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  1. #1

    Default Was Martin abused by Sabbath?

    Was he taken advantage of? Not treated with full respect? I heard an interview with Martin in which he says that Iommi had not so much as given him a phone call in years after last splitting.

  2. #2
    Skeletor's Avatar
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    Sure he wasn't treated the best but look at what he can tell his grandchildren.

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    Tony Martin was like that friend from college with benefits...until friends with lower premiums came along.
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    As much as I admire Tony Iommi, it has to be said that he shafted Tony Martin at least four times.

    1991 - After sticking with Iommi through three albums (Eternal Idol, Headless Cross, Tyr) that sold well everywhere but the U.S., Iommi breaks up my second-favourite post-Ozzy lineup (#1: Dio, Iommi, Butler, Ward/Appice) for the Dehumanizer debacle (although the album and tour were very good).

    1991/92 - Not only that, but during the recording of Dehumanizer when he's having difficulty with RJD, he calls Martin up. Martin re-records the vocals on Dehumanizer...and cops the boot again.

    1992 - Costa Mesa. Iommi calls Martin to replace Dio, but Wendy Dio and/or Sharon Osbourne stop it. Rob Halford does the gig.

    1994 - Martin comes back (much to my stunned-but-pleasant surprise) for the worthy Cross Purposes album and tour, which I was fortunate enough to catch. He stays for Forbidden, which I happen to like!

    Late 1990's - Martin again cops the boot for the greatest-hits jukebox Ozzy reunion.

    Tony Martin has said he'll never work with Iommi/Sabbath again, and I don't blame him.

    He was truly a band singer for Black Sabbath. Cozy Powell has said that he was "a joy to work with...not a prima donna like a lot of singers..."
    He is not here. He has risen!

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    Sabbathfan78's Avatar
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    No one can really say for sure if Martin was treated with respect or not because most of us never saw anything behind the scenes and how him and Iommi interacted with each other. Martin was good singer who was plucked out of obscurity, to which he would later return, to be the singer of Black Sabbath. He was their second longest running singer in their history so there must have been respect there in some way.

    As far as firing him after TYR and then after Forbidden it was the right call. Not only musically(Dehumanizer) but financially (Ozzy reunion) as well. Sabbath albums weren't selling with Martin and they didn't even tour the US at all for TEI and TYR. The US tour for HC was cancelled after a few dates. More than likely because of low ticket sales. I think they even had to cancel dates in England when they tour for TEI. They weren't even selling in their home country so they were deffinitly down in the dumps. So you can't balme them for getting rid of him to reunite with there two most successful singers in Dio and then Ozzy.

    To give you an idea of how bad their situation was with Martin as the singer, when I saw them in 1995 they played in a circus tent. That's right a fuckin circus tent. There was this park up in St. Chatherines, Ontario, Canada that used to have a circus tent set up and sometimes would have shows there. Black Sabbath played in that. That's a far cry from the 3-4 thousand seat theaters they were playing with Dio just a few years before and the arenas and amphitheaters they would fill when the reunited with Ozzy a couple years later.

    Martin was hired to do a job. A job which he did very well but as with anyone who gets hired to do something there is always the chance you'll get fired if someone else comes along who does the job better. That's just what happened with Martin on two seperate ocassions. I don't think he was abused nor did he do anything wrong, he was just a victum of the chaos that is known as the Black Sabbath lineup.
    Last edited by Sabbathfan78; 09-03-2010 at 09:25 PM.
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    Priobably. But if you act like a doormat, people will wipe their feet on you.

  7. #7

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    Wow, that's a sad sorry story I guess it speak a lot about the nature of the music business and the inherent pressures......

    Quote Originally Posted by DiosSword View Post

    1992 - Costa Mesa. Iommi calls Martin to replace Dio, but Wendy Dio and/or Sharon Osbourne stop it. Rob Halford does the gig.

    What about THIS one?? What do you mean?

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    Nobody stopped Martin from going... he just couldn't secure a Visa IIRC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Butt View Post
    Nobody stopped Martin from going... he just couldn't secure a Visa IIRC.
    that's a tough one to swallow - how does a major figure in the entertainment industry fail to get a visa for a few days??

