British honour to Tony Iommi

The fansite for Tony Iommi fans celebrating his brilliant 50 years of dedication and service to music

Donald Trump is a fan of Black Sabbath, and craves Tony's autograph

 

Black Sabbath have revealed one of their surprising celebrity fans – Donald Trump. You might not expect that the next President of the United States would be a lover of heavy metal and it’s hard to imagine him jumping about in a mosh pit. Yet The Donald once went to see the Birmingham Kings of Heaven and Hell, reveals guitarist Tony Iommi. Tony remembers:

“We have a lot of people come to our show you wouldn’t think. Donald Trump came a few years ago. We were leaving because we had to get the flight. He came backstage with his daughter but we couldn’t stay to talk to him, we couldn’t miss the slot for our plane. It was a bit ‘hello, hello’ and gone. Bruce Willis and all sorts of people have been to see us.”

Tony is musing on unusual fans as he considers whether Donny Osmond might watch them perform at the Genting Arena in Birmingham. Their massive farewell world tour The End finishes in their home city – but the final two dates could not be consecutive because of the Osmond brothers. Black Sabbath play on Thursday, February 4 and Saturday February 6, with Donny Osmond in between on the Friday.
Tony also says: 

“The whole thing is different, the way you travel, hotels. It’s definitely nicer, we stay in the best hotels and travel on private jets. But what we don’t have so much of that we used to is the communication between each other. We get off the jet and into four different cars, as we each have security with us in the cars. We get to our rooms and generally don’t see each other, not like years ago when we used to go down the bar. Everybody is a recovering alcoholic and I’m the only one that drinks now. It’s a long, long day with all the travelling. But I love playing, that’s what it’s all about for me. Playing with the guys has been brilliant.”

The Handsworth lad says: “It had to finish in Birmingham, it’s our home and where we started. We will be doing something a bit different for Birmingham and not the same set list as the rest of the tour. I’ve talked to Ozzy and Geezer about what we might do. We will try it when we get to Germany and run over a few different songs to see what we want to do. I think it will be emotional in Birmingham. It hasn’t sunk in yet, that it’s the last world tour.”

Asked if it's really the end, Tony replies: 

“I hope it won’t be The End forever. It would be nice to think we can do the odd one-off show. But to do a one-off show takes a lot of organising. That’s why you end up doing these long tours. It’s a very big crew and it takes a million a week to run it. People wonder why the tickets are expensive and it’s because the running costs are phenomenal, the flights, the crew, the hotels, a big set. That’s why we keep it going, if you have six months off the crew will get another job and we like to keep the same people.”

Figures suggest that The End tour grossed $34 million in the first half of 2016 from 31 shows, but they won’t have made huge profits because of the high overheads. Tony has more solo projects in mind. He has already started working on new projects, including writing a haunting choral work for Birmingham Cathedral Choir called How Good It Is, inspired by Psalm 133. He describes it as his gift to Birmingham after making friends with the Dean of Birmingham, the Very Reverend Catherine Ogle. And coming up could be more TV work, both appearing on it and writing music – what about for the hit Birmingham-made drama Peaky Blinders?

He says: “I want to take some time off afterwards and think about what I’m going to do. I was involved in the Sky talent show Guitar Star and I’d like to write music for TV. As for Peaky Blinders, I did talk to Steven Knight about that at one party, I don’t know what happened to that. I like to have a go at things that are different for me. I’ve got millions of riffs in my head and I need to put some of them in shape.”

 


Roz Laws for Birmingham Mail, 16 January 2017

Tony reveals that activity in his throat wasn't cancerous

 

Tony Iommi has told Planet Rock the operation he had to remove a lump from his throat was a success and it isn’t cancerous!

Back in December, Tony broke the news that doctors discovered new activity in his throat and they were unsure whether the lump was cancerous until he went under the knife. Speaking to Wyatt of Planet Rock, to promote the choral arrangement he has penned for Birmingham Cathedral, Tony said he received the ultimate gift when he was told on Christmas Day that the lump wasn’t cancerous:

“Well, I had the treatment when I got back from South America,” Tony said, “I went in for the throat (operation) – they found a lump at the back of my sinus in the throat and we had to have it checked in case it may have been cancerous. But it turns out it wasn’t, which I found out on Christmas Day, which is brilliant! So far (I’m all good). I daren’t say that - I’ll probably fall down the stairs now!”

