A Letter from Tony Martin

A Letter to Sam Naugler
A response Sam Naugler received after writing to Tony Martin in early 1996. Text from Sam:

On May 20, 1996 I received a letter from Tony Martin. (I had sent him a letter some time before and he was kind enough to respond.)

I had asked several questions in the letter that I sent to Mr. Martin (including, “Can I have your autograph”) and he was kind enough to type out a lengthy reply to each and every one of my questions as well as two autographed promo pictures (personalized, one with, “To Sam, Best Wishes, Tony Martin” and the other with, “Yo Sam, Thanx for your support. Tony Martin” written on them) and the typed letter is autographed with a huge signature.

Anyway, I wanted to share the text of this letter with all interested fans. I will preserve here the spelling and capitalization that Tony Martin used.

Perhaps someday I will get around to scanning in the promo pictures, but at this time I have neither the equiptment or the know-how for that.

You should be able to tell what questions I asked by reading his answers (I asked him about everything from working with Geezer and Bill in South America to his drug use – or not).


Dear Sam,

thank you for your support, it is very much appreciated. Let me try to answer some of your questions. Firstly, I am currently enjoying being at home with my family and that’s about all I’m doing at present, I have spent so much time away that I somethimes feel like a stranger when I get home. My thoughts sometimes drift towards doing another solo album but I don’t have that deal with polydor any more so if I were to do something I would have to start all over again.

The situation with Sabbath still stands as far as I know, until someone tells me I’m not in there anymore, I’m still standin, y’know? Tony’s doing some stuff with Rob Halford, but I don’t know what or when or how or….why.

Dehumaniser doesn’t bother me as much as people sometimes think, more it was the way that it came about, but hey I’m not the kind of person to sit around and cry over stuff, as soon as I found out that ronnie(with a small r) was back I started working on my solo album, and there are not too many of them around so if you have one perhaps you could send me a copy cause I don’t got one myself! Almost a joke, I actually only have one copy because I gave all mine away thinking that that I’d get some more from the record company, and then they deleted it, so if you have one HOLD ON TO IT.

Oh yeah Can’t get close enough is NOT about Mr Iommi, infact it’s not about anyone really but everyone ……..if you know what I mean.

Cross Purposes was a difficult tour for me personally, I just couldn’t get my voice to fire up, some sickness along the way but mainly just wasn’t doin it right, came back thought it out, changed the way that I was living on the road totally, and just finished a nine month tour without missing a show. Probably due to wearing ear plugs on stage!!!!!

I thought that Geezer was an all right bloke, but what do I know, he has a problem with his manager, that is his wife, who had a problem with everything, and left.

Bill Ward is a very nice man, whom I have great respect for, and really wish him well, I wish I could have had time to get to know him a bit better, he tried real hard to make the tour work and that’s all any one can ask, it was a great pleasure to have worked with him and Geezer and Tony all in the same line up, I’m sorry it didn’t work out.

I was a fan of Black Sabbath when I was a kid, in fact I took my first girlfriend to see Black Sabbath when I was 16, never thought I’d be up on stage with them though.

It was a really good time back in the seventies, musically anyway, becaue there were so many original bands around and not just “clones” and “sound alikes”, and it was really cool to have all those sounds in your collection, from Eric Clapton to Sabbath to Yes to T. Rex to Atomic Rooster and Curved Air the whole thing was really good, now i still listen out for original bands, although there are not so many of them around now, I do like bands like the Rollings band, and the Almighty and Offspring as well as more obscure bands like the Sugar Cubes and Curve and……….Michael Jackson.!!!!!! What the f!$%…. Who!……….yeah them as well.

Must be on drugs! NOPE. Never taken drugs in my life, it completely passed me by, unless you count alcohol, I can’t work out if it was a good thing that I just wan’t even curious, or if I was too busy trying to get with a girl called Gillian Grundy at school, who cares? from what I’ve seen of drugs, and there’s a lot of it in my industry, there is no way I could have got with Gillian Grundy if I was on drugs. Did I?…………Nope!

Headless Cross is a real place, still there, but the song was more about the people, because we had a plague over here about 400 years ago called the Black Death, it was thought to be the Devil’s work but in fact it was carried by rats. Lateral thinking didn’t come into this one, all the people put crucifixes everywhere to ward off the evil spirit, when what they should have done was isolate the village, burn the dead and don’t drink the water, …….simple when you know how! I wonder if they will be saying that about AIDS in 400 years?

Any way the village is still there. I hope you have some of the answers you were looking for, and i wish you the best of life,


Tony Martin

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