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    Anyone else finds it interesting that Tony Martin was managed by Albert Chapman at the time? Albert Chapman had worked for Sabbath for years and was an old school friend of Iommi's. Seems like a bit of a conflict of interest to me

  11. #11

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    Regarding the Costa Mesa gig, there's the "not getting the VISA in time" thing, but I don't think it's the whole thing. According to Neil Murray who was touring with Tony Martin in Europe at the time (and I tend to agree with him on this), as soon as the band knew that Halford would do it, no more efforts were made to help Tony get his VISA in time. As bad as it sounds, when Sabbath had the choice between getting Tony Martin back for these two shows or getting the much more famous Rob Halford, they chose Halford.

    Was Tony used and abused during his Sabbath days ? Did he get much less respect than what he deserved ? HELL YES !
    Tony Iommi Fact #216: In fact, most demolition companies donít use explosives to collapse buildings, only a good stereo and a copy of ďDehumanizerĒ.
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  12. #12

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    hmmmmmm.....

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    Used? No, it's strictly buisness, and Martin made a decent living I'm sure with BS. Neither owes the other anything IMO.

  14. #14

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    so all the while it was "just a job" for him? (does the music reflect this?)

    ...anyway, he knew what kind of situation he was getting into, and it was his choice to continue in it. Perhaps Ray foresaw this type of thing and prefered to do his own thing with from the beginning?

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    i don't think so...
    nobody knew martin before he gets to Black Sabbath...
    its not that he was taken advantage of... he was a good singer... but he was nothing before Sabbath...
    Sabbath used his voice to continue... he used Sabbath to get more famous...
    even on his solo concerts he sing most of sabbath era songs...

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiosSword View Post
    As much as I admire Tony Iommi, it has to be said that he shafted Tony Martin at least four times.

    1992 - Costa Mesa. Iommi calls Martin to replace Dio, but Wendy Dio and/or Sharon Osbourne stop it. Rob Halford does the gig.
    And so how is that Tony's fault? Methinks you ought to strike that from your list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unplugged-unfretted View Post
    that's a tough one to swallow - how does a major figure in the entertainment industry fail to get a visa for a few days??
    Major figure in the entertainment industry? I like Martin, but are you kidding?

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    Quote Originally Posted by unplugged-unfretted View Post
    how does a major figure in the entertainment industry fail to get a visa for a few days??
    Quote Originally Posted by J Hillenburg View Post
    Major figure in the entertainment industry? I like Martin, but are you kidding?
    I second J on that one. Secondly, visa issues aren't all that uncommon.
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    Im sure that Martin new in his brain that if the oppertunity came for a reunion with Oz or Dio that Iommi couldnt have passed it up.
    Pain and Poison Roses

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    There is no question at all in my mind that Martin was disrespected by Iommi and his management. Despite the debate that exists about the merits of that era, there is no disputing the fact that the addition of Martin gave the band much needed stability in the vocal department. He worked tirelessly promoting the band. Unfortunately, one could argue that Iommi saw Martin as a "stop gap"; as long as marquee singers like Ozzy and Dio had no interest in fronting the band, Iommi would work with what he had. The addition of Cozy Powell and Tony Martin gave the band a new lease on life, a fact that remains sadly unappreciated to this day.

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    No more so than the other 25 or 30 people who have played with Tony since 7th Star. He proved his worth and was "rewarded" with being able to stay for 5 albums. In the end, Tony owns the group and he makes changes as he sees fit.
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Hillenburg View Post
    He worked tirelessly promoting the band. .
    In which ways?

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    He worked tirelessly by being dependable, placing the band ahead of himself and painting the band in the best possible light. There were no ego trips from Martin; it was all about the band.
    Last edited by J Hillenburg; 09-05-2010 at 09:56 AM.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Hillenburg View Post
    He worked tirelessly by being dependable, placing the band ahead of himself and painting the band in the best possible light. There were no ego trips from Martin; it was all about the band.
    ...he clearly seems like a very nice, very humble character... but so often "nice guys finish last".

