Metallica Bassist Opens Up on Almost Ruining Ozzy Osbourne’s Show: ’I Was So Scared’

Even before joining Metallica, Rob Trujillo was a true metal legend, playing with bands such as Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves. In the late 1990s, he joined Ozzy Osbourne’s band and was even hired for Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society for a few live shows.

Of course, he was also present on Ozzy Osbourne’s new album “Patient Number 9.” To honor this contribution, Rob was recently interviewed by Revolver where he recalled meeting The Prince of Darkness for the first time.

Ozzy Osbourne - Patient Number 9 (Official Music Video) ft. Jeff Beck

This was back in 1991 when Rob was a member of Infectious Grooves. While recording their first album, they were honored enough to befriend Ozzy and ultimately go on to open for him. He recalled:

“There’s kind of a crazy story that happened in Austin, Texas. … When Infectious Grooves first opened for Ozzy it was a theater in Austin. We were really excited. We had done a warm-up show just before that in Houston — and now we’re pulling up to the back of the venue in Austin.

“And the first thing we see when we get off the tour bus is … a pentagram on the ground and a dead raven, black roses and candles. [Laughs] And we’re like, Oh my God. [Laughs] It’s like, Welcome to the tour. We’re literally like, ‘What are we getting ourselves into?’ [Laughs]”

Infectious Grooves - Infectious Grooves

“The actual show itself was interesting because we hadn’t learned how to pace our set yet. And with Ozzy, similar to most well-known metal bands, the crowd starts chanting the name – Ozzy! Ozzy! – and they didn’t know who we were. They didn’t know who Infectious Grooves was.

“So, they’re chanting and the balcony was literally moving. … But we knew once we got into the songs, we could divert that energy and that attention. So the whole thing was kind of edgy: from the pentagram to the show itself … And we were just like, like, ‘Oh my God, we survived, but barely.'”

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But Rob was clumsy enough to almost unwillingly sabotage Ozzy’s headlining slot. Rob offered:

“Ozzy’s playing, and we’re all excited. I think it was myself and two of the band members we had a beer and we’re like creeping around the backstage as Ozzy’s playing and it’s dark – and I tripped over a pile of cables. I basically fell [into the] connectors for the monitors, the power lines and everything – and I knocked out the power to the monitor system!

“[Laughs] It was like slow motion. I see myself falling … and I’m knocking out like three of the input jacks and all of a sudden the power’s out onstage.”

He adds:

“All you hear is Ozzy and the drums, acoustically. Ozzy looked over, everybody looked over and no one knew what happened. I was so scared. Luckily the monitor guy saw that that’s what happened. And he was able to patch it back in really quickly. I was like, ‘Oh man, we’re going home.'”

“So I went into the catering and I was trying to just play it off. Like, you know, maybe no one noticed. And Ozzy’s tour manager came behind me and he was really nice about it, luckily. He put his arm around me and said, ‘Robert, did you knock out the power to the monitor rig?’ And then I said, ‘Yes.” And he goes, ‘Okay, don’t do that again, please.’ I go, ‘Are we going home?’ And he goes, ‘No, just don’t do that again. … You’re lucky. Ozzy thinks that there was a power outage in Austin.’ [Laughs]

“I just remember that because between the pentagram and that being our introduction to the crowd in a small venue to me knocking out the power to the monitor rig…”

“[Laughs] It was a cursed first gig. Welcome to the world of Ozzy Osbourne. [Laughs]”

Photo: Egghead06 (Ozzy Farewell 2017), Gage Skidmore (Robert Trujillo by Gage Skidmore)