The legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi talked about the band’s final tour and how the setlist was created for Sabbath’s final live shows.
“We knew we wanted to play the classics, so we didn’t really play anything off the final album, ’13.’
“I would’ve liked to have played some of the songs that we haven’t performed for many years like ‘Hole in the Sky’ or ‘Symptom of the Universe,’ but we could only do songs that Ozzy could still sing.
“Hole in The Sky” by Black Sabbath
“Sympton Of The Universe” by Black Sabbath
“That’s no disrespect to him. When we recorded those songs originally 30 years ago, the keys were so high there was no chance in hell that he could still hit those notes. But it would’ve been nice to have had them in the set.”
“Because I detune already, the strings would’ve been too low, like rubber bands. We detuned with Ronnie James Dio on the last two tours we did with him, but that was just a semi-tone. But let me be clear, nobody was upset with Ozzy. It’s impossible for anyone his age to sing like they did as a kid.”
“That was certainly going through my mind during the last show. I was thinking, I’ve been playing most of these songs since Day One, and, you know, bloody hell, this will be the last time that I’m going to be playing these songs with these guys! It was strange to look at it like that. It really hit me, especially when I was playing the solo to ‘Dirty Women,’ that I probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to play it that way ever again.”
“[Laughs] I’m sure I’ll play it again, somewhere! But you know what? Even though at times, I’ve felt like, ‘Oh, bloody hell, not ‘Paranoid’ again,’ it’s still amazing how many people know us because of that song. It’s quite bizarre, because we put that song together and recorded it in about 30 minutes, and it became the most famous of them all.”
While you didn’t play ‘Hole in the Sky,’ you did play some pretty cool songs that weren’t obvious, like one of my favorites, ‘After Forever.’
“Well, everyone made a list of suggestions and sent it to each other, but it was all down to Ozzy, and what he felt comfortable singing. We tried everything in rehearsal, but it got narrowed down to what he could do on a regular basis. We tried a few different variations in the beginning of the tour, but the following night, Ozzy would say, ‘Can we not play so-and-so tonight? My throat is sore,’ or whatever. And eventually they’d get pulled out, which was a shame.
“If it was hard for Ozzy, there was no point in doing it. In a big show like ours, it’s difficult to change songs around because it throws all the lighting people in a panic. They’re all, ‘Fuckin’ hell, what happened?'”
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I am a Brazilian journalist, a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG