British honour to Tony Iommi

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

Metal Eye Witness shirts

 

Hi brothers and sisters Iommi fans! 

MetalEyeWitness.com, that kindly donated photos for this fansite www.tonyiommifantastic.com (a picture of Tony from Buenos Aires show in 2013), has a VERY limited quantity of t-shirts with a design based on that photo! They ship worlwide and still have a few units in stock (sizes left: 4 Ls, 1 XXL, and 5 girlies). The t-shirt comes with a exclusive 10 x 15 reproduction of the original picture, in photographic paper. For pricing and shipping, please email them to info@metaleyewitness.com.

Go get them!

 


MetalEyeWitness, 26 October 2016

Tony Iommi finally has his own official merchandise!

 

DEAR FELLOW IOMMIFANS!

FINALLY THE MASTER HAS HIS OWN OFFICIAL MERCHANDISE, WHICH INCLUDES TWO T-SHIRT MODELS, BEANIE, WRISTBAND, POSTER, PATCHES, BADGES, PLECTRUMS, AND KEYCHAIN.

THE PRICES WILL SURPRISE YOU!!!

CHECK OUT AND GRAB THE GOODIES OF YOUR CHOICE HERE! \\M// \\M//

 


Iommi.com, 24 October 2016

Home Of Metal recruits volunteers

 

Exciting news were published today by Home Of Metal from Birmingham. Below you can find information and links, dear fellows Iommifans. Team up in Brum to celebrate Black Sabbath and help the native Brummie heavy metal culture fluorish!

"We are looking for a dedicated team of volunteers to support the upcoming Home of Metal project happening October 2016 – March 2017. There will be lots of exciting opportunities to build your skills and help make Metal history.

Inspired by Black Sabbath’s final world tour, Home of Metal will capture this unique moment from the perspective of the fans, working together to show the impact and legacy of the band and to celebrate their unique, significant part of British music heritage.

Volunteers will play an important part in the project – collecting stories, organising events and reaching out to fans around the world to harness the global impact of Black Sabbath. Training opportunities will be offered as well as rewards for supporting the project.

If you want to be part of our team please fill out the special form on Home Of Metal Official website. You will be invited to a volunteer workshop in October when you can find out more and to meet the Capsule team."

 


Photo and info HomeOfMetal.com, 24 October 2016

 

Tony Iommi on his life less ordinary

 

Since the formation of Black Sabbath – the original and greatest heavy metal band – guitarist Tony Iommi has been the one constant in their history. Born on February 19, 1948 in Heathfield Road Hospital near Birmingham city centre, he was the only child of Italian immigrants and was named after his father, Anthony Frank Iommi. He might never have succeeded as a professional guitar player after losing the tips of two fingers on his right hand in a welding accident at the age of 17. But, with the use of home-made artificial fingertips, he developed a signature heavy riffing style that helped shape an entire genre of rock music.

The guitarist’s autobiography, Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven And Hell With Black Sabbath, is aptly titled. Iommi’s story has remained inextricably linked to that of the band he has led through good times and bad. In conversation, as in his book, he speaks candidly about every aspect of his life and career: music and money, love and violence, drugs and death, Ozzy and Sharon, and the small matter of a dwarf dancing around Stonehenge.

As you recall in your book, you had a lot of fights in your teenage years. Why was that?

I guess it was a way of getting things out of you. The area where I lived was quite rough. There were gangs, a lot of fighting in the streets. My mother didn’t like me going out. I used weights in my room, and then I got into judo, karate and boxing.

Did you enjoy beating the shit out of people?

It wasn’t so much that, it was that people would beat the shit out of you if you didn’t do it to them. That’s how it was where I lived. People would pick on you and you’d always end up fighting.

You even carried a knife.

At one point, yes. I was in a gang, and if a rival gang saw you walking around their area they’d start. There weren’t many nights when I would go home without having had a fight. But a lot of that stuff died off when I got into music.

In 1969, as the 20-year-old guitarist in Black Sabbath, what were your hopes and dreams for the band?