Best ever news for all us Iommifans worldwide! We congratulate you, dear Master, and send you love! 

                                                        GOD BLESS YOU, IRON MAN!        

                                                                    \\M//   \\M//

You can listen Planet Rock’s full phone interview with Tony below where he also talks about his choral arrangement ‘How Good It Is’ in detail.

 


PlanetRock.com, 6 January 2017

Tony's new song, a choral piece of music for Birmingham Cathedral, premiered today!

 

The heavy metal guitarist has recorded new choral music with Birmingham Cathedral. 

He is known as the man in black, the inventor of heavy metal. He might be more famous for the iconic riffs of metal overlords Black Sabbath, but guitarist Tony Iommi has revealed a more classically-inclined side to his output.

So it will come as a surprise when Tony Iommi’s worldwide army of die-hard fans hear his first new music outside of the band he has led for close on half a century. Because the 68-year-old Black Sabbath guitarist has recorded a haunting CHORAL work with the Birmingham Cathedral choir and cellist George Shilling. The five-minute-long How Good It Is, inspired by Psalm 133, will premiere at the Cathedral tonight (Thursday, January 5), in front of a specially invited audience.

Iommi, who plays acoustic guitar on the track, says modestly: “They’re a fantastic choir but the guitar player’s crap!”
There’s a proud smile on his face, though. Because this has been a labour of love.

“It’s a bit different to Sabbath!” he says. “We’ve done instrumental work before with orchestras and it’s something I enjoy doing – but this is completely different. It’s something we have started from scratch, a completely new piece of music unlike anything I have done before.” 

But is there not a sense of irony that a guitarist once accused of espousing black magic should write for the church?

“No, not at all,” he laughs. “People used to think we were Satanists but we weren’t. The songs were the opposite – they were all about the dangers of Black Magic. The closest we came was Black Magic chocolates!”

The Black Sabbath guitarist says that How Good It Is will be just the first of many new challenges he hopes to explore after Sabbath play their last-ever shows at Birmingham’s Genting Arena on Thursday February 2 and Saturday February 4.

“I like new challenges,” he admits. “Things that are a bit out of the ordinary. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved my time in Black Sabbath but the constant touring has worn me down. I want to work at home now – anything without all that travelling. I will still be making music, and I have a number of interesting offers and projects that I will look at in good time. I would like to do some film soundtrack work, maybe something else for TV (he has already written for CSI in the States), and I would like to resume my mentoring work.” 

Iommi worked with his friend, the Dean of Birmingham, the Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, on the work which celebrates peace, harmony and the Cathedral’s role in the heart of the city.

“We met through our mutual friend Mike Olley,” he says, referring to the Broad Street manager. “He suggested that we should work on something for the choir together. Catherine and I gave it a lot of thought, then I recorded the tune on which the piece is based at my home recording studio. I sent it to Catherine, she liked it, and came up with the words, which are based on the Psalm. Then we recorded the choir inside the Cathedral, which has gorgeous acoustics. The whole process took around nine months because I was out on Black Sabbath’s final tour, and there were lots of things happening at the Cathedral, where work was being done. We called in cellist George Shilling, and invited him to work his magic, too, and we’re all very happy with the finished result.”

Shilling, who studied with John Sharp of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Stefan Popov, has a Royal College of Music pedigree.

“It’s great to be involved with the Cathedral and doing something for it,” adds Brummie Iommi. “It’s good to be able to give something back to the city after everything the city has given me in terms of a career in music, and a place I am proud to call my home.”

Catherine, who will soon be leaving Birmingham to become Dean at Winchester Cathedral, played a pivotal role during the Cathedral’s recent 300th anniversary celebrations with community, art and heritage projects to tell the story of ‘the church that became a cathedral in the town that became a city’.

“We had been introduced by a friend then, when Tony was unwell, we got to know one another better when I began to pray for him,” she says. “I kept in touch with Tony and his wife about his health. This is a most wonderful gift Tony offered to the Cathedral. He has a huge fan base in the city. The Cathedral is here to serve everyone so we want to connect with them, too. The words come from scripture and are really positive about people living together in peace and harmony. This is what Birmingham is all about.”

In recent years Iommi has worked with students at Coventry University, passing on his experience in the music industry, and has also mentored contestants in Sky Arts show Guitar Star. So does he have a choral album in his record collection, something he listens to when he chills out?

