Robert "Bobby" Thomson, longtime tour manager for Ozzy Osbourne, passed away in his sleep and was discovered Thursday morning (July 24) in his Detroit hotel room. He was in Detroit with Ozzfest. Thomson, 50, had been battling throat cancer for the last 18 months. Born in Wallyford, Scotland, Thomson had worked with Ozzy Osbourne for over 23 years. He is survived by his wife, Terri, and two sons, Kevin (19) and Jacob (10).
"We are devastated by the loss of our dear friend Bobby," said Ozzy Osbourne in a statement. "He has been a part of our family for 23 years and loved very much. He will be greatly missed by all of us. Our sincerest sympathies go out to the Thomson family."
Launch is reporting that backstage at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Independence Township, Michigan, tour personnel cried freely and embraced each other. Osbourne went on with his performance, though he periodically interrupted his pre-show workout routine to hug other Ozzfest staffers.
About 20 minutes into the show Osbourne informed the crowd of Thomson's death and observed a moment of silence, during which his band members prayed silently. A photo of Thomson was displayed on the video screens at the rear and sides of the stage, and Osbourne dedicated his performance of "Goodbye To Romance" to Thomson — lightening the mood by mooning the audience during the song. He also dedicated an encore performance of "Mama I'm Coming Home" to Thomson.
There was no word Thursday on whether Thompson's death would affect any future Ozzfest dates.