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Why I Quit Bloody Sabbath

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Sabbabbath View Post
    The drunken engineer story sounded familar to me, so I just tried to find the interview where it was mentioned. I first thought it was The Black Sabbath Story Vol 2, but nope, it wasn't there, so I went on and checked out the interviews included as extras in the Neon Nights Wacken 2009 DVD. There are interviews with Ronnie, Geezer, Vinnie and Tony, and voila, it's in the Tony interview, from min 8:13 to about 9:15 of that interview. Actually it is only Tony here who mentions it, the other 3 seem a little more careful in what they are saying, and of course all 4's accounts are a little different. What sounds like the most realistic part of their stories to me is the breakdown of communication between band members, whatever the details of the story may be - we have witnessed that a lot with a lot of different line-ups of Sabbath (the Bill Ward/reunion situation with 13 is just the most recent occasion where that happened). While members of Sabbath love to emphasize how good friends they are (not only within the original line-up, but, depending on the situation where they are talking, with many other temporary band members as well), it seems to be a specialty of them to leave the communicative work to managers or other people (or just nobody!), especially in tensed situations, and then everybody's hugely surprised when something goes wrong and the respective line-up breaks up, and it takes them years to talk again.

    As for insulting fans' intelligence, I think I get what A Sabbath Historian means: Sabbath do keep changing their stories a lot over time, to an amount that may be typical for show business, but is definitely higher than I observe for most regular people around me, and sometimes sounds outright ridiculous indeed. However, I am sure most fans do not even notice, because they are not 'historians' like some of us here on the forum: some of them don't really care about interviews of the band, some are interested in specific eras only, many just don't really follow and evaluate what band members are saying over large periods of time. All in all, I think much of 'the public' simply does not care about the consistency or inconsistencies of people's stories. They want those stories to be entertaining, that's all. Not that many people really care about what's the truth anyway. Personally, however, I do indeed, like A Sabbath Historian, sometimes feel like Sabbath insult my intelligence by changing their stories that much over time. The causes of that behaviour are probably a mix of PR (as zzzptm pointed out) and a lack of social skills among the band members.

    I have no idea when the engineer story first came up.
    BINGO Sabbabbath! Once again, I commend you for acknowledging that Black Sabbath's history ISN'T exempt from criticism, no matter how harsh. In short order, when the lineups were apart, they blamed the person who left. When they reformed, it was somebody outside the band who wreaked havoc on them (i.e. the "drunk engineer"). Give me a break! Anyway, excellent post. Respect.

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    • #17
      Yeah, but how is the changing of stories, anger, blame, making peace and all the rest of it different from the average life of any person?

      Still don't see it as an insult to fans' intelligence. These guys are human. They avoid things, embellish or whatever ...

      I still don't quite get what some people want to hear about the breakup in early '83. You want Tony and Geezer to say what ... exactly? Or Ronnie to have said what? Ronnie is gone. And this stuff was put to bed already. He left this planet at peace with those guys and singing his heart out playing music with them.

      In general I find the four original members to be some of the most humble people in the business. But perfect, they are not.
      "It is not opinion that Ozzy peaked on Sabotage, it is a measurable fact."
      -WTB

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Jeff View Post
        Yeah, but how is the changing of stories, anger, blame, making peace and all the rest of it different from the average life of any person?

        Still don't see it as an insult to fans' intelligence. These guys are human. They avoid things, embellish or whatever ...

        I still don't quite get what some people want to hear about the breakup in early '83. You want Tony and Geezer to say what ... exactly? Or Ronnie to have said what? Ronnie is gone. And this stuff was put to bed already. He left this planet at peace with those guys and singing his heart out playing music with them.

        In general I find the four original members to be some of the most humble people in the business. But perfect, they are not.
        In the case of the Dio era, they had to break up TWICE before they made "peace" prior to Ronnie's passing in 2010 (w/ Heaven & Hell). Mind you, I'm glad they finally did, but NOT without those old stories resurfacing again. To my thinking, it was inevitable (and justifiable) that they did.