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    Martin was basically just a pawn, and I certainly don't think he deserved the kind of treatment that he got. On the other hand, if you look at the problems Iommi had with Ozzy, Dio, Gillan and Hughes, whether they were due to drugs or simple disagreements, I can see why he chose to keep Martin in tow. But that doesn't make it more fair.

    Overall, no, I don't think Martin was treated properly. But he's fortunate to have left behind a great legacy. I don't think any of the albums he was featured on are masterpieces, but there some truly fantastic songs to be found on all of them.

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    This is probably my biggest and only complaint with Tony Iommi, as much as I admire him as a musician. I really do feel like some of the others on this board that Martin was shafted. But a good point that someone else brought up also Martin was the one who came back for the next round and round after that knowing that Iommi, in the past has ditched him whenever the bigger name singer wanted back into the band. So... Basically give Martin the boot once, maybe shame on Iommi. Give Martin the boot twice or three times? Shame On Martin. He didn't HAVE to come back. Iommi didn't hold a gun to his head and force him to return to Sabbath.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwilder86 View Post
    Give Martin the boot twice or three times? Shame On Martin. He didn't HAVE to come back. Iommi didn't hold a gun to his head and force him to return to Sabbath.
    People make mistakes. Maybe it was a great source of pride for him to be Sabbath's singer? Maybe many promises were made to him? Maybe he was a naive soul who hoped things would be different each time he came back. Maybe he needed the work. Or maybe he needed the gig for his sense of self-worth. He's come off as a sensitive guy in the interviews I've read.

    All I'm really saying is that we can't possibly know every factor that figured in his decision-making. I doubt it is really so black and white that you can say Martin simply didn't have to come back and no one forced him. It's very easy to say you wouldn't have come back if you were in his shoes, but if I had the skill and opportunity to sing for that band, I might allow myself to be treated a little poorly. Who knows? I really don't know what I would've done in his shoes.

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    Another reason I think Tony I. should have gone out with Martin under a different name, you don't drag around a marquee name like BS when your current singer is a"stop gap" between Ozzy & RJD. T. Martin is a fine singer, and Iommi gets cudos for hiring him, they certainly made great respectable, if not commercially viable music, I really think keeping the name BS actually hurt record sales and concert tickets in the US. People weren't buying a band with one original player, even if he is the player...

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    In 1991 Martin wanted to do a softer solo album anyways from what I understand. As Neil Murray would say in 1995 he joined knowing that at some point Geezer would come back.
    When the chance of the reunion with Dio came there wasnt room for himself or Tony Martin in the band at the same time. But things with Dio didnt go so well at first. A split came with Tony/Geezer & Ronnie. And Iommi called Tony Martin to rejoin Black Sabbath. Tony Martin was working on his "Back Where I Belong" album, and said he couldnt. Work continued with Dio, a couple of months later More problems with Dio and again a call to Tony Martin. Martin was free at the time so he and the two re-record the Dehumanizer material that existed. Due to the change in vocalists, some lyrics and vocal melodies were re-done and new music was written. Tony Iommi was ok with the work being done with Martin but Warner Bros records pressured Iommi to get Dio back (or Ozzy). Mostly due to the amount of money and press that was involved and already done in advance. So Tony Martin is booted from the band for Dio. Some of the work done with Martin became 'Cross Purposes' later on. If you listen to the Cozy Powell 1991 tapes you can hear 'Psychophobia' for an exsample.

    Martin: "It was pretty soon after I started my solo album I had a call to go join up again, but I decided to carry on with the solo thing. Then I had another call a few months later, and decided to give it a try. I met the guys at a concert here in Birmingham NEC and they were great towards me, so in I went. Tony Only said it had been hard workin with Ronnie and didnít really expand on it so I didnít ask."
    Pain and Poison Roses

