Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi was mobbed by fans yesterday in a Birmingham city church.
The loyalist of Sabbath fans had traveled from all over the world to see the long-awaited unveiling of the unique Black Sabbath bench.
Sabbath worshipers flocked to the celebration of Sabbath’s 50-year history held at St Luke’s Church, Gas Street in Birmingham.
Fans came from as far afield as San Francisco, Oregon and Philadelphia in the U.S as well as from Norway, Sweden and Italy in Europe and Israel in the Middle East. The 71-year-old guitar legend Tony Iommi was literally tickled pink by the reception. Or could it have been Jasper Carrott’s jokes about the number of times that Tony had been up the aisle?
The comedian joked about Tony Iommi and his troubles with the ladies. The church erupted when the comedian threw one out about Ozzy Osbourne once being selected for the Olympic 10,000 litres!
The first people in line arrived four hours early for the 11am event. Tony Iommi addressed the fans who had been waiting outside for hours: “I’ve been in touch with Ozzy’s wife Sharon on a regular basis,” “I hear he is doing OK.” “But get well soon Ozzy. And quick.”
When fans entered the St Luke’s Church the heavy metal bench was under wraps beneath a black cloth sporting the band’s logo in purple lettering.
Tony Iommi received a Broad Street Walk of Stars award for the whole group, presented by Birmingham Lord Mayor Cllr Yvonne Mosquito.
Sabbath’s first manager Jim Simpson took the band to No 1 with the album Paranoid. Simpson received another star on behalf of drummer Bill Ward. His thoughts were relayed in a video message, having been unable to fly from the States.
Ozzy Osbourne received the first Broad Street Walk of Stars award on July 6th, 2007. Geezer Butler received his at Villa Park on February 3rd, 2018.
A special montage video, featuring the classic riffs of Tony Iommi beaming out of the church PA system, soon brought the extraordinary sound of Black Sabbath back to the fore to remind everybody why they were truly there. The film detailed the band’s birth and subsequent evolution into what Simpson had called ‘the world’s most influential heavy metal band.
The godfather of heavy metal posed for photographs by becoming the first person to sit on the bench and then by standing behind his own likeness.
Wife Maria Sjšholm also joined in on the fun.
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi was the Guest of Honour as a special tribute to the Birmingham heavy metal band was unveiled.
Posted by BBC Midlands on Saturday, February 9, 2019