Happy New Year from Joe Siegler

Today is January 1, 2008. Fourty years ago this year, four lads from Birmingham got together, formed a band named “The Polka Tulk Electric Blues Band”. That band later changed it’s name to Earth, and then later on Black Sabbath. You know the rest. How will this anniversary be marked? Don’t know for sure, but it was announced late last year that the current incarnation of the band (under the name Heaven & Hell) will record it’s first studio album with Dio on vocals. A new studio album hasn’t happened since 1995’s Forbidden with Tony Martin. It’s about time.
However, I wanted to take this opportunity to bring a personal message to everyone. As regular visitors to my site have probably noticed, I’ve been a lot more inactive than I’ve ever been before. I started this site in the summer of 1995, and almost quit a year or two ago over burnout. I decided to keep going, but 2007 was the hardest stretch I’ve ever had in running the site. It should have been one of the greatest, as the Dio version of the band did a full world tour with a vibrant set list, something Black Sabbath hasn’t really done in friggin ages. But I had several personal issues to deal with in 2007 that took up most of my spare time. As I frequently point out to people, this is a fan site. I am not an official site (nor would I want to be). As it is a fan site, it means I update it in my spare time. I do have a day job (doing the website and other things for 3D Realms, the games maker), so the Sabbath site gets pushed to the side when work demands it, or my real life (read my wife and daughter) have some need. All that kind of stuff will always take precedence. Since the site got going, I’ve always pretty much found a way to balance that vs the demands the site needs to remain updated. 2007 pretty much blew that out of the water. As my daughter has grown, I’ve found watching her grow up (she’s 2 1/2 now) is far more entertaining then listening to the latest batch of emails saying “When is Black Sabbath coming out with a new album” or any of the seemingly never ending repeated questions I have to deal with. On top of that, I lost a few family members this year, one of which was my stepfather. It might get worse in 2008, as I have a few more family members that are not in the greatest of health, either.
All of that put me in a situation where quite frankly, I haven’t had the time to devote to doing the site. The mailing list has suffered the most. I’ve kept the site updated with major events for the most part, but the mailing list has pretty much gone to pot. It still exists mind you, but I haven’t thought about putting out a list in ages. I don’t want to stop like my “I’m burnt out – I quit” posts from two years ago, I want to keep going, but I’m having a hard time finding the time. The same goes for another website of substance I run, a fan site for the Major League Baseball team, the Texas Rangers. I almost quit doing that site in September after running that since since Dec 1998.
Regarding the site… During the holiday season, I’ve made a dent in my mountain of email. I went through and answered everything that was just “an email”. The earliest email I answered was from July 2, 2007 – so you can see I’m seriously behind. What’s left is about 250 or so emails that are some sort of submission to the site (concert ticket stub, live reviews and pictures from 2007, etc). I will try and make an effort to get on top of this stuff before too long, but I can’t guarantee anything.
Having said all this, let’s hope that the new album in 2008 is as great as we all want it to be (and who knows, we might get another world tour from the Dio Sabbath band if they have a new album out!)
Joe Siegler – Webmaster
Black Sabbath Online