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Tony's student Alfie Glass wins Sky Arts Guitar Star's Rock Heat final

One of Tony Iommi's students at Guitar Star competition, Alfie Glass, has been named the winner of the Rock Heat on Sky Arts series.

The 13-year-old son of Solstice guitarist Andy Glass impressed the judges at his first audition on the television show and made it through to the Rock Heat final. And the youngster pulled out all the stops once again to win the final, broadcast earlier this week.

Ahead of the final at London's 100 Club, Alfie was mentored by his hero – Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi, who presented Alfie with one of his own signature amps.

Alfie now goes through to the show's final stages, where he will compete against the winners of the Classical, Jazz and Acoustic categories for the right to perform on the main stage at the upcoming Latitude festival. Andy says: "When Alfie got on stage, he just ripped it up. I'm biased of course, but I'm not sure I've seen a youngster that composed and with that much stage presence before." 
Tony Iommi was very impressed and said: "That guy's a winner".

Watch the video of the ceremony at London 100 Club with Alfie's participation below:

Classic Rock, 21 July 2015

Tony is a guest at Anniversary Dinner of Birmingham Football Club

 

Tony Iommi took part of more than 1,200 honorary guests packed into the ICC, Birmingham, for the Anniversary dinner of the Birmingham Football Club, and were treated to a great night of nostalgia and entertainment, celebrating the key moments in Club history. 

Sixty five players from throughout the eras attended, as well as past managers, plus Gary Rowett and the current First Team squad. Jasper Carrott and Tom Ross were the comperes for the evening. They called up groups of players and managers from the 1950s right through the present day onto stage for question and answer sessions. 

Tony's friend comedian Jasper Carrott joined the Bev Bevan Band to provide superb live music to close the evening. 

More than £18,000 was raised for charity  and the Club announced a large proportion would be donated to Alzheimer's UK, a charity close to the Thwaites family heart. 

 


Birmingham City Football Club, 21 July 2015

 

Rockstar Tony Iommi confirmed for next Pride of Birmingham

 

Black Sabbath's leader to be added to the supershow at Birmingham Town Hall. The Brummie rock legend will be among VIP guests at the gala ceremony staged at Birmingham Town Hall on October 2.

Tony will join former Hollyoaks actress Abi Phillips, Aston Villa legend Ian Taylor and Commonwealth Games golden girl Jodie Stimpson, who were confirmed for the show last week. Many more will be announced as we count down to the awards, organised by the Birmingham Mail in association with Virgin Trains, and hosted by Gaby Roslin.

Tony Iommi, currently appearing as a mentor in Sky Arts show Guitar Star, has been busy working up new songs for Black Sabbath and for his solo career. But he said he was delighted to be invited back to Pride of Birmingham after helping present an award at last year’s inaugural event.

“It was a fantastic night,” he said. “We heard amazing stories of people doing extraordinary things and I met some wonderful people. It was a privilege to be there. I’m looking forward to the night, and to reading about the nominees in the Birmingham Mail. It really is a special event for all concerned.”

 


Paul Cole for Birmingham Mail, 11 July 2015

 

Tony Iommi jams with star struck kids on Guitar Star TV program

 

The musician has not played with novices in 20 years but took time out to coach the young hopefuls on the Sky Arts talent show Guitar Star.

Legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi surprised the five rock finalists of Sky Arts’ Guitar Star series with exclusive one-on-one mentoring and jam sessions. 

Shown in this exclusive clip below, the scenes were filmed for next Tuesday's finals and mark the first time Iommi has ever jammed with anyone in over 20 years other than rocker friends Brian May and Eddie Van Halen, according to the broadcaster.

After meeting the finalists and performing intimate renditions of hits Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Iron Man and Into The Void, Iomini spent time coaching each of them for a live performance at London’s 100 Club.

Ben Cornish, a 13-year-old from Devon, was first to jam with Tony and said: “I can’t believe it, me being here and me playing with him. He can really think riffs up on the spot.” Ben Cornish was given a signed Laney TI15 112 by Tony himself as a gift!

Alfie Glass, who was 12 years old when he auditioned for the series, impressed the Sabbath star by jamming the 1971 hit Into The Void. Iommi said of their session: “I wanted to play it with him to make him feel a bit more comfortable. And just show him how I play it. He picked it up quickly. He’s a quick learner.”  Alfie added: “He is the Iron Man of heavy metal; it’s so cool. Today has been the best day of my life so far because I’ve met Tony Iommi, had some nice chips at lunch and I’m at a really cool place here.”
Fellow finalists Martin Mickels, Chris Brennan and Harry Elliot all received mentor sessions, with Harry Elliot commenting; “To have a one-on-one with Tony, I needed someone to pinch me. I didn’t think it was real. To have him four or five feet away from me while I was showing him how I play… it was ridiculous.”

