his last show with Sabbath at Met Center on 19 August 1980 – and, like Osbourne, would not perform with Sabbath again until 13 July 1985 at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia for Live Aid. The following night, Sabbath were forced to cancel their sold-out show at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver when Ward either arrived late or failed to go on. Blue Öyster Cult did perform and received the sizeable proceeds of the show, while Sabbath were not paid for this show or for subsequent shows that they cancelled due to Ward's unavailability.[5]

"I escalated into such oblivion that I just was incapable of confronting my losses and dealing with them in a healthy way…" Ward explained. "I blamed everybody and everything for my problems and I just fell apart… That's why I left the Heaven & Hell tour."[14]

Turned down by Cozy Powell, Sabbath replaced Ward with Vinny Appice.[4][5] Appice played his first show with Sabbath on 31 August 1980 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu for The Summer Blowout.[1][4][8]

"We didn't want Bill to leave…" said Iommi during the Mob Rules Tour. "He had a lot going on within himself that we didn't know about, and Bill needed time to actually sit back and think." Of Appice, the guitarist said: "He had two days to learn the show before we done an open-air show in Hawaii, and he's done really well – very, very quick."[15]

Milwaukee riotEdit

On 9 October 1980, Black Sabbath and Blue Öyster Cult co-headlined a show at the MECCA Arena in Milwaukee, where Sabbath was scheduled to play last. As Butler was about to play his bass solo intro to "N.I.B.", someone in the audience threw a projectile (either a bottle or a large metal cross, depending on the source) and hit Butler in the head, knocking him out cold.[4][7][16] The show was stopped and Butler was taken to the hospital, where he received stitches and was later released.[16] Dio came back onstage, told the audience what had happened, and told off whoever threw the projectile. Sabbath's road manager then announced that the show was cancelled and berated the audience, which angered them.[7] When the audience of approximately 7,000[17] to 9,000[16] saw the crew beginning to remove the band's equipment from the stage, they began destroying windows, doors and furniture inside the venue, doing $10,000 worth of damage.[5][7][16][17] After the venue was cleared by police, fighting continued outside the venue and up to two blocks away, and it took police over an hour to clear the area. According to an October 1980 article in Billboard magazine, "Every available officer in the city was called out" and "two policemen and dozens of concertgoers were injured."[16] Butler has recalled injured fans being brought into the hospital alongside him while he was being treated.[5] A 2014 retrospective article in the Milwaukee Record said that three police officers were injured and roughly 100 arrests were made.[17] Following the riot, MECCA's management enacted restrictions designed to prevent attendees from bringing alcohol into the venue, and placed an indefinite ban on "hard rock concerts" there, with MECCA's president stating that the venue would now only consider booking "middle-of-the-road performers" such as Billy Joel and Barry Manilow.[16] Blue Öyster Cult bassist Joe Bouchard said that the band was "banned from Milwaukee for years" after the incident, despite having nothing to do with the riot.[5]

Black and Blue concert videoEdit

On 17 October 1980, Black Sabbath and Blue Öyster Cult performed at Nassau Coliseum in Hempstead, New York. The performances from that show were filmed and, after the tour, released as the concert film Black and Blue. The film was shown on the midnight movie circuit in the United States. In the 1980s, the film was also released on VHS and laserdisc for the home video market.[3][18] The film has never been officially released on DVD and DVDs on the market are generally bootlegs. Official DVD releases were announced and cancelled two separate times in 2002 by Castle Pictures and in 2004 by Universal Video, although some shops in Europe did sell a few copies of the 2004 DVD.[18] Members of Blue Öyster Cult, as well as Castle Pictures, have indicated that a DVD was not released because Tony Iommi objected to the film's distribution.[3][5][18]

Asia and Australia legsEdit

After finishing the North American leg of the tour, Black Sabbath toured Asia and Australia. On 18 November 1980, at Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokyo, Tony Iommi became ill from food poisoning and was then taken to the hospital, thus cancelling the rest of the show after playing for 70 minutes along with the following night's show.[1][7][9] Near the end of the band's time in Japan, Butler broke one of his fingers.[7] According to Butler, the doctor he saw in Japan did not think the finger was broken, so he continued to play several more shows until severe pain forced him to seek additional treatment in Australia, at which time the fracture was diagnosed and the remaining Australian tour dates were cancelled.[1][19] Rose Tattoo supported Sabbath on the few Australian dates that were played.[1][9]

Europe (second leg)Edit

The final leg of the tour, which took place in the United Kingdom, had originally been scheduled to take place in late December 1980 through early January 1981, but was postponed to late January to early February 1981 due to Butler's finger injury. Black Sabbath was supported by A II Z and Max Webster for some shows. The final show of the tour took place on 2 February 1981 at Cornwall Coliseum in St Austell.[1][9]