        In 1982 it was essentially "a battle of egos", according to Ronnie. In 1992 , it was the "drunk engineer" as you've seen above. Then in 2007 it became a lack of communication and the "drunk engineer" was somehow caught in the middle of both camps? Really?

        YES, the inconsistency IS an insult to fans' intelligence Jeff. Or as Sabbabbath fairly put it, the ones who at least care about coming clean with what REALLY happened. Frankly, I believe the guys realize how ridiculous they come off when these "tales" are brought up by journalists, and rightly so. Be that as it may, great discussion despite our difference of opinion. Respect.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by A Sabbath Historian View Post
          In the case of the Dio era, they had to break up TWICE before they made "peace" prior to Ronnie's passing in 2010 (w/ Heaven & Hell). Mind you, I'm glad they finally did, but NOT without those old stories resurfacing again. To my thinking, it was inevitable (and justifiable) that they did.

          In 1982 it was essentially "a battle of egos", according to Ronnie. In 1992 , it was the "drunk engineer" as you've seen above. Then in 2007 it became a lack of communication and the "drunk engineer" was somehow caught in the middle of both camps? Really?

          YES, the inconsistency IS an insult to fans' intelligence Jeff. Or as Sabbabbath fairly put it, the ones who at least care about coming clean with what REALLY happened. Frankly, I believe the guys realize how ridiculous they come off when these "tales" are brought up by journalists, and rightly so. Be that as it may, great discussion despite our difference of opinion. Respect.
          I hear you. I guess I'm just not convinced that an artist necessarily owes a detailed explanation of a breakup like that to fans. The product which featured Ronnie James Dio as a lead singer that was offered from 1980-1982 was no longer offered in 1983. Sabbath offered a different product, and Dio offered a different product. As fans we had the right to enjoy one or the other, or neither.

          I saw the very first Dio concert, and as good as I thought the album was then (it hasn't aged that well for me) I think I already knew that this was musically not going to equal the magic of what Sabbath w/ Dio had been. I bought Born Again the day it came out and felt that it was good, but I think in my heart I didn't think Sabbath were as great with Gillan as they were with Dio. It was just a drag that we fans had such a powerful combo be so short-lived right in their musical prime.

          But somehow I think it comes off like the band owes something beyond a musical product when you call a lack of intimate details about the breakup an insult to the intelligence of fans. Maybe they do? I don't really have the answer to that. But they might not really even understand what transpired themselves.

          Furthermore, it's possible that "egos" were the core issue for all I know, and I'm not sure I need to know more than that. Tony and Geezer have always been relatively private people in terms of what they share with the press. Ronnie was far more forthright but also very hot tempered in an intellectual sense. He carried quite a lot of anger when projects didn't work out and it was not exclusive to Tony and Geezer.
          "It is not opinion that Ozzy peaked on Sabotage, it is a measurable fact."
          -WTB

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Jeff View Post
            I hear you. I guess I'm just not convinced that an artist necessarily owes a detailed explanation of a breakup like that to fans. The product which featured Ronnie James Dio as a lead singer that was offered from 1980-1982 was no longer offered in 1983. Sabbath offered a different product, and Dio offered a different product. As fans we had the right to enjoy one or the other, or neither.

            I saw the very first Dio concert, and as good as I thought the album was then (it hasn't aged that well for me) I think I already knew that this was musically not going to equal the magic of what Sabbath w/ Dio had been. I bought Born Again the day it came out and felt that it was good, but I think in my heart I didn't think Sabbath were as great with Gillan as they were with Dio. It was just a drag that we fans had such a powerful combo be so short-lived right in their musical prime.

            But somehow I think it comes off like the band owes something beyond a musical product when you call a lack of intimate details about the breakup an insult to the intelligence of fans. Maybe they do? I don't really have the answer to that. But they might not really even understand what transpired themselves.

