A few brief words on the Black Sabbath domestic ‘issues’
As you’re likely aware, Black Sabbath are back (again!). There are going to be a number of big shows, including Download, Lollapalooza and a ‘Sabbath-Lite’ masquerading under the moniker ‘Ozzy and friends’ at Hellfest and elsewhere. There is also talk of a new album, but thus far the emphasis is heavily upon the ‘talk’, rather than the ‘album’.
I shouldn’t need to mention that Tony is currently under treatment for cancer – we here at STS wish him all the best and are sure he will make a strong recovery. A more recent complication in this most recent Sabbath chapter revolves around the actual composition of the band. Tony (so far as I am aware) will perform at Download, Lollapalooza and DID take to the stage last night at their Birmingham gig (more on that later – oh to have been there…). I imagine ‘Ozzy and friends’ will consist of Ozzy, Geezer, Drummer X (likely Ozzy’s current tour drummer, whoever that is) and guest axemen.
Drummer X of course, replaces a certain Mr Ward. Apparently there have been disputes over money and the amount of stage time allowed. There have been accusations and counter-accusations that you can track down yourself, should you wish. There’s been a lot of ‘representatives’ involved, which is code for over-paid leeches – how metal… Also, Black Sabbath have been asked to strip Bill Ward’s image from their website, which is rather retarded.
So, a right old pickle, very inspirational and worthy of utter legends, right? You would have thought that they would all have plenty enough money and respect for the fans, if not each other, to make personal vendettas and material gains be irrelevancies, providing the fans with one final chance to see the legends at work. But no, apparently not.
I suspect much of the fuss over this situation is due to previous legal disputes over the name ‘Black Sabbath’, which famously resulted in latter-day Dio Sabbath becoming Heaven and Hell. With the greatest respects to both vocalists and Bill Ward, however, Black Sabbath to me is two individuals – Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi. The vocalists changed many a time, same with the drummer, but Geezer only rarely and Tony NEVER. Regardless of the permutation that comes about, any band with Tony and Geezer in it is to be, Sabbath. All these disputes can go hang. I take no sides in the dispute – it is natural that passions will run high with a band of such importance and, lets face it, business possibilities. It is just sad that egos and money serve to tear a band of brothers apart, but so it goes sometimes.
I’m just damn glad Heaven and Hell released the best Black Sabbath album since, err, Heaven and Hell – that to me is a fitting place to end the Sabbath saga, though if anyone can manage to come close to matching that imperious effort, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi can.
To end this on a cheery note, please find the setlist Sabbath played last night below [as lifted from a FB post]:
Into The Void
Under The Sun
Wheels Of Confusion
Beyond The Wall Of Sleep
Fairies Wear Boots
Sympton Of The Universe (intro)
Children Of The Grave
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (intro)
Into the Fucking Void to open, DAMN! No Dio material, but that is par for the course, and really, what would you replace!