“I don’t think I have,” he admits. “Although I do have a recording of the Birmingham Cathedral Choir that they gave me before we started out on this project. I have albums by Frank Sinatra; there’s quite a bit of jazz music; I like The Carpenters, that sort of stuff.”

And, no, he’s not joking. “I don’t listen to Black Sabbath albums,” he confides. “I’ve been playing those tracks for most of my life. I don’t need to play them at home. At the moment I’ve been listening to a lot of Doris Day after taking a liking to her music. My pal Bev Bevan, from ELO, was round for dinner the other night. We were listening to Doris Day. How on earth did she get away with Move Over Darling back in 1963? “It’s such a steamy, suggestive song. And they think that they’re daring these days...”

"How Good It Is" is available on iTunes

Tony Iommi (guitar) with boys and men of Birmingham Cathedral Choir, George Shilling (cello), David Hardie (organ), directed by Marcus Huxley. Music by Tony Iommi, words selected by Catherine Ogle (Dean of Birmingham), choral arrangement by Paul Leddington Wright. Engineered, edited and mastered by Mike Exeter. Choir produced by Gary Cole.

Lyrics (inspired by Psalm 133)

How good, oh how good…

How good it is

Where friendship dwells

How good it is

When kindred live

In peace and love

How good it is

When strangers meet

And find a home

How good it is, so good….

This is home, this is home...

Our city, God’s city, our home…

So good, so good, together, so good…


Paul Cole for Birmingham Mail, 5 January 2017

 

Tony's new interview to "The Irish Times"

 

On the new interview with "The Irish Times", our Tony told Ronan McGreevy:

-- How is your health at the moment Tony?

-- I went for a check four weeks ago and the doctor said that at the moment there is no activity where I had the cancer before, but there is activity in the throat. When I get back to England, I have to have an operation to remove this thing at the back of my nose. The doctors found a lump there and we don’t know if it is cancer or what, but I feel OK at the moment.

-- How has it changed your perspective on life?

-- I was knocked for six when the doctors told me that it was, that it was stage III cancer. It really did change my life as far as what I have to do now. I have to live what life I’ve got because I have been on the road nearly 50 years. I need to be at home more and I need to pay more attention to my friends and family.

-- What was the lowest moment for you?

-- The lowest moment was being diagnosed. You automatically wind yourself up saying, “that’s it then”, but that is not always the case. When they tell you, you think, “oh God”. That was a low time. I have had a few low times in my life like everybody has, but that was one that stuck in the head.

-- How does the diagnosis compare to when you lost the tips of your fingers in a factory accident aged 18 and were told you would never play guitar again?

-- It was similar, but the thing with the fingers, you can carry on. But with cancer, you just don’t know. You don’t know how long you are going to be here and how bad it is going to get. It is sort of a different thing. When the fingers first happened, it was devastating. It really set me back, but it gave me an incentive to fight and to try and overcome it and come up with a way of being able to play guitar. A lot of people said I wouldn’t be able to do it. It is the worst thing to give up. You just have to work with it.

-- How important is industrial Birmingham to your story?-- The way we were brought up and where we lived in Birmingham was really important to us. I worked in a factory and I think it is a big part of where the music comes from within you, the way you lived your life.I went to a Catholic school as did Terry (Geezer) Butler, whose family are Irish, so we knew quite a few Irish people growing up.

-- Do you remember the Birmingham pub bombings in 1974 and the aftermath?

-- We were over in America quite a lot at that point. I remember one particular incident when we were doing rehearsal for a tour in some part of London which had a big Irish community. We used to have a lot of effects on stage at one point. We were testing the pyro in this place. Right next door was a pub. We tested the pyro and everybody ran out of the pub thinking it was a bomb.

-- Your first record Black Sabbath in 1970 is regarded as the first-ever heavy metal record. Did you think recording it that you would be creating a new genre of music?

-- When we first did Black Sabbath, we didn’t know what kind of music it was really. We just liked it. We wanted to make it heavy and we wanted to play something that we felt in ourselves. As soon as we wrote the first couple of songs, which were Black Sabbath and Wicked World, instantly we had that feeling of excitement inside. It felt instinctively right and we knew our direction from then on. All the stuff I wrote from then was like that.

-- Are you comfortable with the label heavy metal as far as Black Sabbath as concerned?