Tour datesEdit

Date[1][9] City Country Venue
17 April 1980 Aurich West Germany Aurich City Hall (Ronnie James Dio's first show)
18 April 1980 Oldenburg Weser-Ems Halle
19 April 1980 Verl East Westphalia Hall
21 April 1980 Fallingbostel Heathland Hall
22 April 1980 Rendsburg Northland Hall
24 April 1980 Vienna Austria Sofiensaal
25 April 1980 Passau West Germany Nibelungenhalle
26 April 1980 Landshut Landshut Sports Hall
29 April 1980 Portsmouth England Portsmouth Guildhall
30 April 1980
1 May 1980
2 May 1980 Bristol Colston Hall
3 May 1980 Poole Poole Arts Centre
4 May 1980 Brighton Brighton Arena
7 May 1980 London Hammersmith Odeon
8 May 1980
9 May 1980
10 May 1980
14 May 1980 Glasgow Scotland The Apollo
15 May 1980
16 May 1980 Edinburgh Edinburgh Odeon
18 May 1980 Newcastle England Newcastle City Hall
19 May 1980
20 May 1980 Queensferry Wales Deeside Ice Arena
22 May 1980 Manchester England Manchester Apollo
23 May 1980
24 May 1980 Birmingham Birmingham Odeon
25 May 1980
26 May 1980 Leicester De Montfort Hall
2 June 1980 Offenbach West Germany Stadthalle Offenbach
3 June 1980 Munich Circus Krone Building
5 June 1980 Eppelheim Rhein-Neckar-Halle
6 June 1980 Neunkirchen Hemmerleinhalle
7 June 1980 Uhingen Haldenberg Hall
8 June 1980 Würzburg Franconia Hall
10 June 1980
11 June 1980 Siegen Siegerland Hall
12 June 1980 Düsseldorf Philips Hall
14 June 1980 Bremen Bremen City Hall
15 June 1980 Hamburg Messehallen
21 June 1980 Zürich Switzerland Hardening Club
24 June 1980 St. Austell England Cornwall Coliseum
25 June 1980 Southampton Southampton Gaumont Theatre
26 June 1980 Brighton Brighton Arena
North America
2 July 1980 El Paso United States El Paso County Coliseum
3 July 1980 Lubbock Lubbock Civic Center
5 July 1980 Dallas Dallas Convention Center
7 July 1980 Corpus Christi Memorial Coliseum
9 July 1980 Norman Lloyd Noble Center
10 July 1980 Tulsa Tulsa Assembly Center Arena
11 July 1980 Houston Robertson Stadium (Houston Rocks)
12 July 1980 San Antonio San Antonio Convention Center Arena (San Antonio Summer Jam)
13 July 1980 Houston Robertson Stadium (Houston Rocks)
14 July 1980 San Antonio San Antonio Convention Center (San Antonio Summer Jam)
16 July 1980 Billings Metra Park Arena
18 July 1980 Spokane Spokane Coliseum
19 July 1980 Seattle Memorial Stadium (Seattle Summer Rock Jam)
20 July 1980 Salem Oregon State Fair (Oregon Jam)
23 July 1980 Ventura Pacific Arena
24 July 1980 Fresno Selland Arena
25 July 1980 Phoenix Phoenix Municipal Stadium (Arizona Jam)
26 July 1980 Los Angeles Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Los Angeles Summer Blowout)
27 July 1980 Oakland Oakland Coliseum (Day on the Green (#2))
4 August 1980 Wichita Century II Concert Hall
5 August 1980 Lexington Rupp Arena
6 August 1980 Wheeling Wheeling Civic Center
8 August 1980 New Lebanon Lebanon Valley Speedway
9 August 1980 Philadelphia Spectrum
10 August 1980 Hartford Hartford Civic Arena
12 August 1980 Providence Providence Civic Arena
13 August 1980 Portland Scarborough Downs Speedway
14 August 1980 Trotwood Hara Arena
15 August 1980 Evansville Mesker Amphitheatre
16 August 1980 Kalamazoo Wings Stadium
17 August 1980 Rockford Rockford Speedway (Rockford Speedway Jam)
19 August 1980 Bloomington Met Center (Bill's last show until Live Aid (7/13/1985))[4]
21 August 1980 Denver McNichols Sports Arena
22 August 1980 West Valley City Rocky Mountain Raceway
23 August 1980 Las Vegas Rotunda
24 August 1980 San Diego San Diego Sports Arena
25 August 1980 Fresno Selland Arena
26 August 1980 Albuquerque Tingley Coliseum
31 August 1980 Honolulu Aloha Stadium (Honolulu Summer Blowout) (Vinny Appice's first show)[4]
5 September 1980 Lakeland Lakeland Center
6 September 1980 Jacksonville Jacksonville Coliseum
7 September 1980 Miami Miami Jai-Alai Fronton
10 September 1980 Memphis Mid-South Coliseum
12 September 1980 Atlanta Omni Coliseum
14 September 1980 Fayetteville Cumberland County Memorial Arena
19 September 1980 New Haven New Haven Coliseum
20 September 1980 Boston Boston Garden
21 September 1980 Springfield Springfield Civic Arena
23 September 1980 Lexington Rupp Arena
25 September 1980 Greenville Greenville Memorial Auditorium
