There have been plenty of books written about legendary metal gods Black Sabbath but if the reality lives up to the advance hype, the forthcoming memoir by Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi could be the mother of all tales.
Iron Man: My Life in Black Sabbath and Beyond, which hits shelves next Tuesday, promises an unvarnished look not only at the rise and fall of the massively influential Birmingham brawlers (famously described by Rolling Stone Magazine as the “Beatles of heavy metal”) but also offers rare glimpses into the man behind that monstrous signature guitar wail.
At least, if the official product description is to be believed:
“Iron Man reveals the man behind the icon yet still captures Iommi’s humor, intelligence, and warmth. He speaks honestly and unflinchingly about his rough-and-tumble childhood, the accident that almost ended his career (a disfiguring hand injury he suffered working in a sheet metal factory), his failed marriages, personal tragedies, battles with addiction, band mates, famous friends, newfound daughter, and the ups and downs of his life as an artist.
“Everything associated with hard rock happened to Black Sabbath first: the drugs, the debauchery, the drinking, the dungeons, the pressure, the pain, the conquests, the company men, the contracts, the combustible drummer, the critics, the comebacks, the singers, the Stonehenge set, the music, the money, the madness, the metal.”
The dungeons? Really?? All the other stuff seems like pretty standard-issue rock nonsense, but dungeons promises a tantalizing and entirely new level of wickedness. Since the Toronto Public Library seems not to have Iron Man on order, keeners may want to reserve their copy at Amazon.ca now.
In a recent interview with Guitar World magazine that is quoted by Blabbermouth, Iommi explained how his autobiography came together. "I had a chap called TJ Lammers, who I met many, many years ago when he used to work at Phonogram Records," he said. "He later became a journalist and he had his own magazine.
“He lives in Holland and we've stayed in touch over the years. I've had a few people say, 'Oh, I can write a book for you,' but I wanted a different outlook to the normal music journalist, and that's what happened. He came over to England and stayed with me for a few days. Then he'd write it up, come back again and do more. The whole thing took a couple years to finish."
Iommi is also scheduled for an in-store appearance promoting the book November 1 in New Jersey at Bookends. Stay tuned.