-- I’ve learned to live with that now. Many years ago, we were asked this question and we said, “no, no, we’re heavy rock”. There has to be a term, and people have put that term on it. I’m fine with people calling it whatever they like as long as they like it and I like playing it.

-- You launched your comeback as Black Sabbath on 11/11/11. Has the reunion gone as expected?

-- Being able to have a number-one album (13) after all these years and then to be able to go out and tour has been fantastic, but it is a shame that Bill Ward (original drummer) wasn’t involved. What can you do? It is one of those things that happened. It was Bill’s choice in the end.

-- Do you know why Bill decided not to tour with you?

-- It just got silly. He got into a legal battle somewhere with the management and Bill pulled out and he did not come back. It was very difficult. I don’t exactly know what was going on in everybody’s mind at the time, because we started all together, but then it got too involved. I don’t know what Bill thought. It just didn’t happen in the end. Also, we were also concerned about how Bill was going to play and how he was going to handle things. He had a heart attack and then he had stents put in. It was a difficult time, and then, of course, I came down as ill. It was almost falling apart and we pulled it back together. Bill made his choice not to do it and that was it.

-- Where do you think 13 ranks in the pantheon of Black Sabbath albums?

-- I enjoyed doing the album. We did a lot of writing the album at my house because of my treatment. Everybody backed me up and I thought, “This is it, I might not be here next year. This has to be it”.It was good for me that everybody was around me spurring it all on. We got on really well. It has still been the same. It really has been nice. It is very sad that we are going to finish touring, but I hope that we will do something else. I’m not going to tour the world again, but it would be nice even if we did the occasional one-off show or an album.

-- So is there a possibility of a new album?

-- We haven’t talked about it. This is my view thinking it would be nice. At the moment, I think there is a call for a bit of time off really. I think anything is possible. It is down to how everyone feels and if people want to do it.

-- You have called this tour The End. Is this it?

-- It is the end as certainly as far as touring is concerned. I hate to sound so definite, but I have to look at it that way now. We’re not getting any younger. It is difficult touring now. We travel the best way we can travel. We have our own plane, we have great hotels. On the stage, it is fantastic. The days off are boring because you are stuck in a hotel. We don’t socialise like we used to do years ago and go down the bar and drink because everybody is a recovering alcoholic. I’m the only one who still drinks. It is just different now. Everybody has their own space. When you are doing tours, you are on constant alert even when you have a month off. It takes me two weeks to wind down and then I start building up again. If you let it go, it would be more creative in the end. If we didn’t have any kind of schedule, you could just leave your mind to be a bit freer.

-- Kerry King thinks there are no guitar heroes anymore. There is no one out to inspire the young people. Would you agree?

-- I could see what he is saying. At this particular time there are a lot of people who are either passing away or retiring, and these were the people that were looked up to. It is hard to say who is going to be a guitar hero next. I don’t know. You still have your Eddie van Halens and people like that who are very creative guitar players.

-- You’re with Sky’s Guitar Star programme. How was that?

-- I really enjoyed it. It was great to see the young guitarists playing. It was an interesting show I thought. There are so many great young guitars out there who are all learning from each other. They are almost too good. God I just don’t know where it is going to end up. I still love the basic guitar players going back to the blues like Jeff Beck. I noticed when I was doing Guitar Star that the guy who won, Zayn Mohammed, was an excellent player playing blues background. He could play fast and all different styles. That is the type of guitar player I really like.
Very interesting interview, we at fansite thank The Irish Times, and send dear Tony prayers, positive vibes and all our support for his successful throat surgery. God bless you, precious Master! 

 


Ronan McGreevy for The Irish Times, 8 December 2016

Photograph by Ben Upham


Home of Metal exhibition celebrating Black Sabbath is going global

 

The exhibition is to tell fans' stories and tour other countries before returning to Birmingham.

Home of Metal is going global, with a major international touring exhibition to celebrate the musical influence of Black Sabbath. The show was first staged at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in 2011, showing how heavy metal was born in the city and then took over the world. And now it’s coming back, bigger and better than ever, in a three-year project which will see it touring to other countries before returning to Birmingham. Arts Council England is investing £450,000 in Digbeth-based arts organisation Capsule’s plans.

The new Home of Metal show will be centred around Black Sabbath’s fans around the world. The funding will help bring together fans with artists and academics to tell their stories and explore the cultural legacy of the band. The programme will launch in February 2017 in Birmingham on the final date of Black Sabbath’s last world tour. The organisers will be using social media to connect with fans, in countries as far afield as Brazil, India and Malaysia. Part of the project will be collecting stories from fans living under oppressive regimes to discover how they have shared music in ingenious ways.

The first year of the project will involve collating material, the second will be an international tour – venues to be announced – and then the exhibition will return to its Birmingham home in the third year. When Home of Metal opened five years ago it let visitors take a peek inside a recreation of Ozzy Osbourne’s living room in Lodge Road, Aston and strum a guitar like Tony Iommi. It attracted more than 200,000 people, including visitors from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Finland, South Africa and the USA.

Tony Iommi says: “An artist or band’s success can be measured by their relationship with the fans and the success of the Home of Metal exhibition brought home just how dedicated and loyal ours are. It’s always humbling to realise how you’ve touched people’s lives with your music. A project where fans are actively involved would be great.”

Lisa Meyer, artistic director of Capsule, says: “This support from Arts Council England will enable Capsule to develop the next ambitious phase of Home of Metal and take the project to a global audience. We will be celebrating what is at the heart of the genre – the fans – and putting them centre stage.”

 


Roz Laws for Birmingham Mail, 30 November 2016

 


Tony says he's open minded to the future. Sabbath releases Paranoid SuperDeluxe

 

Tony Iommi said in a new interview that the band's current farewell tour, which will end in February 2017, is truly its last because he is not physically capable of doing it any longer. Speaking with wrestler and FOZZY singer Chris Jericho for the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast (listen to audio here), Iommi explained: "I don't wanna stop playing. Just for me, it's the touring now. There's gotta be a day when you've gotta go, 'Look, we've done it for fifty years now' — it's almost fifty years — it's time to re-look at it again now."

Iommi, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2012 and was treated all through Sabbath's extensive 2013 world tour, admitted that he initially had some doubts about whether he would ever be able to perform again. He said: "It was difficult, 'cause we actually wrote album and recorded through that as well. I thought at that point, 'Well, this is it. I'm not gonna be around this time next year.' That's really what I thought. And I thought, 'Let's get it done.' And everybody really pulled, and I think they all sort of felt a bit like that.

"We worked at my house, at the studio, because I was having treatment, I had to stay; I couldn't fly I had to stay in England. So everybody came and we worked at my house and put the stuff together.

"In between writing, I'd gotten treatments, and I had to go every day for radiotherapy. So it was quite a lot of stuff. I'd lost a lot of weight, and it was awful, really. But they just carried on as normal. 'Go on and have a lie down, if you feel like it. We'll carry on,' or, 'Well do it tomorrow.' They tried to all understanding. And we managed to do it. And then I was still going for a different treatment while we were touring — every six weeks, I'd have to go for another treatment. So we'd done the tour. We worked it out around then. I had to have that for a year. So we worked it out in blocks. When I'd come back, I had the treatment, and I had to wait to feel better to go out on the road again. But it sort of worked."

Looking back, Iommi believes that his illness affected the sound of the "13" album. "I think it made the music a bit more intense as well, because feeling that… 'Oh, God, this could possibly be the last time we do an album and play. Or maybe not even be on a tour,'" he said. "So it was very emotional for everybody, I think, at that time, 'cause nobody knew what was… Well, we never know anyway, but it was just that feeling… And then, of course, when we went to record the album, and [producer] Rick Rubin wanted to do it in his studio in L.A., I had to come over, and we did the same again — we'd record for a bit, and I'd have to go back to England, have a treatment, wait there for a month and then come back to carry on recording. We had to work around it."

Sabbath will bring its storied career to a close in the band's native England, with seven shows booked there in January and February. The last two, on February 2 and February 4, will take place in Sabbath's hometown of Birmingham and will likely be their final shows.

"It feels almost… I don't think it's sunk in on some cases, and in other places, it has," Iommi said about Sabbath's final go-around. "When we did Australia early on, it was, like, 'This is the last time I'm gonna be here as this band.' And it sort of sunk in then. And it's getting to be like that now, because this will be the last time on this tour. But, yeah, to know that this is sort of the final thing, it's a bit weird, really. And we're not making a big thing of it on the night; we play and come off. But I think eventually, as it gets closer, it's suddenly gonna go, 'Bang.'"

