Video of the Day: SABBATH’s “Killing Yourself to Live” at California Jam 1974

Let’s try to get through this work week with SABBATH‘s classic song, “Killing Yourself to Live” off of the band’s 1973 masterpiece, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.  This performance of the song comes from the band’s famous appearance at the legendary California Jam in 1974.  It’s not often that we get to see a moustache-less Tony Iommi.  Enjoy!

BLACK SABBATH Remove Bill Ward from Band Photos at His Request

Some buzz has spread around the web about Bill Ward being cropped out of BLACK SABBATH photos on the band’s website.  Here is the band’s statement regarding the situation:

“At the request of Bill Ward, through his attorney, so as to not give the public the wrong impression about his involvement in the current BLACK SABBATH lineup, we have temporarily removed Bill Ward‘s images from the main pages of the blacksabbath.com  official website.  In accordance with Bill Ward‘s attorney’s request, we are doing so for the duration of the forthcoming shows.”

BLACK SABBATH Issues Statement Regarding Plans to Play Upcoming Shows Without Bill Ward

BLACK SABBATH, currently comprised of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler, have released a statement in response to drummer Bill Ward‘s online statement regarding his absence from the upcoming SABBATH shows and reunion as a whole:

“We have decided not to make any  detailed  comment  on Bill‘s latest statement. There are two sides to every story. We have been working hard at rehearsals making excellent progress after Tony‘s treatments and we have engaged a substitute drummer for the forthcoming shows. See  you at Download.

“–BLACK SABBATH, 5/17/12″

On May 15th, 2012, Bill Ward posted the news on his website that he would not be apart of the upcoming SABBATH reunion shows scheduled in Birmingham  on May 19th, 2012, Download Festival on June 10th, 2012, and Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012.

Here is his statement:

“Dear SABBATH Fans and Fellow Musicians,

“I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming SABBATH shows a failure to agree has continued. At this time I have to inform you that I won’t be playing with BLACK SABBATH at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012.

“It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news. I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I’m very, very sorry that it’s fallen to this. This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality.

“To express my thoughts about you, the SABBATH fans, I’m going to speak to you all through an experience my brother James had recently. My brother Jimmy lives in the U.K. When speaking with him a couple of days ago, he told me that an acquaintance had stopped him on the street and confronted him, “is your brother playing Birmingham? What’s going on? I waited in line with my son and paid x amount for the concert tickets…”

Read the whole statement here.

BLACK SABBATH’s Tony Iommi Issues Update on Cancer Treatment

BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi has issued an update regarding the progress of his cancer treatment:

“Hiya,

“A little update on how it’s all going:

“Well, I’ve had the last dose of chemotherapy so hopefully my body will start to get back to normal soon, the steroids were the worse. I’ve now got three weeks of radiotherapy coming up which I’m told can be very tiring so we’ll see.

“A big thanks to Ozzy and Geezer for coming over to England, it was a big incentive for me, we managed to work most days and have some great new tracks.

“And, importantly thanks again for your kind messages, hope to be seeing you soon.

“- Tony

BLACK SABBATH’s Tony Iommi Diagnosed with Lymphoma

Legendary BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma. Here is the band’s official statement:

“With the news that BLACK SABBATH’s Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, his bandmates would like everyone to send positive vibes to the guitarist at this time. Iommi is currently working with his doctors to establish the best treatment plan–the “IRON MAN” of Rock & Roll remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery.

“This comes as BLACK SABBATHOzzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums)–are writing and recording their first album in 33 years in Los Angeles (still set for release this fall) with producer Rick Rubin. They will now go to the UK to continue to work with Tony. Further information will be released as it becomes available.”

BLACK SABBATH Reunites to Record First New Studio Album in 33 Years and Launch Massive World Tour in 2012

After much speculation, the original four members of BLACK SABBATHOzzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums)–have reunited to record their first new studio album in 33 years with producer Rick Rubin (seven-time Grammy winner, two of those as Producer of the Year) and to embark on a massive world tour in 2012.