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wicked Cricket View Post
    Another reason I think Tony I. should have gone out with Martin under a different name, you don't drag around a marquee name like BS when your current singer is a"stop gap" between Ozzy & RJD. T. Martin is a fine singer, and Iommi gets cudos for hiring him, they certainly made great respectable, if not commercially viable music, I really think keeping the name BS actually hurt record sales and concert tickets in the US. People weren't buying a band with one original player, even if he is the player...
    I agree, Martin is great, but this REALLY is NOT sabbath.... that's the one thing that knocks Martin down - all this baggage he must carry, and so many great shoes to fill! It's impossible. If they had just made a new band - it would have been fresh and new and free.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wicked Cricket View Post
    Another reason I think Tony I. should have gone out with Martin under a different name, you don't drag around a marquee name like BS when your current singer is a"stop gap" between Ozzy & RJD. T. Martin is a fine singer, and Iommi gets cudos for hiring him, they certainly made great respectable, if not commercially viable music, I really think keeping the name BS actually hurt record sales and concert tickets in the US. People weren't buying a band with one original player, even if he is the player...
    I agree. The name should've been changed before Seventh Star came out. Weather it was a completely new name or Iommi just used his, a change should've been made. It would've given the material and a little more credibility with a lot of music fans. I saw them live in 1995 and even though it was a good show and Iommi was there and they were playing Sabbath tunes, it still didn't quite feel like Black Sabbath to me. Weath it was no Geezer, Ozzy or Dio there was just something missing that night for me.

    I think a name change would've brought some more album sales. I'm not sure if it would've been significantly more considering IRS records didn't seem into promoting the material much at all. But that could've had to do with the material having the Black Sabbath name on it. The company knew nobody would be buying it so they probably decided not to bother with heavy promotion at all.
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  32. #32

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    If Tony Martin was abused? I don't think so. For my concern there is no abuse when you do a job, is payed for it but then you are, finally, let go.

    Now, if he was mistreated and disrespected as a friend? HELL YEAH, with whole capital letters on the sentence.

    As DioSword said before, Tony Martin came in to save the day four times. I mean, brother, I for one would do that once, twice if much. Of course that we don't know how much he was offered back then, but as even Tony himself had said "before all things, I'm a fan". For that, for only that, I think he should be treated more equally and more respectfully.

    Btw, even Geoff Nicholls who is best mate with Tony Iommi (they even walk their dogs together when Tony go to UK) got booted by Black Sabbath. According to that I was told, when Ozzy called BS for a Ozzyfest somewhere circa 2006, his only (by that I say Sharon) condition was to bring Ozzy's keyboard player (Adam Wakeman) together. Why that? He was cheaper than Geoff.

    From what I was told, Tony came to Geoff and explained the situation. He needed the cash and he needed the gig. Geoff said ok, took his things and left, no hurt feelings, still being pal with Iommi. But he was fired once by Iommi, Tony Martin goot the boot four times... That's too much for a friendship, I guess.

  33. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Rules View Post
    If Tony Martin was abused? I don't think so. For my concern there is no abuse when you do a job, is payed for it but then you are, finally, let go.

    Now, if he was mistreated and disrespected as a friend? HELL YEAH, with whole capital letters on the sentence.

    As DioSword said before, Tony Martin came in to save the day four times. I mean, brother, I for one would do that once, twice if much. Of course that we don't know how much he was offered back then, but as even Tony himself had said "before all things, I'm a fan". For that, for only that, I think he should be treated more equally and more respectfully.

    Btw, even Geoff Nicholls who is best mate with Tony Iommi (they even walk their dogs together when Tony go to UK) got booted by Black Sabbath. According to that I was told, when Ozzy called BS for a Ozzyfest somewhere circa 2006, his only (by that I say Sharon) condition was to bring Ozzy's keyboard player (Adam Wakeman) together. Why that? He was cheaper than Geoff.

    From what I was told, Tony came to Geoff and explained the situation. He needed the cash and he needed the gig. Geoff said ok, took his things and left, no hurt feelings, still being pal with Iommi. But he was fired once by Iommi, Tony Martin goot the boot four times... That's too much for a friendship, I guess.
    hmmmm..... the history is fascinating.
    I get the impression from interviews that Iommi and Martin totally broke contact, finally.

  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by unplugged-unfretted View Post
    hmmmm..... the history is fascinating.
    I get the impression from interviews that Iommi and Martin totally broke contact, finally.
    Yes, you are right. There was a void between 1997 and 2009. No social cals, no meetings, no nothing. From what I was told the first time TM spoke and Iommi after more than a decade was in Russia, when Tony Martin Band performed and Iommi was there as a guest and they met backstage. What happened? Only social talk "how u doing?" and etc.

