Behind the Scenes of “The Shining” Video Shoot

A very interesting piece of video cropped up today in my inbox, I wanted to share it immediately. As you might remember, 1987 was a very turbulent year in the band’s history. The album that came out that year (The Eternal Idol) turned out to be a quite solid release, despite it’s gestational nightmare. In late October of 1987, the band turned up at Docklands in London to shoot a music video for “The Shining”, which was the first single off the new album. But even that was difficult. At that point in the band’s history, they didn’t have an actual bassist, and as such a “stand-in” was used (more on him later). But beyond that, not much else was known about the video shoot. Until today.

The video that cropped up is a fascinating seven minute look into the making of a Black Sabbath video. This was shot by a fellow on Youtube that goes by the name of “BillyKarloff”, who at the time was working for the production company who made the video. He said in Youtube user comments that he was there those two days, and shot a bunch of behind the scenes stuff on Hi8 home video, and edited it together recently. There’s not a ton of very clearly audible talking, but you can get a feel as to how things proceeded.

L-R: Unknown Bassist, Tony Martin, Tony Iommi, Terry Chimes, Geoff Nicholls. Given the tour (short as it was) for the Eternal Idol had Jo Burt on bass, and he wasn’t here for the video, he hadn’t come on board yet. The first date of the tour was November 22nd, so there’s plenty of time to pick up Mr. Burt. The guy in this video though is still unknown. I’ve written about that guy a few times over the years, but this seems like a good time to repeat what I’ve said about him before.

Speaking of the video for The Shining, here’s an amusing piece of trivia. Given the upheaval in personnel in 1987, when it came time to shoot a video for “The Shining”, the band had no actual bassist there on the day. In a bit of a panic, the band ended up pulling a complete unknown off the street to stand in for the video shoot. Tony Martin elaborates a bit on this:

The bassist on the video was some guy that we pulled in off the street. He was actually a guitarist, and he just stood in for the video. When the shoot was finished he asked if he could audition for the bass player position, but when we tried him out he just didn’t cut it. So back out on the street he went. He kept saying that he was a reincarnate red Indian, and that his spirit guide was some famous chief!!!! But that’s his claim to fame, I bet NOBODY believes him, can you imagine just getting shoved in off the street to audition for Sabbath. then getting kicked back out the door!!!

I asked the guy who posted this video if they happened to say who the guy was, and he said he didn’t know what the dude’s name was. I’d like to hope some day the guy in question would see this, and contact me. But I won’t hold my breath. :)

The guy who posted the video also told me a few other factoids about the video shoot:

  • The fellow who shot the video was Roger Charity. Previous to this, he’d done only still video shoots before, this was his first video work.
  • The guy with the flying jacket in the crew is Haydn Gridley he was the assistant director and passed away some years ago.
  • The guy with the baseball jacket on is Guy Sinclaire the producer and owner of The Sinclair Company, who produced it, at the time.
  • The girls with the birds in the finished promo where shot in a studio just off Oxford Street London owned by The Sinclair Company.
  • The final composition of the promo was done at Complete Video Covent Garden London.
  • We finished filming at 4am in the morning, it was shot in a disused warehouse in Docklands London before the area was developed into what it is now.

This is some really nice detail on a piece of Sabbath history that I’ve never heard of before. A big thanks to BillyKarloff for filling in some detail here.

Check out his behind the scenes the video below, and if you’ve never seen the actual music video before, check it out on Youtube. You might also want to read the “20th anniversary look back” at the Eternal Idol album I posted a few years back. It’s still a good piece on an album that’s mostly forgotten about in Black Sabbath lore.


  1. Paolo Molinari says

    Forgotten? Nope !!
    Forbidden? Neither !! ^_^

  2. Dehumanizer says

    Interesting. Thanks for the information and the video. “The Shining” still is a great song. It’s a shame it never achieved any success in the charts. The album is also good and solid, but not a masterpiece. I love “The Shining”, “Ancient Warrior”, “Glory Ride”, “Nightmare” and “Born to lose”. Rest is mediocre.

  3. earthdog70 says

    Great footage, thanks! Great that you can hear Iommi’s crosses jangle-ing in it.

  4. Very interesting, thx for the head’s-up Joe!

  5. Yes,”The Shining” is a good music video/film.I like the fact that you can see Geoff Nichols.I like the women in the video.They were sexy,for sure!I like how Iommi performs in the video and his cool outfit!I think it is one of the best Sabbath videos.But,there are no videos(for the most part)except performance footage and live appearences,sadly enough.

  6. Forbidden Idol says

    I personally adore the The Eternal Idol album and The Shining is a great song. I actually watched the video for the first time today, mostly because for some reason, I couldn’t find it anywhere. :(
    Thanks for the info dude! Keep up the good work on the website!

  7. KazolOrajia says

    As far as I’m concerned, The Eternal Idol is the overall strongest and most memorable post-Ozzy Black Sabbath album. Great info, thanks for posting.

  8. Snore…This is a kick in the face to the real sabbath.

  9. one of the bast songs from sabbath, tony martin is the best singer from sabbath for me

  10. and too bad the cross purposes and forbidden is out of print thouse two were awsome :-(

  11. Hey Joe, did you notice there is a 2-minute response video for this one you posted where it says there is 25 minutes of uncut footage available on E-Bay (from which I assume they extracted these 7 minutes)? I couldn’t locate the thing on E-Bay, though.
    The 2 minutes video

  12. Yes I really like this sort of behind the scenes stuff! Especially when it pops out of nowhere like this so many years after the fact. I’m the kinda person who listens to the audio commentary on dvd’s etc. Wish there was more like this.

  13. Now I’d like to see the behind the scenes for the Feels Good To Me video..

  14. Jeff Downing says

    On Youtube there is documentary about the making of Eternal Idol. Its in the usual VH1 style, but it is pretty decent. Talk to a lot of people actually involved in it.

  15. Jimi Fongo-litus says

    Who are the girls? anyone?

  16. I am really getting a likeness to the Tony Martin era. I remember loosing interest in Sabbath for some years in the late 80s early 90s much because I thought Martin didn`t cut it. But today I am listening to the albums again after all these years and I think now Tony Martin is a very underrated singer!

  17. Eternal Idol is one of my favorites, I had always wondered who wrote that album, the lyrics were always fascinating to me. Turns out Bob Daisley wrote this album, I don’t know if that is common knowledge but I just found this out recently after discovering Mother’s Army from the 90s. Lost Forever is one incredible song.

  18. DAVID LANDS says

    I have been trying to find out what happened to Hayden Gridley. I’ve just written an article about Stud Leather who recording Cut Loose. Now rated 37th in top fifty rare records. He was the bass player on this session. I wonder when he passed.

  19. DAVID LANDS says

    I found the video fascinating, but when Hayden Gridley appeared on the screen it solved a riddle on what became of him. I have photos of Hayden in the group Stud Leather and I am trying tontrack down members of the band. Now I have found all except John Aldrich, the drummer. So sad to hear of Hayden’s death. I wonder when this happened.

  20. Brian Metcalfe says

    Loved Iommi’s coat in this video,always did love the offering of music here, the acoustic Scarlet Pimpernal is quite memorable and The Shining song/video as well and I find Tony Martin always a fine vocalist considering the legends he had to follow at this post Black Sabbath 4ever

  21. superbeebill says

    Who are the girls in that video?

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