Ozzy Osbourne has released a new toy to mark the anniversary of one of the most bizarre moments in rock history. The 70-year-old Black Sabbath frontman posted to his social media accounts to announce that Jan. 20 marks the 37th anniversary of the day he bit a head off of a bat during a concert in Iowa. The rock legend invited fans to “celebrate” the anniversary of the incident with a commemorative plush bat toy with a removable Velcro head.
“Today marks the 37th Anniversary since I bit a head off a f**king bat!” Osbourne tweeted. “Celebrate with this commemorative plush with detachable head.”
The 12-inch-tall collectible is on sale for $40 on Osbourne’s website store and is described as a “web exclusive.”
Ozzy Osbourne’s quickly fans hit the comments section of the post to share memes and reaction to the news of the commemorative stuffed bat toy.
“GENIUS!!” one fan wrote. “Why did that idea take so long??”
“Sharon is a master marketer,” another fan added, referencing Ozzy’s savvy business manager and wife, Sharon Osbourne.
Another fan poked fun at the story behind Ozzy Osbourne’s bat-biting incident, writing, “Why do I keep thinking it looks like a plastic bat, but it’s not?!”
You can see the announcement for Ozzy Osbourne’s new commemorative stuffed bat toy below.
Longtime fans of Ozzy Osbourne recall the infamous date in 1982 during the then-33-year-old singer’s Diary of a Madman Tour in support of his album of the same name, which featured the rocker’s solo hits “Flying High Again,” “Over the Mountain,” and more.
The incident occurred when a fan in the crowd at the Jan. 20, 1982 show at Vets Memorial Coliseum in Des Moines, Iowa, threw a bat onto the stage. Assuming the bat was a fake one made of plastic or rubber, Osbourne bit the head off the bat and tossed it back into the crowd of 5,000 fans before quickly discovering it was actually a live bat. Osbourne detailed the incident in his 2009 memoir, I Am Ozzy, revealing that immediately after biting the bat “something felt very wrong.”
“For a start, my mouth was instantly full of this warm, gloopy liquid, with the worst aftertaste you could ever imagine,” Osbourne wrote, per Ultimate Classic Rock. “I could feel it staining my teeth and running down my chin. Then the head in my mouth twitched.”
The bat also managed to bite Ozzy Osbourne back. According to the Des Moines Register, Osbourne, who had previously shocked record executives by biting the head off of a dove during a business meeting, was treated for rabies at Broadlawns Medical Center immediately following the Des Moines show.
Osbourne was given both tetanus and rabies shots and took enough rabies vaccine with him to complete the series, ultimately paying about $500 in cash for the care and vaccine at the Iowa medical facility.
To this day, some skeptics think the whole bat-biting incident was a publicity stunt cooked up by Ozzy Osbourne’s team. While the truth may never be known, thirty-seven years later the commemorative bat toy is a reminder of one of the Prince of Darkness’s wildest days.