Lots of Heaven & Hell Updates

OK, I got done listening to the Geezer Butler and Ronnie James Dio interviews with Eddie Trunk. I wasn’t planning on staying up, as I was pretty tired, but I got into it. Was nice chatting with some of y’all over on Eddie’s site during the show. Wanted to post a few updates based on what was said. Here’s some tidbits. These were all said by either Geezer, Ronnie, or Eddie on the show.

  • As I covered earlier in the evening, the first US gig for the Heaven & Hell tour will be March 30th at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. There will be no opening act for this show, it’s just Heaven & Hell. Tickets are expected to be priced between $54.00 – $74.00 and go on sale Friday, January 26th at 10am.
  • There will be other US dates, likely in August. No further info is available on them yet.
  • After the US dates, they will likely play UK, Japan, & Australia.
  • Both Geezer & Ronnie said that it is pretty likely there will be no Ozzy era tracks played during the Heaven & Hell shows. (Ed Note: HUZZAH!)
  • Tour rehearsals start roughly two weeks from now.
  • Black Sabbath: The Dio years will be released Apr 3rd.
  • All three newly recorded tracks will be on the “Black Sabbath: The Dio Years” album. It was previously reported that only two would be, but all three will be there.
  • There are no keyboards on the newly recorded tracks.
  • Keyboards on the tour will be handled by Scott Warren from Dio’s band.
  • Geezer did not write any of this new stuff, nor did Bill or Vinny – these tracks were written by Tony & Ronnie. Side note: A recent Rudy Sarzo interview said that two of the three new Sab tracks were originally ideas Ronnie had put forth for the next Dio album, but got used here instead.
  • Ronnie feels that this was never intended to be a full fledged reunion when it started, just the couple of tracks for the compilation. He did say that the opportunity to dust off the old Dio era tracks was too great to pass up. Finally, he said that history has shown they can’t plan too far ahead for this, and that they do not intend at this point to carry on past the tour.
  • Part of the reason they called this Heaven & Hell and not Black Sabbath was that they all felt that Sabbath was “back together” for awhile now with Oz, and that since they went into the hall of fame with that lineup, that that’s the way “Black Sabbath” will remain. I’ve said that for a few years now that we’d likely never see another lineup change in Sabbath, and it looks like that’s coming to pass.
  • Ronnie feels that this tour/new material is an affirmation of the legacy Dio era of Sabbath. I agree with him. It’s great to see this again. I saw these guys in 1992 on the Dehumanizer tour. Be great to see it again.

A personal observation. “The Dio Years” is coming out on Rhino. Rhino has also put out some more recent Sabbath things, like the two CD Symptom of the Universe set and Black Box. These items were released in North America ONLY. I will attempt to find out if this will be the case for Dio Years too, or if it will be a more worldwide release. Given the nature of the tour, I would think so, but I cannot find that out either way at this point.
Ronnie also said that after the Heaven & Hell thing is finished, he will be going back into the studio with Dio to record Magica II & III and then tour “with a stage show worthy of the story”. This will be great, as I was really into Dio’s stage shows back for Last in Line & Sacred Heart. Great stuff. Be nice if he does that, but I saw Dio on the Magica tour, and he played to at most 1500 people in Dallas. It’d be awfully expensive to lug around a stage show like Sacred Heart to only play to that many. We’ll see.
Looking forward to the announcement next week of official tour dates, and opening acts. Keep it tuned here!