The dream was just to play in London, for a start. But the ultimate thing for us was to make an album. And when we got the chance we couldn’t believe it.

Could you believe how bad the reviews were for that first Sabbath album, Black Sabbath?

It was slammed by the critics. None of them understood it. It was hurtful. We were young, totally green, and we took it personally.
Why were Sabbath so misunderstood back in those days?

There was a lot of soul and blues music around at the time, and our album was so different. People said: “Blimey, that’s a bit severe!” The inverted cross on the album cover, we had nothing to do with it, but it made people think we were into black magic. In the early days, people were frightened of us.

Do you recall where and when you first sensed that Sabbath were really breaking big?

It was when we first went to America, in 1970, that it properly hit us. In New York we played the Fillmore East, which was just mind-blowing.

Why did Sabbath’s music resonate so powerfully with so many people?

We’re basic, working-class people, and the music reflected that. People could relate to what we do.

In the early years, Black Sabbath were managed by Don Arden, the notoriously ruthless impresario and father of Sharon Osbourne. Were you intimidated by Don?

I think he intimidated everybody. And the way they dealt with people then was quite different to now. It’s all lawyers now. Back then they’d send someone to beat people up. We saw that a few bloody times. But when Don managed the band again in the 80s I didn’t feel threatened by him at all. I actually felt a bit sorry for him. He used to call me in for meetings just to have someone to talk to. He was quite a lonely person.

You say in the book that you were “involved” with Sharon before Ozzy was.

Well, when Don managed us in the 70s, Sharon used to work for Don. So when we were in LA I always had my dealings with Sharon. We did see each other, go out for dinner occasionally, but that was about it.

What were the highest and lowest points of your career in Black Sabbath?

We had some incredible high points with Ozzy and with Ronnie James Dio, and the reunion with Ozzy in 1997 was fantastic. I always thought it would happen one day, but you never know for sure. To walk on stage together after all those years and play again, it was very emotional for us, and for the audience too. The lowest point of my career was trying to hold the pieces together in the 80s and 90s. I kept the Sabbath name, and I took a lot of criticism for bringing other people in. I just wouldn’t let go. But when everybody but me had been replaced you think, what happened?

When This Is Spinal Tap was released in 1984, Sabbath had recently played gigs with an out sized Stonehenge stage set. When you saw the movie – with its famous miniature Stonehenge scene – did you take it personally?

No. I thought it was funny. I mean, I thought our Stonehenge was funny when I saw it. When we were rehearsing on the floor of the NEC, they started bringing the stage set in, and I just couldn’t believe it – all these stones just kept coming and coming. We only used it for a couple of gigs.

When Sabbath’s original line-up reunited for Live Aid in 1985, you all looked wasted. What kind of state were you in?

Not a very good state [laughs]. On the night before, we hadn’t seen each other for so long and we got absolutely pissed. I had a dreadful hangover, and we were on at 10 o’clock in the morning. I had to put my dark glasses on. I felt bloody awful. But the night before was great.

Do you have a cruel sense of humour?

A bit, yeah.

And in the early days of Sabbath, Bill Ward bore the brunt of that.

He did. We’d all pick on Bill. And he loved it. If you didn’t pick on him he’d go: “Is everything alright?”

In hindsight, was it a little too cruel to set Bill’s beard on fire?

Oh dear. It’s pretty sad, really, isn’t it?

You also scared the hell out of producer Martin Birch during the recording of 1980’s Heaven And Hell album.

Well, I couldn’t help that. Martin was just so gullible. I got a piece of balsa wood about a foot long and carved a figure out of it. I wrapped it in a black rag and I kept it in my briefcase. One day at the studio I opened my briefcase and made sure that the head of the little effigy was sticking out. And Martin saw it. He said: “What’s that?” I went: “Oh, nothing,” and shut my case. Martin kept asking me about this thing for days. Eventually Martin said: “It’s me, isn’t it?” He was bloody petrified.

