Heroes are a good thing, I had heroes when I was young, still do really. You have to feel for young folk these days, where are the heroes to inspire them? Hidden behind a wall of talentless, meritless retards labelled “celebrity”.
Tony Iommi has always been the fairy on top of my hero tree, the sounds of that guitar in Black Sabbath’s songs pulled me through my teenage years and still float around the back of my mind every time I pick up my own guitar. Around 30 years ago he signed my jeans after a show and when I got home I embroidered so that it was there “forever”, I collected as much Sabbath stuff as funds would allow, learned the songs, went to every show in the UK and although many years have passed since my Black Sabbath Greatest Hits vinyl first dropped onto my turntable, those songs still live in my iPod.
Iommi’s autobiography was my most anticipated Christmas present. Through all the changes in the band Iommi has been the only constant and the story always seemed like a complex and fascinating one, as well as a comedy of errors. It turned out exactly that.
Sabbath really were just a bunch of ordinary blokes whose musical and personal chemistry was what made the band unique, kids in a sweetie shop who had no idea about the business and were happy to be taken for a ride as long as there was enough coke on the table. Speaking about the early days of the band Iommi seems to have no bitterness at all, all the mistakes and stupidity, the missing money and fights are all steps on the way to where he is today.
I can relate to that, I try not dwell on past howlers, just try to learn from them, and while having read the book Iommi might not be the kind of man who I’d want as a best buddy, I’m not disappointed in him. Believe it of not, that’s kinda nice even for an old bloke like me, most of the folk I respected for their talents over the past 40-odd years have all turned out to be arseholes.
It’s a great book, written in a conversation style (it was dictated by Iommi to TJ Lammers) and in short sometimes unrelated chapters, which fits with me perfectly. If you’re a Sabbath fan there’s both heart warming (when he talks about the original members and hid daughter) and horrifying (the 80s/90s), and if you like gangster stories there’s plenty of 60s and 70’s music management shenanigans to raise an eyebrow or two. Simon Cowell would have been chewed up and spat back out in those days.