That time I told Tony Iommi that “Supernaut” was my fave Black Sabbath riff, and he said that it was Zappa’s too

By Steve Newton I've interviewed Tony Iommi, the Riffmaster General, twice: the first time was back in '84 when the Ian Gillan-fronted Black Sabbath was touring behind the Born Again album, and the last time was in 2007 when he was back with Ronnie James Dio in the Heaven and Hell format. As the second … Continue reading That time I told Tony Iommi that “Supernaut” was my fave Black Sabbath riff, and he said that it was Zappa’s too

Black Sabbath’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton Sabbath Bloody Sabbath rules. 20. "Junior's Eyes" (Never Say Die, 1978) 19. "A National Acrobat" (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, 1973) 18. "Into the Void" (Master of Reality, 1971) 17. "Wishing Well" (Heaven and Hell, 1980) 16. "War Pigs" (Paranoid, 1970) 15. "Sabbra Cadabra" (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, 1973) 14. "Dirty Women" (Technical Ecstasy, 1976) 13. … Continue reading Black Sabbath’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

That time Tony Iommi told me about the “loon” who wanted to stab him onstage at a Black Sabbath show

By Steve Newton This is probly the last audio excerpt I'll post from my 2007 interview with legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi. Maybe one day I'll just post the whole damn conversation--and the one from 1984 as well. You'll have to keep checking back to find out, I suppose. Anyway, this excerpt I thought was … Continue reading That time Tony Iommi told me about the “loon” who wanted to stab him onstage at a Black Sabbath show

That time Tony Iommi told me about the early rivalry between Black Sabbath and Deep Purple

By Steve Newton When I interviewed guitar legend Tony Iommi back in March of 2007 he was bringing his Ronnie James Dio-fronted version of Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell, to Vancouver for a show at the Pacific Coliseum with Megadeth and Down. At one point I asked Iommi whether he was a fan of Dio's … Continue reading That time Tony Iommi told me about the early rivalry between Black Sabbath and Deep Purple

That time I asked Tony Iommi how Ronnie James Dio compared to Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath

  By Steve Newton Since time immemorial--or at least since Dio replaced Ozzy in Sabbath back in '79--armchair rock critics have debated the merits of the two singers. It's hard to complain about anything Ozzy did with the band up until the awesome Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath album of 1973; then again, after three spotty LPs, … Continue reading That time I asked Tony Iommi how Ronnie James Dio compared to Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath

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

That time I asked Ronnie James Dio about stepping into Ozzy Osbourne’s shoes in Black Sabbath

By Steve Newton There's no denying that Ronnie James Dio did an incredible job replacing Ozzy Osbourne as the singer in Black Sabbath. The moment I heard "Neon Nights", the opening track on Dio's first Sabbath album, Heaven and Hell, I knew the heavy-metal stars had aligned. The music had way more power and feel than … Continue reading That time I asked Ronnie James Dio about stepping into Ozzy Osbourne’s shoes in Black Sabbath

Ronnie James Dio: the Lost Interview of 1985, an Ear of Newt exclusive

By Steve Newton On December 20, 1985, Ronnie James Dio called me up at home and we chatted for 20 minutes or so. How cool was that? The legendary heavy-metal artist was doing press promoting his Sacred Heart tour, which was scheduled to play Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum on December 28, with guest Yngwie Malmsteen. We talked … Continue reading Ronnie James Dio: the Lost Interview of 1985, an Ear of Newt exclusive

Dio-era Rules of Hell box proves Sabbath thrived after Ozzy

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 3, 2008 By Steve Newton Just as there are many who feel that Van Halen turned to crap when David Lee Roth left the fold, there are scads of metalheads who believe that Black Sabbath wasn’t worth shite without Ozzy Osbourne at the mike. Screw them. There’s no denying that … Continue reading Dio-era Rules of Hell box proves Sabbath thrived after Ozzy

Dave Mustaine recalls how Black Sabbath was too heavy for him as a kid

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 7, 2007 By Steve Newton Heavy metal has seen a lot of changes since Megadeth delivered its thrashy debut album, Killing Is My Business.. And Business Is Good!, back in 1985. Nowadays it includes death metal, black metal, speed metal, thrash metal, power metal, pop metal, alternative metal, nu metal, … Continue reading Dave Mustaine recalls how Black Sabbath was too heavy for him as a kid

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

Black Sabbath comes to town as Heaven and Hell

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 14, 2007 When Black Sabbath came to town last Sunday—calling itself Heaven and Hell, I guess, to make sure no one expected Ozzy Osbourne to dodder onto the stage—it was the quartet's first public performance in 14 years. More importantly, it was the group's first Vancouver show in a quarter-century. … Continue reading Black Sabbath comes to town as Heaven and Hell

Metal legend Ronnie James Dio dead at 67

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 16, 2010 Heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio, best known for his work with Rainbow and Black Sabbath, passed away today at the age of 67. He had been battling stomach cancer. His wife Wendy posted the following message on his web site. "Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed … Continue reading Metal legend Ronnie James Dio dead at 67