Tony Iommi Talks About Black Sabbath, Queen, Led Zeppelin and More
The legendary guitarist and co-founder of Black Sabbath‘s Tony Iommi don’t still seem to stop with his full agenda. The talented guitarist has recently appeared in a few interviews, looking back to his past career journey along with the regarded band’s future after the 2017 retirement, and many more. So, we have gathered some of his words for you.
While Tony Iommi has also been promoting a new song along with perfume, both titled Scent of Dark, the talented guitarist talked about some of his encounters, relationships, and collaborations, along with the past journey of Black Sabbath. Tony Iommi also added the possibilities for the future of Black Sabbath, saying ‘You never know.’
Among all, the talented guitarist also touched on some of the all-time heroes of rock, such as John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, Queen guitarist Brian May, and more, while looking back to the past collaborations experiences in his career. Tony Iommi started by mentioning Foo Fighters vocalist Dave Grohl, who also contributed to the vocals and drums for the “Goodbye Lament” song from Tony Iommi‘s self-titled debut solo album, back in 2000.
“It was exciting, a bit daring for me because I didn’t know, I didn’t meet some of them. But it sort of worked. Using Dave Grohl, it was great, Dave was really enthusiastic but it was a bit awkward as well because the track Dave sang on, he said, ‘Can I play drums?’
I said, ‘Well, I already have a drummer,’ which was the drummer from Soundgarden. And Dave said, ‘Well, I’d like to play drums.’ Oh, dear… So I left it to the producer. I said, ‘Dave wants to play drums…’ Anyway, Dave ended up playing drums on it. But it was a good experience working with different people,” explained his working experience with Dave Grohl. Afterward, the talented guitarist of Black Sabbath also jumped onto talking about his good friend John Bonham, and how their friendship has come so far.
“He was my best man, we used to go to clubs a lot together. He was another story. My stag night, we went out in Birmingham to different clubs, and the last club, we ended up with was at closing time, at 1:30 in the morning. We walked in, and John Bonham said, ‘Twelve bottles of champagne on the bar! Open them all and pour all twelve of them.’ And I thought he was treating everybody in the club. I said, ‘What are you doing?’ He said, ‘It’s for you!’ ‘I’m not gonna drink that!’ He said, ‘Go on, you gotta drink it, you’re getting married tomorrow!’ I said, ‘I’m not gonna turn up if I drink that!’ So I had one glass and he just went in the line drinking them!
And he was paralytic, I had to take him home at the end of the night. We had a driver take us, got to his house, his wife wouldn’t let him in because he was drunk and it was such an ordeal. She was pressing the gate, ‘He’s not coming in!’ And eventually, she opened the gate and we got in. And she opened the front door saying, ‘He is not coming upstairs!’ I said, ‘I’m getting married in the morning, he’s gotta be there.’ She said, ‘He can sleep downstairs.’
So I put him against the radiator and said, ‘You’re not gonna turn up tomorrow, are you?’ And he stuck his thumb up as if to say yeah. I asked, ‘Are you alright there?’ He mumbled and I left him there. Sure enough, the next morning, bloody hell, I lived about 30 miles from him, and he turned up to my house before I even got up the next morning! I couldn’t believe it! He was up, ready to go, suited up, everything! Unbelievable.”
Also, it’s not long since Tony Iommi spoke about his relationship with Brian May, appearing in an interview. And apparently, Black Sabbath guitarist has also been wanting to join forces with Queen guitarist, who Tony Iommi also described as his Rock God during an interview, recently. So, it’s not a shocker after all, since we all also got to know better the friendship of the two talented guitarists. After this past interview of his, Tony Iommi was asked again about it and answered why they still haven’t come up with something.
“Brian and I have played together on a lot of different things and projects. Of course, I’ve played with Queen at the Wembley thing (in 1992). We have threatened for years that we are going to do something together but we never got around to it. The last time we talked about it, Brian came over to my house just before the pandemic, and I played him some stuff, and he said, ‘Great, great, you should just release it like that.’
I said, ‘No, they are just demo ideas.’ And that was the last time we spoke of doing something together. And of course, the pandemic happened and everything has gone pear-shaped. And he was supposed to be touring, they had to cancel that. I had some stuff up, I had to cancel that. So it went out of the window, really,” explained Black Sabbath co-founder, and continued as he talked about Queen, reflecting his thoughts for one of the most regarded rock bands in history.
“When I first heard the first album, I thought it was great, and the guitar playing as well. Brian had his unique sound which was rare, you could recognize him straight away. He is one of the few guitar players you could recognize straight away when you hear that first chord or first note – it’s him! Great player.
We upped our friendship in the ’70s and he used to come around the studio when I was doing stuff, and I was going around when he was doing stuff. Freddie would be in the studio and then leave, and he would phone me up, ‘I’m in the studio. Do you want to come around?’ I would pop in, sit there with him, and that’s how we hooked up a long-term friendship.”
Afterward, the talented musician Tony Iommi was also asked whether he misses the guys and the touring, or Black Sabbath has been put to bed properly, as well.
“Well, yes, I miss the guys, I miss doing live shows. Yeah, but you never know with Sabbath, I’ve been asked many times, ‘Will you do anything again?’… Well, you never can say, ‘No, I won’t,’ because you never know. You never know what’s around the corner. If anything, I wouldn’t be doing long tours anyway, I couldn’t do that again, but I do love playing live, and I’m sure some way we will, or I will, but who knows what’s around the corner,” explained Tony Iommi the current situation and future possibilities of Black Sabbath.
Ultimately, the regarded musician also asked about a memory of him with Ian Gillan as Gillan couldn’t realize that he told Tony Iommi he would join Black Sabbath the night he was recruited, because he was drunk.
“Oh man, I’ll tell you what, he’d just come in from Kuala Lumpur, believe it or not, he traveled in from Kuala Lumpur, and we met him in Woodstock in Oxfordshire at a pub, which probably wasn’t a good move. He turned up about 11 o’clock in the morning, Geezer and I were there, and he said ‘I’ve just come from Kuala Lumpur.’ We must’ve had a drink, and another drink, and another drink.
Anyway, the pub was closing, and they just locked us in and left us there, and god, the state of us at the end of the day, and he don’t even remember, and of course, his manager said, ‘Ian, if you’re going to make any important decisions, can you let me know?’ Ian went ‘Why?’ He said, ‘Agreeing to join Black Sabbath…’ It was really funny, actually. We got endless stories with him, we’ve had some bloody fun on that tour.”
Ultimately, the regarded guitarist finished his conversation stating his current health situation after being asked if he still goes on having treatments and else.
“Yes, I still go for, well, check-ups mainly now, and yeah, it’s all, dare I say, it’s going good,” explained Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi.
The co-founder of Black Sabbath, Tony Iommi also appeared in an interview recently, talking about the final tour of Black Sabbath, “The End,” along with reflecting how they felt, and many more. You may also want to check out what the talented guitarist said, here.