That time I asked Tony Iommi about Ronnie James Dio replacing Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath

By Steve Newton In the past I've had fun posting audio excerpts from my first interview with legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, which took place in 1984, during the group's misguided Born Again phase. Fast-forward 23 years and I got Iommi on the phone again, this time to talk about the Heaven and Hell … Continue reading That time I asked Tony Iommi about Ronnie James Dio replacing Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath gets all Paranoid at final Vancouver gig

By Steve Newton Every Black Sabbath freak has his fave Sabbath album. I for one have long trumpeted the supreme awesomeness of 1975's Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath. Others point to the band's spooky self-titled debut of 1970 as its pinnacle achievement. But most of the Sabbath fans I've encountered tend to regard Paranoid--also released in 1970--as the heavy-metal … Continue reading Black Sabbath gets all Paranoid at final Vancouver gig

Old Geezer’s still got it: Sabbath bassist arrested after altercation in Death Valley

By Steve Newton Apart from the ominous tone of its name—and the fierceness of its music—Black Sabbath as a band hasn't been known as the rowdiest of legendary rock acts. When I interviewed guitarist Tony Iommi way back in 1984 he seemed like the perfect gentleman on the phone. And despite his "let's-go-fucking-crazy!" approach to life in general, singer Ozzy … Continue reading Old Geezer’s still got it: Sabbath bassist arrested after altercation in Death Valley

Black Sabbath may yet tour with its original lineup, hints Ozzy Osbourne

For all those diehard Black Sabbath fans who saw the band in concert last year and went, "Man, that was wicked, but how cool would it have been with Bill Ward!", there is still hope. According to Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, the British metal legends intend to record one final album and embark on one final tour. … Continue reading Black Sabbath may yet tour with its original lineup, hints Ozzy Osbourne

Consider yourself warned about Sabbath’s Black Box

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 9, 2004 By Steve Newton Now here's the ultimate stocking stuffer for that die-hard metal freak on your Christmas list. It's gonna cost you a fair chunk of cash--I just saw the Black Box going for $124 at A&B Sound--but little Timmy will be gaining invaluable insights into the roots of heavy … Continue reading Consider yourself warned about Sabbath’s Black Box

Black Sabbath’s new box set isn’t quite as wicked as its Black Box

By Steve Newton The hard-rock/metal world is all a-buzz with today's news that the mighty Black Sabbath will release a CD boxed set containing the band's first eight albums—the ones it recorded before Ozzy Osbourne got the boot and was replaced by Ronnie James Dio in 1979. That's all well and good. The more masterful Tony Iommi riffs … Continue reading Black Sabbath’s new box set isn’t quite as wicked as its Black Box

Black Sabbath’s Vancouver show ruled by monster riffs

photo by rebecca blissett ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 23, 2013 By Steve Newton Talk about a study in contrasts. Strolling past Science World on the way to see Black Sabbath last night, we happened upon quite an unusual sight. Hundreds of well-to-do-looking folk dressed all in white were converging on an area beside the … Continue reading Black Sabbath’s Vancouver show ruled by monster riffs

Jason Newsted’s brand of heavy metal is a gift for the headbanger set

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 25, 2013 By Steve Newton When a veteran rocker calls in the midst of doing a major North American tour, it’s pretty common for him to use terms like amazing and awesome in response to the journalist’s tried-and-true icebreaker: “So, how’s the tour going?” But when Jason Newsted rings in … Continue reading Jason Newsted’s brand of heavy metal is a gift for the headbanger set

Tony Iommi on Heaven and Hell and how Frank Zappa always loved his “Supernaut” riff

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 7, 2007 By Steve Newton It's somewhat ironic that Black Sabbath's 1978 album was titled Never Say Die, because that disc actually signalled the end of the group's original lineup. After eight albums with Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, the metal pioneers gave him the boot, replacing him with Ronnie James … Continue reading Tony Iommi on Heaven and Hell and how Frank Zappa always loved his “Supernaut” riff