BLACK TIDE Members Talk About Playing This Year's OZZFEST

Sean Piccoli of South Florida's reports: The story of how a school-aged South Florida metal band went from spectators to performers plays like a screwball romance: Band gets gig, band loses gig, band gets even better gig back. BLACK TIDE, already signed to a major label, had lined up a spot on Ozzfest's second stage. They were dumped from the tour when the promoter, LiveNation, and the second-stage sponsor, the alcoholic beverage company Jagermeister, discovered they were dealing with four teens — the youngest being 14-year-old singer and guitarist Garcia.

Even BLACK TIDE's senior member took the news hard. "I was despondent," said drummer Steven Spence, 19, talking aboard the band's humble tour transport: a rented RV not much bigger than an ice cream truck.

Several weeks ago the same RV sat unused in a Miami-Dade parking lot. But the band's New York-based manager, Cory Brennan, appealed to LiveNation and to Ozzfest's chief executive, Sharon OsbourneOzzy's wife. A deal was struck. Two days after being told to stay home, BLACK TIDE learned that Ozzfest wanted them back, and would bump them up to the main stage, which conveniently had no sponsor selling a product for consumers 21 and up.

"You can see how it worked out for us," bassist Zakk Sandler said, grinning after he had just finished signing photos at a midday autograph session.

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