Sunday, February 14, 2010

Black Sabbath...

Now I bet that picture takes (some of) you back... can you believe it's just had it's 40th Anniversary though??!!

This was their first album, "Black Sabbath" (by Black Sabbath) was released on the 13th February 1970... whatever did they start!

I can't tell you how many times I must have listened to this album while doing various bits of homework, "O" level revision, "A" level revision and the rest... even now I still have "The Wizard" and "N.I.B" on my MP3 player....

Happy memories, and happy birthday...

Here's my favourite - even now the lyrics make me laugh...

Misty morning, clouds in the sky
Without warning, the wizard walks by
Casting his shadow, weaving his spell
Funny clothes, tinkling bell


  1. Steve, Dude,

    Sit down, take a deep breath... It's actually been 40 years! I also remember it well, my final year of High School, ready (I thought) to tackle the World at 17 and take no prisoners.

    And after all of the "gentle poets" of the mid-sixties, and the electric blues guitar driven rock of the later sixties, all of a sudden there was Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Jethro Tull, and Ozzie and the lads providing the driving beat and rythyms perfectly suited to raising a young man's hormone level to the boiling point.

    As Nigel Tufnel said, "Well, it goes to 11, so it's got to be louder."*

    *points if you remember that reference.


  2. Classic album and a great band (at least the Ozzy - wasn't it Ossie originally? - version). My teenage punk band used to do a cover of 'Black Sabbath' - great fun!

    Almost as funny as Spinal Tap, Bill. IIRC the whole Nigel Tufnell routine was a parody of Jimmy Page from 'The Song Remains the Same'....?

    If it's 40 years since Sabbath first..congealed...then it's even longer since the MC5, Social Deviants, Blue Cheer, etc. Yikes!

  3. DC;

    Actually, the Tufnel character was a combination of Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. The looks and attitude, as well as the variety of instruments was pure Beck, the interview portion and the interest in the "Ancient ways" was pure Page, but the part of the interview that featured the guitar collection (including the imaginary sustain of the unplugged Les Paul) was taken directly from an interview that Clapton did featuring his own collection, complete with at least one untouched and unplayed Stratocaster with hang tags.

    Ah, Blue Cheer! With all due respect to the Who, I still think Blue Cheer's version of "Summertime Blues" was the best since Eddie Cochran's. I'm in the process (slowly) of converting my old vinyl collection to digital with the help of a friend. What memories! Long before the arena days when the music was in smaller, more personal venues, I saw the Doors and the Yardbirds live in 67; Hendrix, Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and others in 68; most of the above again along with Ten Years After, Cream, Santana, John Mayall, and others in 69; and then in 70, July 4th weekend, journeyed far away to Atlanta for the 2nd Atlanta International Pop Festival. The Allman Brothers triumphant return to Georgia after their now famous "Live at the Fillmore" release and Hendrix doing the "Star Spangled Banner" on the 4th accompanied by a fireworks display. Plus most of the rest of the cast from "Woodstock". Then, still at 17 mind you, hitchhiking back to Texas to resume Normal Life (something I would NEVER have let my own kids do).

    Ah yes, very good times, now long gone (and yes, Sir William is feeling very Aged right now) but fondly remembered still.


  4. Having been born in 1971, I only WISH it were their 30th anniversary...

  5. Ah Sir William - that's why I blog, to get the memories of my visitors.. and yours are second to none! The best I can do I'm afraid is Zeppelin at Knebworth, and I too was about 17 - we wouldn't let them do it these days, but all I remember was feeling safe with all those kike minded teenagers...

    DC - fond memories of "Kick out the Jams"!

    PS. I suspect that if I had spent a little more time actually studying I might have been better at maths!!

  6. I too am in awe of Bill's credentials. The best i can manage is Lou Reed, Neil Young, Peter Green, and numerous incarnations of Hawkwind and Gong. Clearly must try harder....

  7. Steve and DC;

    I must claim an unfair advantage. The Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas was becoming something of a music mecca in the latter 60's into the 70's, and I had both many friends who were musicians (often in the warm-up bands) and press credentials from an "alternative" newspaper published in Dallas that I wrote reviews for starting at the ripe old age of 16. I also had a good friend who did PR work for Capital Records out of their Houston office. With these connections, I often had backstage access, but almost always had free admission to any venue I wanted to attend.

    Also, there were many bands just beginning to make it that started in this area. ZZ Top started as a Texas group that had a regular contract to tour a chain of clubs (The Cellar) in Texas, along with many other bands. My best friend's older brother was the drummer in one such band. As there was a club in Ft. Worth and another in Dallas, there were often multiple bands in the area who would meet up on Sundays for a barbecue. I have broken bread with Billy, Frank and Dusty (as well as Dusty's brother Rusty, a very good guitarist in his own right), as well as the group Spirit (also originally out of Houston), and several other local musician's like T-Bone Burnett (now scoring Hollywood movies and producing Robert Plant) and Johnny Nitzinger (Bloodrock and the group Nitzinger).

    Not counting special events like festivals (Texas even had their own in 1969, at a racetrack outside of Dallas, featuring Joplin among others, see here:
    we usually had multiple concerts at three or four venues almost every weekend from about March through September every year, and a few in the winter months as well.

    Alas, that world is now long behind me, and many of my personal favorites have been lost to us. To bring my trip down Music Lane to a close, however, I did get to re-live the experience at least one more time.

    In 2004, Eric Clapton decided to hold his Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas for 3 days. I was a little more "flush" financially at the time, so I took my 24-year old musician/artist Son and my best friend from High School (a very good bass player in his own right) as my guests. Obviously very Blues and Guitar oriented, but 3 solid days of EC, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, Joe Walsh, Steve Vai, Jeff Beck, ZZ Top, and a host of others. Three days of baking in the hot June Texas sun re-living past lives and properly introducing my Son to many of the influences of his own generation's music.

    And my understanding Wife's last words to my Son? "Bring your Father home, dead or alive, just bring him home or don't bother coming back!" You see, we were already together in 1970 and she knew of "The Old Ways" and the effect that they had on me.

    (being Aged does have it's advantages, as long as the memories last!)

  8. Excellent, excellent stuff, Bill... a reminder of happy days indeed.. I used to work Saturdays at the local department store and spent all my money at the local concert venue - my first concert was Lynyrd Skynyrd (before the dreadful plane crash) but I saw Budgie, UFO, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Camel, Caravan, Ted Nugent, Wishbone Ash, Rush, Hawkwind/Hawklords (way too many times - my girlfriend at the time was a big fan!), Tangarine Dream, Tull, Pink Floyd, and those are just the one's I can remember... ah, and the festivals, the standout for me apart from Zeppelin was seeing Frank Zappa - as was usual he wasn't in a good mood, but on this occasion he unleashed some hugely long, and quite astonishing guitar solo's for the afternoon... a very productive 3 or 4 years.... :o)

    DC - Just been to see Gong - an interesting experience!!

  9. Fascinating diversion - all great bands.

    I've tickets for Bad Company in a couple of months, should be good.

  10. Steve, just turned up the volume on my computer and played the track. Ah, memories, memories.
    Yesterday was my 57th birthday - where did all those years go?

    To be honest it's amazing that I still have any hearing left at all, because I used to listen to Sabbath with my head under the Hi-Fi, right next to the speakers - the only way, I find, to completely puncture your eardrums!


  11. Youngsters,all of you!
    My very first vinyl was a 'double' 45 rpm: Bill Haley,'Rock around the clock' on one side, 'Rock a beatin' boogie' on the other...

    After the 'low tide' of the "60, I really enjoyed the explosion of British Metal.