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Happy Birthday, Tony Iommi!

Happy 64th Birthday, Tony Iommi!

I Can Always Remember Riffs

Legendary Black Sabbath guitarist and founding father of heavy metal Tony Iommi stops by to kick off the eighth season of That Metal Show. Topics discussed include the WhoCares project, the Born Again reissue, his upcoming book, a three-movie deal based on Sabbath’s music, working with the late, great Ronnie James Dio, and the obligatory subject of a possible Black Sabbath reunion.

Def Leppard’s Phil Collen was the in-studio guitarist for this episode, and I can only imagine how nerve-racking it must have been to have to play in the presence of Tony Iommi.

Wheels of Confusion

I’m really glad I waited a day before posting about the Black Sabbath reunion announcement that had the interwebs all abuzz yesterday. Tony Iommi has released the following statement on his website dispelling the news of a reunion of the original Sabbath lineup as “speculation,” asserting that he did not confirm that the band was getting back together.

I’m saddened that a Birmingham journalist whom I trusted has chosen this point in time to take a conversation we had back in June and make it sound like we spoke yesterday about a Black Sabbath reunion.

At the time I was supporting the Home of Metal exhibition and was merely speculating, shooting the breeze, on something all of us get asked constantly, “Are you getting back together?”

Thanks to the internet it’s gone round the world as some sort of “official” statement on my part, absolute nonsense. I hope he’s enjoyed his moment of glory, he won’t have another at my expense.

To my old pals, Ozzy, Geezer and Bill, sorry about this, I should have known better.

All the best, Tony

Too bad …

WhoCares: Ian Gillan, Jon Lord, Nicko McBrain, and Tony Iommi in the studio

Everything’s Reduced To Ashes

Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi & Friends - “Out of My Mind”

Eagle Rock Entertainment is promoting tomorrow’s international digital single release of the new Ian Gillan/Tony Iommi project WhoCares: Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi & Friends (more details here) with this video for “Out of My Mind.” The CD/DVD version will hit Europe later this month on May 24, and it will see a North American release on June 27.

Man, this sounds so epic! Although looking very grandfatherly, Ian Gillan sounds great, and I love Tony Iommi’s guitar tone on the solo. I wish these guys would release a whole album’s worth of material and that this wasn’t just a one-off gig.

Enjoy!

Who Cares Wins

WhoCares: Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi & Friends

Oh, my. Things just got interesting on the supergroup front.

Tony Iommi has teamed up with former Deep Purple vocalist and Sabbath mate Ian Gillan to record two songs as a benefit to support the rebuilding of a music school in Gyumri, Armenia. Billed as WhoCares: Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi & Friends, the tracks “Out of My Mind” and “Holy Water” will be released on May 6 by earMUSIC, with all proceeds going to fund the rebuilding effort. Accompanying the music will be a documentary detailing Gillan’s and Iommi’s work in Armenia since the early 90’s after that country suffered a devastating earthquake in late 1988 that apparently it is still trying to recover from some twenty-odd years later.

But what’s just as interesting here is that the “Friends” part of the equation includes legendary Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord, Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain, former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted, and guitarist Linde Lindström of HIM. While I wasn’t a big fan of Born Again, the Black Sabbath album on which Gillan handled vocal duties, I have always loved the man’s voice, especially on what was my introduction to him, Deep Purple’s Perfect Strangers, released in 1984 during his second stint with the band.

From the earMUSIC press release:

There is no doubt that this is the most impressive rock ensemble ever to release new material in 2011.

Which may well be the most pretentious marketing soundbite of 2011 or the understatement of the year.

I’m hoping for the latter.

I Was Dreaming I Was Al Capone

Queen performs “Stone Cold Crazy” with James Hetfield and Tony Iommi at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert

My renewed interest in all things Metallica continues as I make my way through the March 2011 issue of Guitar World and its “The 100 Greatest Metallica Songs” cover story. This time it’s James Hetfield taking on the vocal duties for a live version of one of my favorite Queen songs of all time, “Stone Cold Crazy,” the second track on side two of one of my favorite Queen albums of all time Sheer Heart Attack. This performance comes from The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness on April 20, 1992, where he shared the stage with the remaining members of Queen and Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi on rhythm guitar. Sadly, the show was John Deacon’s final performance with Queen.

I kept waiting for Iommi to join Brian May in a ripping, weaving, twin guitar solo, but alas, May simply soloed with himself via his amazing delay effects work. But no worries, I love me some Brian May guitar-fiddling.

Enjoy!

I’m never, never satisfied. I’ll do a tour and think, ‘I want a bit more of this and a bit more of that’. I just have that thing where I have to try something else.
Tony Iommi on the never-ending search for the perfect guitar tone, Total Guitar, Issue 210