Last weekend, a teenager from Taunton played homage to one of his biggest musical idols, Ozzy Osbourne, as he played to a socially distanced crowd from the steps of his local Mecca Bingo club on Corporation Street.
If some of you are wondering why Charlie Hedger chose to use the entrance of a bingo hall to perform instead of a stage, it’s because the building that now houses Mecca Bingo in Taunton city centre was once an Odeon cinema. And this cinema was where Ozzy Osbourne chose to take his Blizzard of Ozz tour in 1980 after being fired from Black Sabbath the previous year.
On Saturday, 10th October 2020, 14-year-old Charlie Hedger performed a selection of Ozzy’s greatest hits as a tribute to the “Prince of Darkness” and his former guitarist, Randy Rhoads, the latter of whom sadly died in a plane crash two years after the Taunton gig.
All of the public donations from Charlie’s mini-gig are being given to the charity Parkinson’s UK, as Ozzy Osbourne was diagnosed with Parkinson’s earlier this year.
It’s not the first time that Charlie has entertained the residents of Taunton with his vocals and electric guitar. He’s been busking in the town as well as nearby areas since the national lockdown ended.
70s and 80s rock are his favourite musical genres, and he’s even thrilled both pupils and parents with his school’s performance of Jack Black’s “School of Rock”. Charlie was also set to appear at Taunton’s Somerfest until it was postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Other famous acts who’ve played in Taunton over the years include David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Queen, Elton John, 10cc, Judas Priest, Sparks, The Animals, and Hawkwind, most of whom appeared at the County Ballroom which is now a Waterstones bookshop.