Born Again Tour 1983

Born Again 1983 Tour
World tour by Black Sabbath
Born again world tour.jpg
Associated albumBorn Again
Start date7 August 1983
End date4 March 1984
No. of shows96
Black Sabbath concert chronology
  • Mob Rules
  • Born Again
  • Seventh Star

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.


"There had been conversations during the Born Again sessions about going on tour," Bill Ward recalled, "and I was barely making it through the sessions, let alone touring. The thought of touring put me in such a state of panic, anxiety and dread that I couldn't possibly face the idea… but I was too ashamed to tell everybody. And rather than tell everybody, I drank and I disappeared. I escaped. That's how I used to do things: when I couldn't handle a situation, I would just drink and just run away… I came back to the United States, got hospitalised a couple of times, ended up back on the streets and, in the early part of January 1984, I went into my final detox. And from that point on I haven't taken a drink. And I haven't used any narcotics."[1]

Meanwhile, between 7 and 14 August 1983, the band used the National Exhibition Centre, in Birmingham, England, to rehearse. The first leg of the tour consisted of seven European shows in August, followed by a second European leg in September and October, featuring 16 shows.

"We were on flight 666 to Helsinki," recalled Geezer Butler, "and even the baggage label said 'HEL'. We were all shitting ourselves getting on that plane. I got pissed, of course. I was severely boozing then. I was pissed for that whole tour."[2]

Two North American legs consisted of 36 shows from October through November, then 34 shows from January through March 1984.[3]

There were many cancellations during the North American tour owing to problems with an oversized Stonehenge stage set. This was the reason that initial shows in Canada were cancelled, delaying the first North American leg. The crew also got caught in a November blizzard while crossing the Continental Divide, forcing the cancellation of two shows in Salt Lake City and Reno.

There were more difficulties during the second North American leg which delayed their shows for nearly a week. One show in Salisbury, Maryland (28 February 1984) was beset by local religious protests that were noted in the local papers, but was ultimately cancelled due to poor ticket sales. Of the 96 currently confirmed shows, 30% were likely cancelled for one reason or another.

It wasn't all doom and gloom for the Sabs as they did manage to sell out at least a dozen shows including Saginaw, Worcester, Rockford, Providence, Cleveland, Detroit, New Haven, Portland, Philadelphia, Toronto, East Rutherford and Chicago. [Updated by Rob Dwyer -; With special thanks to Bev Bevan]

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