Asked what he plans to do after Sabbath has played its final show, Iommi said: "I'm wondering, because it's gonna be such a weird thing, because Black Sabbath's always been my life, ever since Day One, and everything's fell by the wayside to Black Sabbath — all the marriages and everything — over the band, basically — because I'm always out working and always doing this, always in the studio. So it's gonna be pretty weird that last show. I don't even know how anybody's gonna feel. It's gonna be strange. And after that, who knows? 'Cause I've been asked this: 'What are you gonna do after this?' Well, I don't know. [Laughs] As long as it's not world touring, I'm all right. It's just the traveling that gets me now. Since I was ill, it really does affect me now.

Iommi reiterated that he still has the desire to play music, but he simply cannot risk his health by subjecting himself to the physical rigors of the road and long weeks away from home. "Shows here and there are fine," he explained. "It's just the constant 'You've gotta be here for a month, and there for six weeks,' and we've done it for that long now. It was only when I got ill, that's when I stated getting vulnerable. Before that, I could do anything. But it just showed me when I was diagnosed, I suddenly felt deflated and lost a lot of confidence. And they're going, 'You shouldn't be flying, really.' And, 'You shouldn't be doing this, you shouldn't be doing that.' So that's what brought that about — the end of this, really, because the constant touring does eventually get to you."

Pressed on whether he would ever consider playing a one-off show with Sabbath again, such as at U.K.'s Download festival, Iommi said: "I wouldn't write that off, if one day that came about. That's possible. Or even doing an album, 'cause then, again, you're in one place. But I don't know if that would happen."

Black Sabbath‘s second album, Paranoid, was reissued by Rhino this November 11th, 2016, as a four-disc set that includes the original 1970 LP, a rare quad mix of the record folded down to stereo and two live shows from 1970, one from Montreux and one from Brussels. Paranoid: Super Deluxe Edition includes a hardbound book with new interviews with all band members, photos, a poster and a replica of the book sold during the group’s tour in support of the album.

The quad mix included on the set’s second disc comes from vinyl and 8-track pressings made in 1974. They’ve been long out of print. The concerts were recorded around the time of the album’s release - Live in Montreux 1970, and Live in Brussels 1970 - in fact, the Montreux show was performed before the album even came out. “Iron Man”, recorded live in Montreaux and featuring alternate lyrics, is now streaming on SoundCloud.

Judas Priest singer Rob Halford penned the liner notes for the release. “Paranoid is important because it’s the blueprint for metal,” he writes. “It led the world into a new sound and scene.”


BraveWords.com, Blabbermouth.net, 20 November 2016

 


Exit, Stage Left: Black Sabbath Plays Final North American Show

 

Our dear friend Dr. Martin Jacobsen wrote this touching words...

The End has come.  Or, actually, has gone.  Black Sabbath completed the North American leg of The End, their final world tour, on November 12, 2016 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

They did exit stage left, left-handed Tony Iommi’s side of the stage.  Iommi was the last to leave the stage.  As the only member to have always sustained the Black Sabbath phenomenon over the decades, and thus, to have made this possible, his leaving last was as it should be.
The history of it is setting in now.  It’s The End....

I want to thank Black Sabbath for their astonishing grace.  They have offered The End to as many of us as they can reach.  They have extended and expanded the tour more than once for us.  They have played the same set for much of the tour and, thus, given us all an experience that can be more easily shared.  Going out in style is one thing, but when you are the one’s who have determined the style, then going out with class rises to the level of a blessing.

Thank you for blessing us all.

In the name of the Geezer

and of the Ozzy

and of the Tony

AMEN

 


Martin M. Jacobsen, Ph.D. West Texas A&M University 

Published with permission, 13 November 2016

Tony's bracelets & pendants on big sale!

 

WearYourMusic has a BIG SALE this week on Iommi Bracelets for charity!

15% OFF 11/9/16 only.  

Grab a bracelet or pendant crafted from strings used and donated by Tony Iommi.  

Profits to benefit Nordoff Robbins.  Only from @WearYourMusic.

SHOP NOW HERE! 


 


WearYourMusic.com, 8 November 2016

Black Sabbath's final three US shows and Latin American leg kick off next week

 

The End is upon us. Late last year, Black Sabbath - Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler - announced their farewell world tour, The End. And now, almost a year later, the band will perform the final US shows in their historic five decade long career.