U.K.'s Total Guitar magazine spoke to Tony ahead of filming about his first experiences recording in a studio. He also talked about one of his oldest Jaydee Custom SG guitars, handmade by John Diggins. Watch videos below!


Blabbermouth.net, Sky Arts, Iommi.com, 11 July 2015

Photo courtesy Roger Cornish

 


Tony Iommi: The Epiphone interview

 

It's no exaggeration that Tony Iommi changed the sound of rock and roll guitar in 1970 when Black Sabbath released their debut album. Sabbath's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame biography describes the band's pursuit of what were then unusual themes for rock--"war, social chaos, the supernatural, the afterlife, and the timeless conflict between good and evil. The group was a product of the late Sixties. It was a time when youthful idealism had begun to ebb amid the war in Vietnam, the influx of hard drugs, clashes with authority figures, and the bruising realities of working-class life (low wages, grim labor) that lay ahead for many of them."

The sound of 70s rock--in fact the transition from rock and roll to just Rock (with a capitol "R")-- can largely be credited to Iommi, who is known by fans and writers around the world as the Godfather of Heavy Metal. Take a moment to check out the power that Iommi brought to Sabbath from the very beginning in their live performance of "War Pigs." There was nothing like it in 1970 and today--45 years on--it's still thrilling to hear. Iommi's instantly memorable riffs, his gutsy tone, and equally gutsy life (in his youth he lost the fingertips on his right hand in a sheet metal factory accident and is a cancer survivor) have inspired every major guitarist of the last 40 years. It's hard to imagine AC/DC, KISS, Ozzy, or FM radio without him.

This spring, Tony appeared at the Epiphone booth at Musikmesse to preview his stunning new Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Tony Iommi Signature SG featuring Gibson USA Tony Iommi humbuckers. And when news of his appearance got out, fans waited hours just to get a glimpse of the man who for many is the definitive rock guitarist. Epiphone spoke with Tony about his love of SGs, designing his new Epiphone, and appreciating Black Sabbath.

- Thanks for speaking with us, Tony. You've helped design and customize guitars before. What did you want to do differently with your new Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Tony Iommi Signature SG?

- I wanted a top quality guitar that I would be able to use on stage and that everybody that buys one would have exactly the same as I use. I believe that the quality of my newest Epiphone is top notch. And it should certainly not be looked on as a cheap quality guitar because it is not.

- You've had a long relationship with Epiphone and Gibson. How did that start?

- I first started using the Gibson SG in 1968 when we recorded our first album, Black Sabbath. Before that I always used a Stratocaster. When we started to record our first album, I recorded one track, "Wicked World," with the Fender and then the pickup went faulty so my spare guitar - which I had never used before and had just recently bought - was the SG. After recording the whole of the rest of the album with the Gibson SG, I never went back to the Fender again. I stuck with the Gibson SG from then on. That became our trademark sound. My relationship with Epiphone came through Gibson when I was asked to do an Epiphone Tony Iommi SG.

- In the late 60s when you first started shopping for guitars in Birmingham, did you have many options?

- In the late 60s, for me - being left-handed and living in the UK - there were hardly any options at all (to) finding and buying a good left-handed guitar. That's why in the mid-60s I was lucky to find one of the few left handed guitars that I had seen.

- Black Sabbath is planning another album and tour. Do you enjoy being in the studio? What's that environment like for Black Sabbath?

- Recording the album 13 I really enjoyed. It was great being with all the guys and it all clicked into place. I had already written a lot of ideas before we hit the studio. It's been a different experience from album to album. Our first albums were done very quickly and live, and as time went on, we became more experimental and we spent more time in the studio trying different ideas. All in all, I enjoy being in the studio.

- When you're on the road with Sabbath now, what do you notice has changed for the group?

- We really appreciate each other's personalities and musicianship. We have a great respect for each other that was built over many years. We're all very appreciative and lucky to be in a position to be able to play together.

- Do you think in this age where people are texting - speaking in short hand and not face-to-face - that Black Sabbath would have formed had you all had mobile phones and social media in the late 60s?

- Probably not. Music was about meeting people and getting to know their personalities, getting the connection and right vibe.