            Furthermore, it's possible that "egos" were the core issue for all I know, and I'm not sure I need to know more than that. Tony and Geezer have always been relatively private people in terms of what they share with the press. Ronnie was far more forthright but also very hot tempered in an intellectual sense. He carried quite a lot of anger when projects didn't work out and it was not exclusive to Tony and Geezer.
            Yes, I agree Jeff that Dio on his own wasn't nearly as good as what he created with Sabbath. I think what it came down to is this: Tony and Geezer felt that Ronnie had gotten too full of himself. Likewise, Ronnie felt that Tony and Geezer didn't give him the credit he deserved for Sabbath's "comeback", if you will.

            If they had left it at that, I don't think they would have looked too foolish. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Instead, they dragged the engineer into the tall tale to make it appear that it was someone else's fault for their inner turmoil. That's where the story loses credibility, at least to me it does. As I've said before, it's astonishing how often these guys pass the buck PUBLICLY when it comes to their personal and business issues.

            I imagine writers like Malcolm Dome and Mick Wall can't even keep a straight face either when hearing those bullshit stories--- in person no less ()! Be that as it may, your points are well taken. Again, thanks for responding.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by A Sabbath Historian View Post
              Yes, I agree Jeff that Dio on his own wasn't nearly as good as what he created with Sabbath. I think what it came down to is this: Tony and Geezer felt that Ronnie had gotten too full of himself. Likewise, Ronnie felt that Tony and Geezer didn't give him the credit he deserved for Sabbath's "comeback", if you will.

              If they had left it at that, I don't think they would have looked too foolish. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Instead, they dragged the engineer into the tall tale to make it appear that it was someone else's fault for their inner turmoil. That's where the story loses credibility, at least to me it does. As I've said before, it's astonishing how often these guys pass the buck PUBLICLY when it comes to their personal and business issues.

              I imagine writers like Malcolm Dome and Mick Wall can't even keep a straight face either when hearing those bullshit stories--- in person no less ()! Be that as it may, your points are well taken. Again, thanks for responding.
              Well, what you bring up may also have contributed.

              Understand that what I'm about to say is meant to take NOTHING away from what Ronnie brought to the band at a time when they needed it ... but .... IMO, Ronnie far overestimated the level of "despair" Sabbath were in when he joined. He was busy with Rainbow, but I've heard him say things in interviews that made it seem like he had absolutely no idea just how big Sabbath still were to legions of people during their last few years.

              Maybe the things he has said in interviews was also said in some way behind closed doors? Maybe it rubbed Tony and Geezer the wrong way?

              You're right that it's too bad we don't know the exact details. But I'm not sure it is some inherent right of fans to know this stuff.

              PS. I personally think calling Mick Wall a "writer" is an undeserved compliment. This guy's stuff reads at about TMZ level from what I've seen. I haven't read his last book, but from what I recall the one he did maybe twenty years ago was starfucking Ozzy to the point that it was uncomfortable to even read.
              "It is not opinion that Ozzy peaked on Sabotage, it is a measurable fact."
              -WTB

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Jeff View Post
                Yeah, but how is the changing of stories, anger, blame, making peace and all the rest of it different from the average life of any person?

                Still don't see it as an insult to fans' intelligence. These guys are human. They avoid things, embellish or whatever ...

                I still don't quite get what some people want to hear about the breakup in early '83. You want Tony and Geezer to say what ... exactly? Or Ronnie to have said what? Ronnie is gone. And this stuff was put to bed already. He left this planet at peace with those guys and singing his heart out playing music with them.

                In general I find the four original members to be some of the most humble people in the business. But perfect, they are not.
                You definitely got a point, Jeff, in asking whether and how Sabbath's changing of stories etc. is any different from the average person's. I just feel that my answer to that question differs from yours. But the difference may also be due to us having different ways to assess how the 'average person' is. I probably focus too much on people I know and like personally. Most of those, in my view (which may of course be biased since I, well, know and like those people), don't change there stories as much and as blatantly as Sabbath do. A Sabbath Historian put it very well IMHO when he said: "when the lineups were apart, they blamed the person who left. When they reformed, it was somebody outside the band who wreaked havoc on them". Actually that kind of dealing with other people reminds me very much of some kids I knew when I (and them) were about 11 to 14 years old: One day person A would be best friends with person B, and both disprized C and backbit them, possibly bully them etc.; the other day, A would be best friends with C, and both A and C would disprize B and backbit them; and so on. I just think that's a very non-grown-up way of dealing with other people. But you may still be right, Jeff, in that it is perfectly possible that the 'average person' out there is just like that. I guess that my assessment is coined by the fact that in my everyday life I probably tend to avoid contact to most 'average' people and instead try, as far as possible, to pick those people who (in my perception) are unusually kind and honest. :-)

                As for your question what people want to hear about those old break-ups: Well, you seemed to agree that the drunken engineer story was stupid. I would really like to hear the truth instead. And obviously nobody has direct access to truth, so we have to go for something like plausibility (which is of course fallible like any other truth criterion we might choose). The drunken engineer story seems not very plausible. All other stuff I heard them saying about the 1983 split-up just doesn't seem like a plausible description of what happened either. I mean, apparently Ronnie and Vinnie mostly went to the studio together, and apparently Tony and Geezer did the same. But that, if it happened more than one day (and they seem to agree it did), is already in need of explanation: why would anybody try to work that way, or let it happen for more than one day? I am trying to imagine I had been part of that situation: I would, after the first day, make a visit at the others' homes or call them and try to find out what's the problem, make an appointment where we ALL could be in the studio, find an agreement on what we're doing there and how etc. I feel there's really something missing in their accounts. The most plausible element they mention is the being-leached-out-from-touring-and-being-together-a-lot part. That does make sense as one factor among others as part of a scenario that created a conflict. Also, one of them (I believe it was Geezer) mentions something along the lines of them now being more grown-up and less egocentrical than in 1983; again, that sounds plausible as a part of the story. But I still do not really have an idea what, concretely and practically, happened back then between them in the studio.

                I am really happy that Ronnie left, as you put it so well, in peace with the other guys. Our discussion here, in my understanding, simply deals with specific events in the past and with what I consider to be some of the habits and shortcomings of some band members of Black Sabbath. Nobody has claimed they are bad people, and I am sure we all agree it is great that the Live Evil conflict is in the past. At the same time, we have witnessed, much more recently, further manifestations and outcomes of what I called certain habits and shortcomings of some band members. I don't want to get into the Bill issue again (on which I largelly seem to agree with you, Jeff); let me just say that IMHO the apparent inability and/or reluctance to solve interpersonal conflicts (even with good friends!) through direct, constructive communication, rather than repress or conceal them with silence or even aggravate them by talking about (rather than with) the other person in public, is a recurring pattern in Sabbath's history of band communication. And one that is, for me, really a pain to watch.

                As for insulting fans' intelligence, for me it is really just another way of saying (like you did) that telling stories like the drunken engineer story is stupid. Possibly your disagreement with using that phrase vs. A Sabbath Historian's and my agreeent with it simply reflects the fact that you are taking the band members' telling bullshit less personal than we do. I really like(d) our discussion too, by the way! :-) I like learning from you people on this forum.

                EDIT: It seems that when I wrote the above comment I hadn't noticed your more recent comments. Actually I can pretty much agree with most of what both of you wrote in those comments. Whether a band really owes their fans an explanation, is a very sensible question, Jeff. Personally I just don't like to be bullshitted. If Sabbath (incl. Ronnie) had simply said: "Well, we had a conflict, so we broke up", I don't think I am the person who would demand a full explanation. But they started to wash their dirty laundry in public; and they did that kind of stuff a lot of times, with other people involved, again. That's a point where I often start to question people's accounts and ask for better explanations than the bullshit ones they gave, even though I would have perfectly been happy if they had simply refused to give a detailed public explanation in the first place.
                Last edited by Sabbabbath; 12-08-2017, 04:10 AM.

                Comment


                • #23
                  This all sounds like it's right up there with the story that Tommy Bolin couldn't play guitar at all in Deep Purple's Japan shows because of a bad heroin injection.