The three final shows on the Live Nation produced tour - November 8th at BOK Center in Tulsa, OK, November 10th at Toyota Center in Houston, TX and November 12th at AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX - wrap up nearly a year of headlining performances and the band's special one-off gig at thisyear's Ozzfest (Saturday, September 24th at the Ozzfest Meets Knotfest double-header music and lifestyle weekend).

Following the US shows, the greatest metal band of all time will head to Mexico and then South America where they'll wrap up their 2016 dates before performing the last shows of their career, back where it all started in England. The last leg of The End tour will start with a January 17th show in Cologne, Germany before the band returns to the UK. Those shows launch January 20th, 2017 at the 3 Arena in Dublin before hitting arenas in Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds and London (with two nights at The O2), culminating with two performances in their Birmingham hometown at the Genting Arena.

When this tour concludes, it will truly be The End, The End of one of most legendary bands in rock 'n roll history... Black Sabbath.

Tour dates:

November
8 - Tulsa, OK - BOK Center
10 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center
12 - San Antonio, TX - AT&T Center
16 - Mexico City, Mexico - Foro Sol
19 - Santiago, Chile - Estadio Nacional
24 - Cordoba, Argentina - Orfeo
26 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Velez
30 - Curitiba, Brazil - Pedreira Paulo Leminski

December
2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Apoteose
4 - Sao Paulo, Brazil - Estadio Morumbi

January
17 - Cologne, Germany - Laxness Arena
20 - Dublin, Ireland - 3Arena
22 - Manchester, UK - Arena
24 - Glasgow, UK - The SSE Hydro
26 - Leeds, UK - First Direct Arena
29 - London, UK - The O2
31 - London, UK - The O2

February
2 - Birmingham, UK - Genting Arena
4 - Birmingham, UK - Genting Arena

 


Bravewords.com, 4 November 2016

Tony Iommi on Black Sabbath’s Final Shows, His Cancer Battle and Future Plans: Exclusive Interview

 

Guitar hero Tony Iommi will always have rock ‘n’ roll in his soul. He won’t, however, always have it on the stage: Iommi is weeks away from retiring from the road.

On Nov. 12, Black Sabbath wrap up their final Stateside tour in San Antonio (where in 1982, while dressed in drag, singer Ozzy Osbourne urinated near an Alamo memorial and got banned from playing the city for a decade). Sabbath’s last-ever show will on Feb. 4 in their hometown of Birmingham, England.

After his long battle with cancer, Iommi reflects on Sabbath’s past, enjoys the band’s present and thinks about how to keep music part of his future, including a possible studio project with ex-Sabbath frontman Tony Martin.

-- What was it like to get the news that you’re cancer-free?

-- Well, it was really interesting how I got the news. I only got it because I was presenting the hospital [where I received treatment] with an award, and [a writer] who I was doing an interview with asked me if I was in remission. I turned to my doctor and asked, “Am I in remission?” The doctor said, “Yes.” And that’s how I got to know.

-- That’s one way to find out. Were you expecting that kind of news?

-- I’m always feeling around for lumps and bumps, and so I’m never comfortable. I had a friend that went into remission and she planned a big party, and then the cancer came back. You just never know. It’s just one of those things. I certainly didn’t expect it to come out that I was in remission because, well, I don’t know.

-- As you get closer to the end of this tour are you getting nostalgic? Are you wishing you added more dates?

-- Oh, yes, it’s very nostalgic, because it really is that last tour. As far as any more dates, no, that won’t happen. I get really tired now with all the traveling. It’s just not good for me to be flying all around. I start getting pain where I had cancer in the lymph nodes. We have to draw the line somewhere and end it.

-- Once the idea of the final tour came together, did you immediately know your last show would be at home in Birmingham?

-- We didn’t. We thought it would be nice if we could end there because that’s where we started, but it just worked out. It’s really peculiar to think that we are going to stop at all. For me, I love the playing, I love being with the guys onstage, but it’s all the other stuff I don’t like — the traveling, being away from home for such a long time.

-- Playing your last shows must have you thinking about your first shows. What was the vibe of those first pub shows when you were just kids?

-- Those first club shows we did, well … [Laughs] That was a long time ago. Back then, you were excited just to be able to play somewhere. Just to get a gig was amazing, because in Birmingham places to play were few and far between. And our music was quite different from anything that was around then so we had to build up pockets of followers. It was difficult, but the pockets we built up were brilliant and they lasted.

