Ozzy tour manager dies on the road. Bobby Thomson, a 23-year Ozzy vet, had suffered from throat cancer

By Gary Susman
July 25, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Ozzy Osbourne’s tour manager, who’d spent 23 of his 50 years as a road warrior with the Prince of Darkness, was found dead in his hotel room in a Detroit suburb on Thursday, the Detroit Free Press reports. An Osbourne publicist said Bobby Thomson had been battling throat cancer for 18 months and had apparently died in his sleep at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Mich. ”We are devastated by the loss of our dear friend Bobby,” the rocker said in a statement. ”He has been a part of our family for 23 years and loved very much. He will by greatly missed by all of us. Our sincerest sympathies go out to the Thomson family.”

Ozzy performed as scheduled on Thursday night at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Independence Township, Mich., and was not planning to cancel Friday’s performance there, the Free Press reports. According to Launch.com, he dedicated performances of ”Goodbye to Romance” and ”Mama, I’m Coming Home” to Thomson’s memory but lightened the mood during ”Goodbye” by mooning the audience. It was not clear how Thomson’s death would affect the rest of Osbourne’s tour.