                  Yes, Bolin was doing heroin at the time, but the real reason was that the masters used for the Last Concert in Japan LP were all hosed up and nobody really cared. Actual recordings of the concert show that Bolin was still playing very well and that, maybe just maybe, the story had emerged as a way for some studio guy to keep his job. Instead of admitting a mistake and getting fired, how about blaming the problem on a dead guy that was on the outs with fans?

                  In this case, I can see how the Dio/Appice group could have been fed one story and the Butler/Iommi group fed another. They were likely already having other issues leading up to this, and somebody that screwed up the mix would find fertile ground with a line of crap that was crafted so the other guys would want to believe it.

                  At the end of the day, they were able to cool down and reconcile. And break up again. And then reconcile again. That's a whole lot better than some people are able to do. Oasis, anyone?

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by zzzptm View Post
                    This all sounds like it's right up there with the story that Tommy Bolin couldn't play guitar at all in Deep Purple's Japan shows because of a bad heroin injection.

                    Yes, Bolin was doing heroin at the time, but the real reason was that the masters used for the Last Concert in Japan LP were all hosed up and nobody really cared. Actual recordings of the concert show that Bolin was still playing very well and that, maybe just maybe, the story had emerged as a way for some studio guy to keep his job. Instead of admitting a mistake and getting fired, how about blaming the problem on a dead guy that was on the outs with fans?

                    In this case, I can see how the Dio/Appice group could have been fed one story and the Butler/Iommi group fed another. They were likely already having other issues leading up to this, and somebody that screwed up the mix would find fertile ground with a line of crap that was crafted so the other guys would want to believe it.

                    At the end of the day, they were able to cool down and reconcile. And break up again. And then reconcile again. That's a whole lot better than some people are able to do. Oasis, anyone?
                    LOL, yes, the stories have some similarities indeed. :-) And yes, it is great that in the end they found back together. Musically I was mostly disappointed by The Devil You Know (while I loved the three 2007 songs from the Dio Years compilation), but the band members seemed to have found back to a friendly relationship to each other. That was good!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by zzzptm View Post
                      This all sounds like it's right up there with the story that Tommy Bolin couldn't play guitar at all in Deep Purple's Japan shows because of a bad heroin injection.

                      Yes, Bolin was doing heroin at the time, but the real reason was that the masters used for the Last Concert in Japan LP were all hosed up and nobody really cared. Actual recordings of the concert show that Bolin was still playing very well and that, maybe just maybe, the story had emerged as a way for some studio guy to keep his job. Instead of admitting a mistake and getting fired, how about blaming the problem on a dead guy that was on the outs with fans?
                      Really, I've never heard that before. I don't know, I find it hard to believe that Jon Lord and Ian Paice would still carry on with that story decades later to cover for a studio engineer (Martin Birch?).
                      We donít see things as they are; we see them as we are.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Axe fiend View Post
                        Really, I've never heard that before. I don't know, I find it hard to believe that Jon Lord and Ian Paice would still carry on with that story decades later to cover for a studio engineer (Martin Birch?).
                        It's in the Chris Charlesworth biography of Deep Purple and is still mentioned in the Wiki article on the LCiJ album, even though the same article cites that the audio was mastered incorrectly. When the actual recordings resurfaced and given the DP Appreciation Society treatment, we all got to hear that these were not at all "off" concerts. The band is in very good form and the guitar sounds just fine. While it's true that their live shows with Bolin had some poor performances, these weren't those shows.

                        There's even a 1995 interview with Glenn Hughes that has the "he slept on his arm" story. When I compared the LCiJ sound with the proper sound, you hear a huge difference, as in that guitar track is almost totally gone in the LCiJ mix.

                        Only other time I've ever heard "Highway Star" without guitar is from a filmed concert during the Mk2 re-reunion tour, in which Blackmore refused to take the stage until half-way through the song.