-- When you wrote the song “Black Sabbath,” did you know immediately how revolutionary it was, or did the accomplishment take a while to sink in?

-- No, we knew straight away. We just felt it. When we started playing the riff, we got chills. We knew this is what we wanted to be doing, this is what we wanted to play. We all got so excited and we loved it. Now, we didn’t know what it was or if anyone else would love it, but we loved it.

-- How did you hit on this sound? Was it just pushing the blues scales to darker, louder places?

-- It did come from the blues, a lot of 12-bar stuff we used to play. I started coming up with riffs. “Wicked World” was the first one I hit on and then “Black Sabbath.” But after those two, we knew exactly what we wanted to play.

-- Those gigs must have blown some people’s minds, what was the reaction?

-- We were playing in this blues club one night right after we had wrote “Wicked World” and “Black Sabbath.” We were asking ourselves, “Should we do it? Should we actually play these for people?” But when we did people came right up and asked, “What was that mate? I loved it.”

-- Looking back, what’s the best Sabbath album? Just the tip-top LP?

-- It’s hard to do, but I always did like Paranoid as a record. And I like the first one. But then you have Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, where we went to different levels in terms of writing. I have favorite bits from every record.

-- Did you notice you were at the front of a movement? There were bands behind you trying to copy you, but at the beginning you were very alone.

-- Totally alone and we had to break a lot of barriers. Just finding places to play was hard. It’s been great watching bands come through saying Black Sabbath has influenced them. The amount of them has been amazing and hearing that is always a great honor.

-- I really enjoyed Sabbath’s latest album 13, but I see you’re not playing any of those songs on tour, are there too many classic songs to do?

-- That’s it exactly. We just don’t have the time. I’d like to do more of them but if you don’t play “Paranoid,” “Iron Man,” “War Pigs” and all the rest, it doesn’t feel like the final shows, do it?

-- So the set list must have been pretty easy to put together?

-- It was. We all made lists of what we’d like to play and compared them. I had more songs I wanted to put into the set list but there just isn’t the time. Also, [bassist] Geezer [Butler] and I can play anything, but Ozzy’s voice is different. Voices change, and he can’t sing a song as high as “Symptom of the Universe” now, which makes sense. It was high back when we first did in the ‘70s.

-- So what are you plans after that last gig, do you just hang up the guitar and go on a long vacation?

-- No, a vacation for me is to be at home. But I’m not going to leave the music business. I still want to write and play and I’ll be doing some TV for something over here in England called “Guitar Star.” But I love the playing, I love gigs, I just can’t travel anymore.

-- So what happens with Black Sabbath, is there any future?

-- Maybe. As I said, I’ll be doing some writing. Maybe I’ll be doing something with the guys, maybe in the studio, but no touring.

-- I loved the Heaven and Hell reunion with Ronnie James Dio, are there any old Sabbath bandmates you’d like to work with again?

-- After Ronnie, well, Ronnie was just so good and those tours were so good, I don’t know. I could maybe get together with someone else but there no plans. I did see Tony Martin a while back at a dedication for a plaque for Cozy Powell [who died in a car accident in 1998]. Tony was there and I was there, and we had good chat. But I don’t know. I don’t want to plan anything too much, because I don’t want to get off the tour and suddenly I have people say, “Let’s do this and let’s do that.” I want some quiet to think about what I want to do.

-- This band has had a lot of lineup changes, but you must be happy that Ozzy, Geezer and you could get it together to do the final run together.

-- It’s such fun. Every night in the States, it’s been quite sad thinking this is the last night in a city. But like I said, it has to end. People ask, “Can’t you do just one more tour?” I say, “Well, we’ve done almost 50 years of it, isn’t that enough?”

-- Well, I hope you enjoy that break. From the reunion record into that tour and into the final tour, it’s been a busy end.

-- Thank you. When I got diagnosed, I had to think about my life a bit differently. That’s what has made things happen for us.

-- At least the illness gave you some focus to make some great music.

-- Absolutely. During 13, I was in treatment and the guys came over to my house because I had the studio. It gave me a good opportunity to work while getting treatment. But I was thinking, “Is this the last thing I’m ever going to do?” So I’m glad it spurred us on to work so hard.

-- And for a band that’s had so many rough times, probably nice to have a bit of stability at the end.

-- Oh yes, nice to have some good times to go out with.

 


UlimateClassicRock.com, 3 November 2016

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