How Black was our Sabbath in Paperback

Folks who regularly read my site know that I pushed awhile back for you to buy the book “How Black Was our Sabbath: A View From the Crew”. It’s a wonderful book on the early history of Black Sabbath from some of the guys that lived it with the band – the tour crew. This book has been out for little while now, and the one thing that irked me about it was that it was really expensive to buy in the US, as it wasn’t published over here. That’s changed. It’s now available in paperback form in the US and in the UK. If you’ve never read this book, and are a Sabbath fan (particularly of the Ozzy era), you owe it to yourself to check this out. I’m going to provide some ordering links to the paperback version here, then copy my original review of the book for you to check out. I also have a books page here on my site which has info about other Sabbath related books, too. Order Link Order Link
My Review of the book:
This is an absolutely wonderful book written by David Tangye & Graham Wright. There’s been plenty of books on Black Sabbath before. Some good. Some not so good. This one falls in the category of being EXTREMELY GOOD. The difference between this book and the others on the Ozzy history of the band is the fact that this one was written by folks who were there. A lot of these things are written by people who retell stories, regurgitating things that are already out there. Not this one. David was Ozzy’s personal assistant, and Graham was Bill Ward’s assistant. So these stories are told from folks who lived them. There are some other stories by other folks who were involved with Sabbath directly as well.
This book goes into some areas of the band’s history that have never been talked much about before. Specifically the days when they were known as Polka Tulk, as well as Earth. There’s tons of stories about life on the road, the legendary “Satanist attacks Tony Iommi on stage with a knife” story, to one their hotel room doors being painted with a bloody red Cross, to the story about the band blowing out the candles of a group of Satanists in the hallway by singing “Happy Birthday” to ’em. There’s other things, like Ozzy’s first wife Thelma, and the kids Oz had with her. That’s something that’s almost never talked about. Graham tells stories about Bill’s drive over the Australian Outback in 1974 for about 500 miles to avoid flying. And a few about how some vehicles ended up in swimming pools.
What’s best about this book to me is that it’s an easy free flowing style. I’ve read many books, and some are hard reads, but this was one that I could quite easily have read in one sitting, had I had that much time available when I read it. David & Graham are to be applauded for their work on the book, both in content and in style.
The only negative thing I have to say about it is that it’s not the easiest book to get in the US. There’s no direct US publisher that I’m aware of, and as such, it can be a bit expensive to get it here in the States. In fact, if you’re in the US, it might be cheaper to buy it from the UK site That issue aside, I feel it’s well worth it due to the quality of the stories and the writing in the book. You can’t go wrong reading this if you’re a fan of Black Sabbath.
UPDATE Apr 05: The book is now out in paperback in the United States, and is significantly cheaper to obtain in the US now. Check out the links below.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Stop reading this page and order it. Right now. The authors have an online group available to discuss the book, you can reach that here.