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                        • #27
                          What could’ve been had this lineup continued past Mob Rules, then again I’m glad we got Born Again, but those two first DIO/Sabbath albums are pure gold.
                          "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
                          "If there ever was a band whose voice is so significant and distinct, that band is Black Sabbath and the voice is Ozzy Osbourne"
                          ________________________________________OzzyIsDio_ (YoY)

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by OzzyIsDio View Post
                            What could’ve been had this lineup continued past Mob Rules, then again I’m glad we got Born Again, but those two first DIO/Sabbath albums are pure gold.
                            Yeah that is a good question. I am trying to imagine some combination of elements from the Holy Diver and Born Again albums. Or Lock Up the Wolves and TYR... ;-) Well OK, that's probably a bit stupid... Anyway, both Ronnie and Sabbath went on creating a lot of great music each on their own, and it is a fascinating thought how both would have worked together instead. On the other hand, IMHO the Mob Rules album already has more mediocre moments than H&H - so maybe their creative potential together was, at that point, already gone to its limits? We'll never know, but I am very happy that we got some more great songs (like After All, Master of Insanity, Shadow of the Wind and others) and great tours from the Mob Rules Line-up.

                            Heaven and Hell is one of my favourite albums of all times.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by zzzptm View Post
                              This all sounds like it's right up there with the story that Tommy Bolin couldn't play guitar at all in Deep Purple's Japan shows because of a bad heroin injection.

                              Yes, Bolin was doing heroin at the time, but the real reason was that the masters used for the Last Concert in Japan LP were all hosed up and nobody really cared. Actual recordings of the concert show that Bolin was still playing very well and that, maybe just maybe, the story had emerged as a way for some studio guy to keep his job. Instead of admitting a mistake and getting fired, how about blaming the problem on a dead guy that was on the outs with fans?

                              In this case, I can see how the Dio/Appice group could have been fed one story and the Butler/Iommi group fed another. They were likely already having other issues leading up to this, and somebody that screwed up the mix would find fertile ground with a line of crap that was crafted so the other guys would want to believe it.

                              At the end of the day, they were able to cool down and reconcile. And break up again. And then reconcile again. That's a whole lot better than some people are able to do. Oasis, anyone?

                              Keep in mind zzzptm that the "drunk engineer" wasn't thrown into this absurd tale until 1992 when Dehumanizer was released. They KNEW those stories would likely resurface again, and sure enough, they did. RIGHTLY so I might add.

                              Be that as it may, Dio-era Sabbath was back. More importantly, I agree that they created a fantastic album in spite of their petty issues. Interesting DP/Bolin comparison by the way. Respect.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Well, it's an interesting discussion.

                                I guess when I said the "drunk engineer" story was stupid I more just meant that it wasn't really helpful to reveal that. It may well be true, how could I know? But I see it as just sort of a mistake to even bring that up.

                                I'll say that I lived through this period as a diehard fan, and the wait for Live Evil was just awful. In those days you'd buy the rags and read about things but by then the news was a month old or whatever, and I remember it seemed like it was taking forever to get that album out. Then all of a sudden Ozzy has a double album of old Sabbath out and here in the US it kind of took the wind out of Sabbath's sails. BECAUSE THEY HAD NO PRODUCT! And then weeks would go buy and still ... NO PRODUCT.

                                When it finally came out I thought it kicked ass, but then it came out that Dio was out of the band and we all know the mess that ensued. Tony a parade of band members. Being reduced almost to a tribute act performing Sabbath in terms of the live performances of old material. Dio's career takes off really quickly and very well but kind of fades and eventually he's playing ... I don't know ... like fucking bars here in the US.

                                In the meantime, Ozzy sells a lot of records but becomes a bit of a clown performing 80s Glam Metal or something. And some of the music is just commercial drivel, IMO. Tony, for all his mistakes, I do feel tried to stay true to music more than show business.

                                Anyway ... I just feel had the Dio-era stayed put, they could have accomplished so much. And it might have even helped Ozzy put out better music because that inherent "competition" between the two parties would have continued.
                                "It is not opinion that Ozzy peaked on Sabotage, it is a measurable fact."
                                -WTB

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