- Is it still easy to write for Black Sabbath or do you have to put yourself in a frame of mind to write for the band?

- No. I come up with riffs all the time when I'm at home or on the road. I'm lucky to be able to do it naturally. It's what I do. These days I'm lucky to still be able to play.

- Are you surprised the band has endured so long?

- No, not really. We did create something that was unique at the time. And still to this day we've got a very strong fanbase, sell out gigs, and still are very honoured to be at the top of our tree.

- What kind of guitars do you like to play when you're away from your SGs?

- I've got a wide variety of guitars at home. Mostly in the house I tend to play my acoustics and in the studio I play one of my many Gibsons or Epiphones. I don't listen to music for inspiration - my inspiration comes from within.

 


Epiphone.com, 6 July 2015

 

Tony Iommi officially launches the new Epiphone SG

 

Epiphone has announces the all-new Epiphone limited-edition Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom, designed by the "Godfather of Heavy Metal" himself and featuring Gibson USA Tony Iommi Signature Humbuckers, a 24-fret Ebony fingerboard, and a beautiful Ebony gloss color finish.

Tony Iommi is every guitar player's hero. He's not just the "lead guitarist" of Black Sabbath. He IS Black Sabbath. The Birmingham band was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2006 but he's been every shredder's idol since Black Sabbath's debut in 1970. For 45 years as the band's heart and soul and the originator of dozens of all-time classic riffs, Tony Iommi has helped to make the "SG" the iconic guitar for hard rock and heavy metal. Now, Epiphone presents a one-of-a-kind SG designed exactly to Tony Iommi's specifications.

"This guitar sounds like I want it to sound on stage," said Iommi. "I play it at home in the studio as well. It uses my signature pickups, which we worked on for quite a while over the years. It's got a great fretboard with a really nice feel. And, it's just a really classy looking guitar."

Legendary SG Power: The original SG dates back to 1960 when it was first released as a replacement for the Les Paul Standard, which went out of production for most of the 1960s. The SG's smooth frets, lightweight body, distinctive "horns" and long scale made it a must-have for lead guitarists like Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, and young Tony Iommi from Birmingham, England.

The limited-edition Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom: The limited-edition Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom has a classic-styled SG body made from Mahogany with a gloss Ebony color finish and a 3-layer black/white/black pickguard. The 24.75" scale Mahogany neck has white binding and our popular 1960s SlimTaper™ D-profile that's glued into the body with a deep-set neck joint with a smooth transition heel.

Tony also introduced another first for his all-new signature SG, an Ebony fingerboard with pearloid "Cross" inlays designed by Tony with 24 medium jumbo frets, an adjustable truss rod, and a black graphite nut. The headstock features the famous Epiphone script logo in pearloid along with a 60s era "pineapple" inlay. On the back of the headstock is Tony's signature reproduced in silver silkscreen as well as an Epiphone limited edition logo in gold. The truss rod cover is bell-shaped like all classic SGs and Les Pauls.

Gibson USA Tony Iommi Signature Humbuckers: For his new limited-edition signature Epiphone, the "Godfather of Heavy Metal" chose his own Gibson USA Tony Iommi Signature Humbuckers for both the lead and rhythm positions. The Tony Iommi Signature Humbucker was Gibson's first Signature Series pickup and features both Alnico II and Ceramic magnets with special windings for an incredible sustain and full-shred tone. Each pickup is fully wax-potted and epoxied for absolute protection against unwanted feedback. Both pickups are powered by SG-style controls with Black "Top Hat" knobs with metal inserts and an Epiphone all-metal 3-way pickup selector with a black toggle cap.

Rock Solid Hardware: As with all Epiphones, the limited-edition Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom comes with rock solid nickel hardware including a rim-mounted Epiphone Heavy-Duty chrome metal jack plate, premium die-cast machine heads with a 14:1 ratio and Metal Tulip Buttons, and a classic LockTone Tune-o-matic bridge Stopbar tailpiece for incredible sustain and reliability.

Limited Lifetime Guarantee: Each Epiphone limited-edition Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom comes with a hand signed Certificate of Authenticity, binder, and photograph. And like every Epiphone, Tony Iommi's Signature SG comes with world famous 24/7/365 Gibson Customer Service and Epiphone's Limited Lifetime Warranty.

You can purchase the guitar from official Gibson / Epiphone dealers situated closer to you, or from online stores. 