    Contact between then is so inexistent that somebody (whose name I won't say) played Iommi some instrumental tracks from Tony Martin's Scream and Tony Iommi only nod and said he didn't knew what was that.

    So you can imagine how "well" Tony Martin took his forth boot from Sabbath.

  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Rules View Post
    Yes, you are right. There was a void between 1997 and 2009. No social cals, no meetings, no nothing. From what I was told the first time TM spoke and Iommi after more than a decade was in Russia, when Tony Martin Band performed and Iommi was there as a guest and they met backstage. What happened? Only social talk "how u doing?" and etc.

    Contact between then is so inexistent that somebody (whose name I won't say) played Iommi some instrumental tracks from Tony Martin's Scream and Tony Iommi only nod and said he didn't knew what was that.

    So you can imagine how "well" Tony Martin took his forth boot from Sabbath.
    Such a fascinating history - - - it all really makes you wonder! ...and the relationship thing, in my opinion, reflects heavily on/in the music too.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Rules View Post
    Now, if he was mistreated and disrespected as a friend? HELL YEAH, with whole capital letters on the sentence.

    Yes, but what makes you think they were ever friends? I don't mean to say they hated each other, but I've never seen any evidence to suggest that their relationship extented to anything outside of the band at any time. There are a great many bands where the members function simply as co-workers and little more.

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by VikingChrist View Post
    Yes, but what makes you think they were ever friends? I don't mean to say they hated each other, but I've never seen any evidence to suggest that their relationship extented to anything outside of the band at any time. There are a great many bands where the members function simply as co-workers and little more.
    Yes, thats probably true, but let's face this:

    "Original" band was: Iommi, Martin, Murray, Powell and Nichols.

    Besides Iommi, all others are still attached and close friends.

    Plus, I don't know about you or how things works for american or british folks, but here if you work for 10 years traveling, sharing bus and hotel rooms, you become more than friends.

    And seeing and hearing how Nichols and Martin interacted with each other, I can say that they were and are best friends.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Rules View Post
    Yes, thats probably true, but let's face this:

    "Original" band was: Iommi, Martin, Murray, Powell and Nichols.

    Besides Iommi, all others are still attached and close friends.

    Plus, I don't know about you or how things works for american or british folks, but here if you work for 10 years traveling, sharing bus and hotel rooms, you become more than friends.

    And seeing and hearing how Nichols and Martin interacted with each other, I can say that they were and are best friends.
    Well, think about how many bands are together where guys don't even speak off stage. Most of Motley Crue seems to hate each other. Johnny and Joey Ramone almost never spoke offstage. Ray and Dave Davies from the Kinks allegedly hated each other, as well. Bands are loaded with egos. I read a quote from Bruce Johnston, whose been with the Beach Boys since 1965 where he said he was friendly with the other guys but never spend time with them when they weren't on the road because they didn't have that kind of relationship. I'm sure that Martin and Iommi were friendly, but it doesn't sound like they were particularly close. Iommi sounds like he's a guy who's got a close circle of friends that's tough to penetrate. Martin and Nichols might be close friends, I have no idea, but I do sense that Nichols was high on Martin's talents, which would explain them working together. I guess Cozy Powell was, too. Although Nichols and Iommi are close personal friends, the things I've read sound like Iommi was sort of distant, personally, from the other band members. That might explain the other guys bonding, seeing that their might have been a wall between Iommi and the rest. But I don't know, it's just speculation. Besides, I've read things from several ex Sabbath members saying that for most of the '80s and '90s, following the Born Again-era, Tony (and Geezer, too) were basically hoping and waiting for Ozzy to come back. I think that even Martin has said that. It may explain why Iommi might not have gotten really close to Martin and was quick to replace him all the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VikingChrist View Post
    Ray and Dave Davies from the Kinks allegedly hated each other, as well.
    No allegedly to it, lol. Dave pretty much hates his brother's guts and slags him at every opportunity while only grudgingly conceded his talents as a songwriter. They are the ultimate feuding brothers in rock history. They make the Gallagher brothers from Oasis seem just a little cranky.

