Matthew Leimkuehler Des Moines Register Published 12:24 PM EST Nov 9, 2018 Few things capture music history like a good concert handbill. Outdated band images. Obnoxiously cheap ticket prices. Endorsements from long-canceled radio shows. Collecting a slip from each night of ear-rumbling riffs is a rite of passage for rock ‘n’ roll faithful — a memory to be tucked away in a shoebox next to the gigs that came before it. And no handbill may burn as ominously in heavy metal history as the one for a Des Moines show on Jan. 20, 1982, the night rock ‘n’ roll menace Ozzy Osbourne brought his “Diary of a Madman” tour to Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Donning a cape and devilish horns, Osbourne’s bulging glare stares from beneath the words “Just when you thought it was safe to go back to a concert.” The poster urges “parental guidance” and warns that “eating before concert not recommended.” Just a bit of over-the-top propaganda to help sell tickets, right? Hard rock in the 1970s and ’80s cashed in on sensationalism. Vaudevillian costumes, ear-splitting pyrotechnics, a few staged beheadings — the less parents approved of the act, the better. But what transpired inside Vets actually delivered on the handbill’s promise… Read full this story
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