Blabbermouth.net, Epiphone.com, Iommi.com, 2 July 2015 

 

New Epiphone SG Tony Iommi signature is available to preorder

The NEW Epiphone SG Ltd Ed Tony Iommi signature presented at Frankfurt's Musikmesse this sping, is now available to preorder on several websites and Gibson/Epiphone official dealer guitar stores. Some useful links of USA and European websites below.

CHECK OUT and preorder your Iommi axe, remember there are only 2000 for the whole world! The guitar comes along with Certificate of Authenticity, the photograph of Tony Iommi and a binding.

United States customers www.sweetwater.com
United Kingdom / European customers www.andertones.co.uk
Canada customers www.lamusic.ca 

More detailed info about the new Epiphone Tony Iommi model on Official Epiphone website.

20 June 2015

Tony Iommi plans to remix the Forbidden album

 

Tony Iommi plans to get hands on with a 20th anniversary reissue of the band’s Forbidden album.In a Facebook post, Tony writes:

“Joe Siegler reminded me that June is the 20th anniversary of Forbidden. I really like the album, but I was never happy with the overall sound, so I’m going to re-mix it before it comes out again. Can’t say when, too much going on right now.”

There has been a lot of renewed interest in Black Sabbath in recent years, with the band’s "13" album coming off as a big success. Given the age of the band’s members, there has been plenty of talk about one final album and tour, and while a final show was teased earlier in the year, the plans changed. At last check, it was expected that the band would be active in 2016, but no official announcement has been made about the final disc or tour.

Tony Iommi has been active with other ventures this year, most recently serving as a mentor on Sky Arts TV’s Guitar Star competition and teaching students of Coventry university. 

 


Iommi.com, 17 June 2015

Tony Iommi to appear on Sky Arts series Guitar Star

 

"Great to announce that I’m taking part in Sky Arts’s new series Guitar Star. I’m looking forward to lending a helping hand", says Tony on regard of his upcoming appearing on the Sky TV program. The show, which starts on June 9 at 8PM on Sky Arts, will see the legendary axeman joining DJs Edith Bowman and Huey Morgan in the search for a world class guitarist.

Tony Iommi has revealed that he is losing his hearing after almost five decades in rock music. Speaking at the Ivor Novello awards, where the group picked up a lifetime achievement gong, Tony told the Mirror: “I’m going deaf. Singers have caused it. It has been caused by the racket over the years. There was no protection when we started and it was a bit sissy to put cotton wool on your ears and we liked it loud so we just grin and beared it. There are a lot of old bands back on the road like the Stones and it is great that we are still here to be able to do it.”

The axeman , who finished treatment for early stage blood cancer lymphoma last year , admitted that he had cut back on booze and rock stars were tamer these days. He said: “You just can’t keep up with the hell-raising days. I see a lot of my friends in the business and we go out for dinner, but it is a lot calmer now. We used to keep going until 5am but now everybody leaves at 10pm. I don’t drink as much now as since I was diagnosed I have cut down. I have a few glasses of red wine I suppose. Before I had the cancer diagnosis it was a couple of bottles of wine, but now I’ve cut down. Music is just different now. The days of people throwing things out the window has all gone. If you did not like it back then out of the window it went.”


Mirror.co.uk, 30 May 2015

 

Tony Iommi gets his second Ivor Novello Award

 

Tony Iommi, together with his mates Geezer Butler and Bill Ward accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Ivor Novello Awards, held on Thursday, May 21 at London, England's Grosvenor House. It's actually the second Ivor Novello Award for Tony, he got his first one in 2003 for the Best Selling UK Single "Changes".

Tony Iommi picked up the trophy on Black Sabbath's behalf, and confirmed the band will embark on its "final tour" next year. Black Sabbath accepted the award from Queen's Brian May - Tony's best friend.

Bill Ward stated: "It's been a good 40 years. At least, I think it has." Asked where singer Ozzy Osbourne was, Tony Iommi said: "I don't know, I think he's got a hospital appointment or something." Speaking to the press backstage after accepting the award, Ward said it was great to see Iommi and Butler again, but admitted he felt "very uncomfortable" knowing they had been touring and recording without him since reforming the band in 2011. He added: "I hope that can change."

Given each year, The Ivors, presented by the British Academy of Composers & Songwriters in association with The Performing Rights Society (PRS), are given to celebrate British songwriting and acknowledge the music of the previous twelve months. Now in its 60th year, is the only British awards ceremony which specifically honors the songwriter.

Congratulations, dear Tony! Your fans are immensely happy for you! You deserve millions of awards!


Blabbermouth.net, 22 May 2015


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