It’s not every day you get to interview a veritable music legend, but that’s what happened this week when I got the chance to sit down with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi. One of the things I’ve not been doing lately is taking on that many feature assignments due to the tight deadline of my upcoming book. But when the chance to talk to the creator of the riffs for “Paranoid,” “Supernaut,” “Into the Void” and so, so many more, you don’t turn it down, no matter how busy your schedule is.
Iommi was promoting the deluxe editions of Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules, the first two albums Sabbath did with Ronnie James Dio at the mic. Rather than ask him the same old questions about the record, which isn’t to say we didn’t dig deep into the record of it and whatnot, I wanted to do my typical off the beaten path stuff like ask him why the Sabs never did a disco song.
Not only was Iommi game, he was an absolute delight to speak to, with the interview running here at Ultimate Classic Rock. It was also fortuitous that Black Sabbath took Van Halen on their first tour of the UK, and I just happen to be in the midst of writing a tome about the latter. Like the rest of the chat, the riff master was more than willing to talk about that period of time in his life and his relationship with Eddie Van Halen. To read more about that aspect of our conversation, you can pre-order Van Halen: The Eruption and the Aftershock now. Or, check out one of the best songs the Dio era of Sabbath ever laid down: