BLACK SABBATH STAR TONY IOMMI HAS SEEN A GHOST
June 7, 2009
Lorne Jackson of SundayMercury.net reports that perhaps the name of the band is at fault, with its hellish hints of demonic rituals.
Whatever the reason, Black Sabbath have always been viewed as a group capable of sneaking up on the supernatural.
Now Tony Iommi, the lead guitarist with the Brummie rockers, has admitted that it’s all true – he has seen a ghost. And he wasn’t alone when it happened.
However, being a rock god ravaged by time and the trauma of hard-living, it’s not surprising that he remembers the ghost, but not who he was with at the time.
Though the 61-year-old does recall it being a fellow band member – either lead singer and future reality TV star Ozzy Osbourne or bass guitarist Terry “Geezer” Butler.
Back in the early 70s, the group were holed-up in Clearwell Castle, in the Forest Of Dean, to take part in a writing session for a new album, which would eventually be released as Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, in 1973.
Which is when the ghost made its entrance. “We definitely saw one,” says Tony in an interview with Guitarist magazine. “We were setting up the gear in the dungeons and were the only people there.
“It was myself and Geezer, or myself and Ozzy, and we were walking down the hallway and we saw a cloaked figure coming towards us.
“We thought, who is that? It walked into a room, and we followed it to see who it was and there was nobody there.
“The room was an armoury with all the weapons on the wall, and there was nothing else in there.
“We told the people about it who owned the castle; we thought they’d think we were mad, but they just said, ‘Oh yes, that’s the castle ghost’.”
Tony has certainly lived a remarkable life, and not just because he spotted a spirit.
From the early days of his career in music, he has always been a bloke who could beat the odds.
In 1965 he was working in a factory when he lost the tips of his two middle fingers in a machine press accident. Digits that were essential for a budding guitarist.
The 18-year-old didn’t give up. Eventually he made his own artificial fingertips, and re-invented his guitar style to accommodate his infirmity.
The new style he created came to be known, the world-over, as Heavy Metal.
Tony was also instrumental in creating Black Sabbath’s most famous song, Paranoid, the idea of which he came up with while the rest of the band had gone for lunch.
It was recorded in no more than half an hour, yet it went on to become a song that epitomised the hulking hammer sound of Heavy Metal.
The Aston-born strummer also reveals that he is working on his autobiography.
“I’ve been working on it for ages,” he says. “It seems to be taking forever because of everything else going on.”
However, he says it’s important that he finishes the book eventually, as he believes no other biography has captured the spirit of the band.
“I don’t think one book on Sabbath has got it right, yet,” he explains. “They come up with all this bull****, but you can only get the right story from the people who were there.”