    ---------- Post added at 07:29 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:20 AM ----------

    Sometimes, in all of our adoration of Iommi, I think we fail to comprehend that he has been a demanding guy to work for. Talents like him are strong Type A personalities. Imagine the will and occasional stubborness of a man who carried a legendary name in the music world squarely on his back, through profound ups and downs, for virtually the entirety of the band's existance. Imagine the will and occasional stubborness of a man who had to relearn the guitar following a freak work-related accident. He seems to have mellowed, but Tony has been a driven man. His sole aim from the mid 1980's through the late 1990's was to return Black Sabbath to a position of prominence within the music industry. It's a business. When Ronnie James Dio became available for the Dehumanizer album, Tony and his management made a business decision to kill a lineup that had become surprisingly viable and seemed to be revitalizing the band's fortunes to a degree. Later, Tony once again made a business decision and axed Martin again when a lucrative reunion with Ozzy was possible at last.

    There's no question in my mind that Martin's loyalty and hard work were rewarded with cold-blooded business decision that disrespected the efforts he had given as the band's singer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Hillenburg View Post
    Sometimes, in all of our adoration of Iommi, I think we fail to comprehend that he has been a demanding guy to work for. Talents like him are strong Type A personalities.
    Yes...Garry Sharpe-Young relates that during the dust-up over the Live Evil mix, Iommi bellowed I'm in fucking charge here! at the studio engineer. Remember also that for all his talent, Frank Anthony Iommi is still the street kid from Aston who wasn't averse to punching out people who he perceived as screwing Black Sabbath over. Ozzy relates a couple of those stories in his biography.

    I wonder what it was like for Ronnie James Dio (a Type A personality himself) to go from one Type A personality (Ritchie Blackmore) to another (Tony Iommi) in the space of just a couple of years.

    Quote Originally Posted by J Hillenburg View Post
    Imagine the will and occasional stubborness of a man who carried a legendary name in the music world squarely on his back, through profound ups and downs, for virtually the entirety of the band's existance.
    And was ridiculed to hell for it from about 1984 onward. Kerrang! loved taking the piss out of him...remember the April Fool's "Tom Jones Joins Black Sabbath" story?

    Quote Originally Posted by J Hillenburg View Post
    When Ronnie James Dio became available for the Dehumanizer album, Tony and his management made a business decision to kill a lineup that had become surprisingly viable and seemed to be revitalizing the band's fortunes to a degree. Later, Tony once again made a business decision and axed Martin again when a lucrative reunion with Ozzy was possible at last.
    And in hindsight, given the way both of those situations turned out, I wonder if he kicked himself for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by J Hillenburg View Post
    There's no question in my mind that Martin's loyalty and hard work were rewarded with cold-blooded business decision that disrespected the efforts he had given as the band's singer.
    Agreed fully, and attested to by Cozy Powell, Neil Murray and Geoff Nicholls.

    Martin may have been "just" an employee of Tony Iommi, but rarely in the music industry or the business world do you find one who is such a team player.

    For all my criticisms of Ozzy and $haron, I'll give them this: they give Ozzy's band members no illusion of permanence.

    ---------- Post added at 01:17 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:16 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by J Hillenburg View Post
    No allegedly to it, lol. Dave pretty much hates his brother's guts and slags him at every opportunity while only grudgingly conceded his talents as a songwriter. They are the ultimate feuding brothers in rock history. They make the Gallagher brothers from Oasis seem just a little cranky.
    Then there's The Who.

    ---------- Post added at 01:21 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:17 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingChrist View Post
    Iommi sounds like he's a guy who's got a close circle of friends that's tough to penetrate.
    I have read varying accounts of Tony Iommi as a person.

    Ozzy once called him "Darth Vader."

    Ronnie James Dio said that Tony is "very reserved...he stands onstage and plays his instrument...he's not a leaper."

    Dave Spitz said "he's like the nicest guy in the world."

    I have never had the honour of meeting him, but he strikes me as being very much in his own little world and quite shy. That can often be mistaken as arrogance. I am much the same way so I relate.
    He is not here. He has risen!

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