26 September 1980 Charlotte Charlotte Coliseum
27 September 1980 Charleston Charleston Civic Center
29 September 1980 Kansas City Kansas City Municipal Auditorium
30 September 1980 St. Louis Checkerdome
1 October 1980 Chicago International Amphitheatre
3 October 1980 Pittsburgh Civic Arena
4 October 1980 Toledo Toledo Sports Arena
5 October 1980 Detroit Joe Louis Arena
7 October 1980 Columbus St. John Arena
8 October 1980 Indianapolis Market Square Arena
9 October 1980 Milwaukee MECCA Arena (Cancelled after Geezer's head injury that led to a riot)[5]
10 October 1980 Louisville Freedom Hall
12 October 1980 Richfield Richfield Coliseum
13 October 1980 Buffalo Buffalo Memorial Auditorium
14 October 1980 Landover Capital Centre
16 October 1980 Rochester Rochester Community War Memorial
17 October 1980 Hempstead Nassau Coliseum
18 October 1980 New York City Madison Square Garden
19 October 1980 Erie Erie County Field House
21 October 1980 Binghamton Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena
22 October 1980 Wheeling Wheeling Civic Center
23 October 1980 Fort Wayne Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
25 October 1980 Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum
1 November 1980 Boise Idaho State Fair Grandstand
3 November 1980 Salt Lake City Salt Palace
4 November 1980 Colorado Springs Colorado Springs City Auditorium
6 November 1980 St. Joseph St. Joseph Civic Center
8 November 1980 Omaha Omaha Civic Arena
10 November 1980 Norman Lloyd Noble Arena
11 November 1980 Wichita Levitt Arena
16 November 1980 Tokyo Japan Nakano Sun Plaza (2 Shows)
17 November 1980 Nippon Seinenkan
18 November 1980 Nakano Sun Plaza Hall (Cancelled 70 minutes into set due to Tony's illness (11/18))
19 November 1980
20 November 1980 Kyoto Kyoto Kaikan
21 November 1980 Osaka Festival Hall
24 November 1980 Sydney Australia Capitol Theatre
25 November 1980
26 November 1980
27 November 1980 Newcastle Newcastle Civic Theatre
29 November 1980 Brisbane Brisbane Festival Hall
1 December 1980 Melbourne ?
5 December 1980 Adelaide
6 December 1980 Perth
27 December 1980 London England Hammersmith Odeon
28 December 1980
29 December 1980
30 December 1980
January 1981 Bridlington Bridlington Royal Hall
Bristol Colston Hall
Crawley Starlight Ballroom
Poole Poole Arts Centre
St. Austell Cornwall Coliseum
3 January 1981 Leeds Queen's Hall
4 January 1981 Stafford New Bingley Hall
5 January 1981 Cardiff Wales Sophia Gardens Pavilion
9 January 1981 Southampton England Southampton Gaumont Theatre
18 January 1981 London Hammersmith Odeon
19 January 1981
20 January 1981
21 January 1981
23 January 1981 Bridlington Bridlington Royal Hall
24 January 1981 Leeds Queens Hall
25 January 1981 Stafford New Bingley Hall
27 January 1981 Bristol Colston Hall
28 January 1981 Cardiff Wales Sophia Gardens Pavilion (2 shows)
30 January 1981 Southampton England Southampton Gaumont Theatre
31 January 1981 Crawley Starlight Ballroom
1 February 1981 Poole Poole Arts Centre
2 February 1981 St Austell Cornwall Coliseum


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  12. ^ "Billboard Top Boxoffice Survey for Week Ending 10/26/1980". Billboard. United States. 8 November 1980. p. 30. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  13. ^ Marszalek, Julian (7 July 2015). "Never Say Die: Bill Ward Interviewed". The Quietus. United Kingdom. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  14. ^ Schroer, Ron (October 1996). "Bill Ward and the Hand of Doom – Part III: Disturbing the Peace". Southern Cross (Sabbath fanzine) #18. p. 17.
  15. ^ US radio interview, broadcast 20 November 1981, transcribed in Sabbath fanzine Southern Cross #12, January 1994, p26
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  17. ^ a b c Wild, Matt (14 September 2014). "Tracklist: 10 Infamous Milwaukee Concerts". Milwaukee Record. Milwaukee. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  18. ^ a b c Keihänen, Tapio (21 February 2009). "Black and Blue DVD". Dio.net. Tapio's Ronnie James Dio Pages (fan website). Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  19. ^ Matera, Joe (2007). "Geezer Butler: Bringing the Dio Era Back". Ultimate Guitar. Retrieved 6 January 2016.