Osbourne, Iommi, Butler and Ward as well as Rubin all gathered today on 11/11/11 to announce the news at a Los Angeles press conference at the legendary club, the Whisky A Go-Go, the site of the groundbreaking and influential band’s first L.A. concert exactly 41 years ago (Nov 11, 1970). The event was hosted by the revered musical and spoken word artist Henry Rollins who has said that, “Any band worth their weight in napalm wishes they had written ‘War Pigs.’”

Selling over 70 million albums together, the Grammy-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees have signed a new record deal worldwide with Vertigo and Vertigo/Universal Republic in the U.S., the band’s original label. BLACK SABBATH is now in the studio recording the as-yet-untitled new album for release in the fall of 2012 (exact date TBA). It will mark their ninth studio album together and their first since 1978’s Never Say Die!

Next summer, BLACK SABBATH will headline the mammoth multi-day UK Download Festival in the U.K. on June 10. The new album will then be supported with a worldwide headline arena tour (dates TBA).

BLACK SABBATH also announced today the launch of www.blacksabbath.com, the first-ever official BLACK SABBATH website for all authorized BLACK SABBATH news. In addition, the band’s online presence will also be supported by social media via Facebook and Twitter–again, marking the band’s first-ever foray into the social media world.

Industry Profile: Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez (credit: Sarah Vanessa Photography)

Metal t-shirts – we all own them and likely have amassed a lot of them in our closets as the years have gone by. Behind those shirts are hardworking, dedicated people who do their best to supply this essential part of metal culture. We caught up with our good friend, Oscar Martinez, to not only learn about what’s going on with the merchandise business but also about his over 10 year journey through the music industry. In our interview, he schools us on the multidimensional aspects and considerations of being a touring band trying to make a profit in this day and age, and shares some of his surreal rock ‘n roll adventures.
Continue reading

History Lesson: BLACK SABBATH’s 1975 Masterpiece, Sabotage

The final great BLACK SABBATH record with the band’s original line-up rarely gets the love it deserves outside diehard SABBATH fans. Most every tribute album or SABBATH cover song skips over this massive album.

While I love the five albums that preceded 1975’s Sabotage, this is the SABBATH album that spoke to me most as a teenager who was totally immersed in discovering all the heavy music I could get my hands on. To this day, I only own this album in cassette format. It’s the most depressing and emotionally powerful album in that disillusioned and maddening sense. The band were undoubtedly living life to full excess but were very much in touch with their souls.

After the first three songs, “Hole in the Sky,” “Symptom of the Universe” (the first thrash song ever written) and “Don’t Start (Too Late),” Sabotage really takes off on its epic journey through alienation, disillusionment, and liberation. The band wore their heart on their sleeves and that is something that really resonated in and connected with me as a disillusioned kid at the time.

While it is a crime to be a casual SABBATH fan, it’s never too late to learn about and subsequently worship at the altar of the gods. Let us enjoy some selections from this great work of art.

Metal Legend Ronnie James Dio Passes Away

Metal legend Ronnie James Dio (ELF, RAINBOW, DIO, BLACK SABBATH/HEAVEN AND HELL) passed away early this morning after a battle with stomach cancer. His wife and manager, Wendy Dio, posted this message on www.ronniejamesdio.com:

“Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.

Wendy Dio

Fans may leave their condolesces on Dio‘s facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialRonnieJamesDio

Metal Legends JUDAS PRIEST, HEAVEN AND HELL, MOTORHEAD, and TESTAMENT Unite for Metal Masters Tour

After weeks of speculation, Live Nation has put together a killer package that is bound to go down as the heavy metal event of 2008 – JUDAS PRIEST, HEAVEN AND HELL, MOTORHEAD and TESTAMENT will be touring together for the first time.

