Sir Christo­pher Lee said: ‘You’re the king of heavy me­tal’ and I said: ‘Well, you started it off’

Tony Iommi on in­vent­ing heavy me­tal, sur­viv­ing Black Sab­bath bac­cha­na­lia and stay­ing pos­i­tive

The Herald Magazine - - Arts FEATURE - SEAN GUTHRIE

THE man who in­vented heavy me­tal is on the line. The man who, along­side bass player Geezer But­ler, drum­mer Bill Ward and vo­cal­ist Ozzy Os­bourne, thun­dered out of

Birm­ing­ham in 1968 straf­ing the sky with round af­ter round of gnarled riffs, sir­ing hun­dreds upon hun­dreds of groups and chang­ing the face of music for ever.

The man who sur­vived the bac­cha­na­lian ex­cess of the 1970s and 80s when many of his friends did not. The man who ranks only slightly be­low Satan in the es­ti­ma­tion of mil­lions of me­tal dis­ci­ples around the world.

“I just pot­ter around,” says Tony Iommi when asked about his daily rou­tine, his Black Coun­try ac­cent per­fectly in­tact. De­spite decades of glo­be­trot­ting he still lives in the West Mid­lands with his fourth wife, Maria Sjo­holm.

The gui­tarist and chief song­writer in Black Sab­bath is now 70 years old and

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