Do you think Ozzy ever truly forgave you for firing him from Sabbath?

Well, the way it broke up, due to drugs and alcohol, was sad. But I was doing drugs as well – I’m not a bloody angel. But when Ozzy did it it all just came to a stop. He just didn’t seem to be into it any more. The band had to then find a new beginning.

Who was the biggest druggie you’ve ever known – Ozzy, or Glenn Hughes?

[Laughs] I’ve known a few, but Glenn, yeah. He’s so lucky that he came out of that. When Glenn was in Sabbath we did try to help him. I booked him into rehab and he just ran off. But you have to decide for yourself to do it, and eventually Glenn did. Music is his drug now. But he was difficult, yes.

In his book, Glenn says he was a crack addict when he was in Sabbath. Did you know that at the time?

God knows what he was doing. He’d have dealers coming from all over, and we’d shoo them off. But the drugs always seemed to get to him. I had a bodyguard to watch him and it still managed to get through.

But you weren’t shooing away all the dealers.

No, I was shooing some of them into my room.

Were you a drug addict, or were you able to keep it all under control?

I’d say that I was one of those guys who could keep it under control, but other people would say: “Yeah, you were an addict.” I don’t know what I was. I had a bash at doing a lot of coke, I must say.

How much coke would you do in a session?

Oh, God… some nights two or three grams.

Did you ever try heroin?

No. I never fancied that. I used to like doing coke, but then it went against me. It started making me feel worse rather than better. I got more paranoid. So I cut down and then I stopped. I’d have an occasional line, but I wasn’t doing it on a regular basis.

As parent, what is your stance on drugs?

Fortunately my daughter [Toni] has seen that since she was young, and it turned her totally against all that. It would be hard to reprimand your kid after you’ve gone through doing it.

Did you have close relationship with your own parents?

Not really. My father, we didn’t really get on when I was young. I didn’t see him that much. He was always away working. And later on, although we did have a good relationship, I was always away.

You were with your father when he died from emphysema in 1981. You say that you dealt with your grief by working.

Yes, that was the only way I could deal with it – to get out and keep my mind occupied. But of course you keep drifting back to seeing what happened to him. It stays in your mind forever, that picture. I started writing songs. It’s a bit grim, really, but when he was in the coffin I went and sat in the room with him and I wrote an instrumental. I’ve never actually released it as yet.

What do you do in your personal life that would surprise a Sabbath fan?

I just live a normal life. I like to go out for walks. I’ve got some great friends – Bev Bevan [ex-Sabbath and ELO drummer], Jasper Carrott, people I’ve known for years, and we get together every week. We call it the Brummie mafia.

Have you ever thought about shaving off your moustache?

The last time I did it was around Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. I was having a shave and I went, whoosh, and I took one of the ends off. I tried shaving the other end off, and in the end I kept going at it and it was getting shorter and shorter till I had the little Hitler one, and I just shaved it off. A day or two later we were doing the photo shoot for the album cover – just typical. I don’t even think about it now. Occasionally it’s a nuisance to keep trimming it and dyeing it, but it’s still there at the minute [laughs].

In the 42 years since Black Sabbath began, you’ve written so many great riffs. Was there ever a point when you felt that the well was running dry?

Yeah. We did Vol 4 in Los Angeles. In 1973 we went back to do Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and I couldn’t think of anything. My brain just didn’t react, nothing worked. It was disastrous. We came back to England and had a bit of time off, and then we went to Clearwell Castle in Wales. We rehearsed there in the dungeons, trying to get some vibe and atmosphere, and it worked. The first thing I came up with was the song Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. And that became the benchmark for the album. Once you come up with ‘the one’, it goes from there.

Are you a perfectionist? A difficult man to work with?

I have been. The music always had to be right in my head, the way I heard it. That was one of the problems we had when Ronnie first joined the band, before I realised that everybody needs to have a say in it.

How did Ronnie’s death affect you personally?

It can’t help but affect you, a friend going so quick. It makes you realise how vulnerable you are. It was a hell of a shock for me. Even now it’s hard to believe he’s gone. But I’m glad we got back together with Ronnie in those last years, with the Heaven & Hell thing.

Looking back, are you happy with what you’ve achieved personally?

I’m very happy. I just hope I don’t keel over in the next year, because I’m really enjoying the way things are.

And if you had your time again, would you do anything differently?

Probably. But life has worked out fine for me.

 


Paul Elliott for Classic Rock, 23 October 2016

Tony Iommi's Paranoid solo is one of the greatest guitar solos of all time

 

Team Rock is absolutely right speaking about Iommi's Paranoid as one of world's greatest solos ever:

"We can’t not choose it. It’s too big, too classic and too… well, good to ignore. Tony Iommi’s distorted, head-swirling yet fiercely hooky technique – combining mystique and heavy-hitting power – has influenced scores of guitarists across metal, stoner, hard rock and other genres and sub-genres. Indeed it feels relatively rare for a present-day rock or metal band to not mention Black Sabbath as an inspiration, largely thanks to Iommi’s involvement. And when it comes to his solos, the one in Paranoid is the most iconic, the most singular in its drive.

If this were a feature on the greatest riffs, it would be virtually impossible to pick one Iommi winner, such is his all-round prowess and pioneering playing style. But more so than any of his other solos, the one in Paranoid sticks out for everyone, not just rock fans – with its fearsome blend of blues scaling, exotic-sounding touches and tasty notes played on bends (probably using Iommi’s then-favoured Gibson SG and Laney amp pairing). It’s clever and colourful without sounding overworked, delivered with grit and energy that somehow makes him sound louche and furious at the same time.

A predictable choice for this list? Maybe, but it couldn’t be more justified. A stone-cold classic.

Q&A with Tony Iommi

When he wasn’t setting bandmate Bill Ward on fire, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi kept himself busy inventing then defining the sound of metal lead guitar. Fuelled by the influence of blues-rock greats such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck, Iommi used one of the most unique set-ups in rock to create a sound that was way heavier than anything that had come before. Here he geeks out on gear, heroes and how a brown-eyed handsome man taught him how to solo.

-- Can you remember what got you hooked on playing lead guitar?
-- Chuck Berry was the first thing I really liked. In my generation you tended to grasp onto anything someone was playing a solo in. You’d think: “I can learn to play it.” Everybody liked Johnny B. Goode. It was the same type of solo he played in a lot of his songs, but that was the link then. I mean, we all played it, from me, the Stones, probably even Clapton.
-- Which was the first guitar solo you learned to play?
-- It probably would have been a Chuck Berry solo. I can’t actually remember. It’s a bloody long time ago!
-- Which of your solos do you most enjoy playing live?
-- At the moment I’m really enjoying doing Dirty Women [from Technical Ecstasy, 1976] one of the lesser-known tracks. I get a chance to jam in that one. In most of the other songs it’s very regimented because the solos are part of the song; on War Pigs and all those, people can sing the solo. So Dirty Women is a jam and it lasts as long as I want to play. Once I move away from my monitors the band know we’re moving onto another bit."

After the huge North American tour leg, terminated on 24 September at Ozzfest in San Bernardino CA, Tony and the boys are currently relaxing at their homes, awaiting for the next leg, which is going to start in Oklahoma's BOK Center on 8 November, to continue in the countries of Latin America as Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

We wish Tony the best of luck and safe travels! God bless you and protect you, dear Master! 

 


Ed Mitchell for Team Rock.com, 18 October 2016

Black Sabbath releases a Super DeLuxe Paranoid

 

The Official Black Sabbath Facebook page announced a new, very interesting issue of Paranoid. Check out the info, dear fans, and preorder on Amazon.

As Black Sabbath nears the conclusion of its triumphant final tour, the band releases their influential classic, PARANOID: SUPER DELUXE EDITION, out November 11. Pre-order your copy on Amazon right HERE!

Including the 2012 remaster of the original album, in addition to a rare 1974 quad mix of the album in stereo, this edition also features the official debut of two concerts from 1970, from Montreux and Brussels. The four-disc set comes with a hardbound book, including extensive liner notes featuring new interviews with all four band members, rare photos, and memorabilia, a poster, as well as a replica of the tour book sold during the Paranoid tour.



BlackSabbath.com, 15 September 2016

New Black Sabbath Complete History book is coming!

 

On October 15, 2016, Black Sabbath will still be out on the road, drawing ever-nearer to its end in Birmingham. However, on that date as well, the band's entire history will be available in book form under the title The Complete History Of Black Sabbath: What Evil Lurks.

The book is written by great metal writer Joel McIver, who also wrote Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, his previous book about Black Sabbath, Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica and writes for/has written for Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Metal Hammer, and Classic Rock.

The book will be out via Race Point Publishing and will have a foreword written by Machine Head's Robb Flynn. The press release makes it sound pretty cool as well, what with a fold-out family tree that chronicles each band member's history, over 200 images of the band through the years, and a complete discography of the band. Oh, and the cover rightfully features Bill Ward!

 


Metalinjection.net, 11 August 2016

Great news from Tony! Guitar God is cancer free!

 

Black Sabbath guitar hero Tony Iommi’s cancer is finally in remission, the Brummie rock legend has revealed. But he will have to have blood tests every six weeks for the rest of his life to check for any sign of the stage three lymphoma’s return. The 68-year-old star confirmed the news as he unveiled a plaque at the hospital where medics have been treating his illness. The Spire Specialist Care Centre – a new, purpose-built £1.3 million facility in the grounds of Solihull’s Spire Parkway Hospital – has been awarded the The Macmillan Quality Environment Mark for its care of cancer patients. And Tony, on a break from Sabbath’s farewell tour, was delighted to officially unveil the award.

“When you have an illness such as cancer, it is important that the inevitable anxiety associated with a hospital visit is eased,” he said, "The new centre, which is separated from the hospital, offers a warm and welcoming environment. All the staff are friendly and helpful. You can talk to them about any concerns you may have, about your treatment or just about life in general, which is sometimes exactly what you need. I can’t thank them enough for what they have done for me, and others like me.”

After confirmation yesterday that his own lymphoma is in remission, Tony knows that it is important to keep a check on it. Macmillan Cancer Services Manager Elisa Follen said: “It was a real boost to get the award, and for Tony to come and hand it over was the icing on the cake. He is very well liked by everyone here who met him during his treatment and is a great friend of the hospital. We have a fantastic team with in-depth specialist knowledge along with some experienced and very well respected consultants. The cancer journey is a tough and emotional one for everyone involved – including family and friends – but I think we have what we need to make that journey as comfortable and successful as possible.”

Spire Parkway hospital's official Facebook page posted this statement:

"Spire Parkway Hospital was delighted to welcome Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi to our new Spire Specialist Care Cancer Centre. The Macmillian Quality Environment Mark award was presented to Macmillian Cancer Services Manager, Elisa Follen. Joining Tony was Consultant Haematologist Professor Milligan, who previously treated Tony during his two and half year battle with cancer. Professor Milligan this week retires after a long and successful career in healthcare."

This news are great joy to all Iommifans around the world. Finally, after years of anxiety and worries, we see our beloved Tony healthy and happy. Our gratitude goes to Spire Parkway hospital's doctors, nurses and everyone who made Tony's treatment easy and friendly. Thank you, and God bless you all!

God bless our Tony, may he live a very long life full of happiness and love. You deserve that and more, Angel!  


Spirehealthcare.com

Birminghammail.co.uk, 10 August 2016

Black Sabbath boys remember Master of Reality Sessions

 

In 1971, Black Sabbath released the monumental Master Of Reality album, inventing heavy metal’s future… and opening the door on an era of cocaine, Quaaludes and dagger-wielding Satanists.

The story of Black Sabbath is one of chaos, inspiration, luck and moments of outright genius – and never more so than during their stellar rise in the early 1970s. Between 1970 and 1975, the band released six groundbreaking albums – a run that still stands as one of rock’s greatest hot streaks.

If 1970’s Paranoid album raised Sabbath’s profile on both sides of Atlantic, it was the follow-up, 1971’s Master Of Reality, where everything truly came together. Producing the album themselves gave the band the opportunity to experiment – most notably, Iommi’s decision to tune his guitar down by three semi-tones, to reduce string tension and make the instrument easier to play with his damaged fingers, inadvertently made Sabbath’s sound even heavier, denser and doomier.

The result was one of the finest albums of their career – and one which would shape everything that came in its wake. This is the story of how Black Sabbath made Master Of Reality - and how Master Of Reality made Black Sabbath…

Tony Iommi: The whole thing was an experiment.We tuned down to get more power and a fatter sound. Of course, Ozzy started singing higher. He’d go, “Oh, I can reach that note now.” However, when we got onstage, he couldn’t do it.

Bill Ward: I was pulling off a lot of new things that I’d been trying to do for three years, such as my double bass work in Children Of The Grave. There’s a lot of different bass drum movement, and I play the timbale with my left hand on that song too.

Ozzy Osbourne: Children Of The Grave was the most kick-ass song we’d ever recorded.

Tony Iommi: I wrote Sweet Leaf in the studio. I’d come back from Dublin, and they had these cigarettes called Sweet Afton. We were going, “What could we write about?” I took out a cigarette packet, and as it’s got on the lid, ‘The Sweetest Leaf You Can Buy!’ I was like, “Ah, Sweet Leaf!”’

Bill Ward: That’s about having a relationship with marijuana. That was part of our lifestyle then.

Tony Iommi: At the start of the song, that’s me bloody choking. I was in the studio doing this acoustic thing, and Ozzy rolled this big joint and brought it out. I had a couple of puffs and nearly choked myself. They left the tape running, and it turned into the ideal start for Sweet Leaf.

Tom Allom (sound engineer): What Bill and Geezer were doing together was incredible, actually. They were almost a jazz band, really.

Tony Iommi: We tried recording Into The Void in a couple of different studios because Bill couldn’t get it right. Whenever that happened, he would start believing that he wasn’t capable of playing the song. He’d say, “To hell with it – I’m not doing this!”

Geezer Butler: Tony was the great leveller. He steered the ship in the right direction. If there were four Ozzys, we never would’ve gotten anywhere.

Tony Iommi: I didn’t want to be the boss as such. It was just that they looked to me as a leader. I came up with the ideas and if anything happened I was the one that they’d come to. The same in the studio: they’d go home and I’d still be in there. I wanted the music to the best it could be, and I was worried to leave it in other people’s hands.

Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins): Master Of Reality changed the way I thought when I was eight years old. I’d picked it up from my uncle. The album looked so cool with its dark, evil colour. It sounded so heavy. Okay, the lyrics are pretty hit or miss. Never has a man rhymed ‘insane’ with ‘brain’ so many times. But the music is amazing. Things were changing gear for Sabbath, especially in the US. The press still hated them, but the kids couldn’t get enough. Master Of Reality was certified gold on advance orders alone in the States. In July 1971, they set off on a US tour, supported by Yes.

Rick Wakeman (keyboards, Yes): I was a serious drinker, as were all of Sabbath, so we got on like a house on fire. They had a seat on their private plane, so I’d travel with them. You literally couldn’t move for booze. Ozzy was putting away as much as me – which was as much as humanly possible.

Tony Iommi: The first time I tried coke was at the LA Forum in 1971. I said to one of the crew, “I really feel tired tonight.” He said, “Why don’t you have a line? It’ll perk you up.” I’d been around it for a while, but I’d never taken it. I only had a little bit. One line. But it felt great.

Bill Ward: We were getting into coke, big time. Uppers, downers, Quaaludes, whatever you like. It got to the stage where you’d come up with ideas and forget them, because you were just so out of it.

Tony Iommi: The success happened so quickly, but we just went along with it. The only thing that messed with our heads was the drugs. We had all sorts of weird people coming to the gigs in America – witches, all sorts. People came to our hotel with black cloaks on, lighting candles. Some of those religious weirdos were as dangerous as the Ku Klux Klan.

Ozzy Osbourne: The Satanists never stopped being a pain in the arse. We were playing Memphis and this bloke in a black cloak ran on stage.
Tony Iommi: When we’d got to the gig, somebody had painted a cross on a door in red. We didn’t think much else of it. But later on we found out this bloke had cut his hand and drawn the cross in his blood. He was some religious freak. During that show, my amps were playing up and I really got pissed off. I kicked my stack over and walked off. And as I’m walking off, this bloke’s behind me. He’d got past security but somebody managed to jump on him. I didn’t know what was happening. I was still moaning about my gear.

Ozzy Osbourne: Before I knew it, one of our roadies was running on stage with a metal bar raised above his head, and he twatted the guy in the face. The satanic bloke was lying on the stage with his cloak wide open. In his right hand was a dagger.

Tony Iommi: It was only afterwards that I found out this bloke was trying to bump one of us off…

 


Classic Rock, 2 August 2016

 

It began with Laney... it ends with Laney!

 

A truly amazing article was published on the official Laney Amplification website, about the new rig of Laney Supergroup LA100BL especially built for Tony Iommi, to use on his last Black Sabbath "The End" tour. Here it is, enjoy the good read:


It is often the case that when something finally reaches it’s natural conclusion interest invariably begin to focus on how it all began in the first place. This is certainly the case when you look at the career of the band Black Sabbath and in particular our involvement with Tony Iommi the guitarist.


With the beginning of “THE END” in sight, discussions of set list and associated considerations began to surface and it became clear that the set list would more than likely be written to include material from the whole of the bands considerable musical output. With this in mind it was not long before we got a call from Mike Clements - Tony Iommi’s long time guitar tech asking if it would be possible for Tony to borrow a couple of amps from our historic collection to listen to. It’s not often that you get the time to listen to “Old” amps in detail so the fact that we had to listen to the old SUPERGROUPS we had in out collection was a real pleasure. 


There is not doubt that these amps have a sound unique to them – a subtle undertone to the note played. A sound which with hindsight was a very unique sound and something intrinsic to the sound of the early Sabbath recordings. Tony immediately heard a sound he recognised from back in the early days and it was decided very quickly that he wanted to have this sound available to him for the early era material which was to be included in the set list. So we set about scouring the relevant sources for original LA100BL’s for us to work with. We met some very dedicated and immensely interesting people along the way and managed to source a few examples of the SUPERGROUP LA100BLS we were after and began to put them through their paces. It quickly became clear that whilst these amps sounded great they all showed signs of their age and previous owners! Would we trust them to survive a prolonged time on the road and remain 100% reliable – probably not.


The key ingredient to the sound of the old SUPERGROUPS was the original Partridge output transformer used. The original Partridge Transformer had long since ceased being produced so we had to come up with a solution. This meant a long period of design and testing on the production from the ground up of a new transformer capable of producing the unique tone of the originals.


Combine this with the meticulous attention to detail of using as close to the original materials as was physically possible and after 6 months of painstaking RnD and sonic testing we finally came up with a new “OLD” Laney SUPERGROUP LA100BL – an amp of totally stunning sound and beauty. 13 units were built in honour of the final Black Sabbath album. 6 of these 13 were loaded into Tony’s live rig to handle the older content of the set list whilst the new material is being played using Tony’s current TI100 live rig.


Everyone who hears Tony's new "OLD" rig is totally blown away by the tone, there is something there that is tonally unique. Make sure you get the chance to see Black Sabbath and listen to the man and the amplifier that put heavy metal on the global map. As Tony says "It began with Laney - it ends with Laney"


Laney.co.uk, 2 August 2016


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