Dubbed “The Metal Masters Tour,” the fifteen-date U.S. trek kicks off August 6th at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, New Jersey. Tickets go on sale to the public beginning this weekend at www.livenation.com. JUDAS PRIEST will be supporting their epic concept album, Nostradamus, arriving June 17th via Epic Records, which tells the tale of the renowned 16th century prophet. A few tracks from Nostradamus will make their in-concert debut on “The Metal Masters Tour,” but the majority of PRIEST’s set list will include some of metal’s all-time classics, as well as fan favorites that span the quintet’s entire career. Without a doubt, this will be one of PRIEST’s most powerful sets ever.

HEAVEN AND HELL will be supporting the release of The Rules Of Hell, a five-CD boxed set available July 22nd from Rhino Records, which features re-mastered versions of all four Dio-era BLACK SABBATH albums (Heaven And Hell, Mob Rules, Live Evil and Dehumanizer) in a deluxe package with new liner notes.

Perennial road rats MOTORHEAD will be offering a blistering barnstormer of a set spanning more than three decades of molar-rattling biker metal. A new studio album – the 20th of their storied career – is currently being recorded at their old pal Dave Grohl’s studio with an August release date targeted. Frontman Lemmy, named by the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper as “the nation’s greatest living Englishman,” blairs out, “Here it comes everybody, the test of your Metalness in 2008 and the years to come! Come one come all and be abused!”

Rounding out the line-up will be legendary thrash metal titans TESTAMENT, whose new album, The Formation of Damnation, (April 29th) displays TESTAMENT as the quintessential modern heavy metal band, whose experience and accumulated skill allows them to attack with reserves of anger, energy and finesse that make them more powerful than ever. Lead singer Chuck Billy says, “Uniting these bands is the heavy metal event of generations. We are so proud to be a part of it.”

“As ever, we look forward to screaming out loud with our metal maniac fans when we hit the road,” enthuses PRIEST singer, Rob Halford. “Thank you once again for your devotion and support. The PRIEST is back!”

This tour will be limited to fifteen very special engagements, and Citi cardmembers will have pre-sale access to tickets through Citi’s Private Pass® Program, available to all Citi cardmembers at www.privatepass.citi.com.

Metal maniacs seeking the ultimate concert experience can access unique VIP ticket and fan experience packages that offer premium seats, meet & greets, pre-concert parties and more brought to you by the band’s official websites,
www.judaspriest.com and www.heavenandhelllive.com.

VIP packages for the first events will be on sale by 10 a.m eastern time on Friday, April 25th. Also, not all VIP packages are the same, so be sure to pick the right one that suits you best.

See the official web sites for continually updated tour information and on-sale dates.

The dates are as follows:

Wed 06-Aug-08 Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ – PUBLIC ON SALE APRIL 26, 10 am
Thu 07-Aug-08 Nissan Pavilion, Bristow, VA – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Sat 09-Aug-08 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ – PUBLIC ON SALE APRIL 26, 10 am
Sun 10-Aug-08 Nikon at Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY – PUBLIC ON SALE APRIL 26, 10 am
Wed 13-Aug-08 Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON – PUBLIC ON SALE APRIL 25, 10 am
Sat 16-Aug-08 Post Gazette Pavilion, Pittsburgh, PA – PUBLIC ON SALE APRIL 25, 10 am
Mon 18-Aug-08 DTE Energy Music Theatre, Detroit, MI – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Tue 19-Aug-08 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL – PUBLIC ON SALE APRIL 25, 5 pm
Fri 22-Aug-08 Superpages.com Amphitheatre, Dallas, TX – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Sat 23-Aug-08 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston, TX – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Sun 24-Aug-08 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, San Antonio, TX – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Wed 27-Aug-08 Journal Pavilion, Albuquerque, NM – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Thu 28-Aug-08 Cricket Wireless Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Sat 30-Aug-08 Glen Helen Pavilion, San Bernardino, CA – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Sun 31-Aug-08 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA – PUBLIC ON SALE APRIL 27, 10 am