Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath
Da Cappo Press
Tony Iommi has been a force in Metal for more than 50 years. With his unending drive and commitment he has become one of the most influential musicians ever, and with this book he dispels some of the mystery that is his life. What I realized while reading this is that along with the typical debauchery that is Rock and Roll, there is a depth to Tony that I never would have imagined.
Beginning at the beginning, Tony discusses growing up and just how driven he was to succeed. Regardless of the problems thrown his way there was nothing that was going to keep him working factories. When injury could have ended the dream, ingenuity and inventiveness took over. That gives you a good insight to the character that would become the driving force behind Black Sabbath.
Perhaps some of my favorite moments are when Tony is reminiscing about the practical jokes played on band mates. Some could have ended quite badly, but they were funny none the less. I can just picture a bunch of young men living the dream and having fun.
Tony is also quite candid about some of the struggles he’s faced. Everything from addiction, mates moving on from Black Sabbath, and losing custody of his daughter are freely talked about. Tony takes responsibility for his mistakes, but there are also times that you can’t help but think that he caught some really raw deals along the way.
Throughout it all one thing remains; the passion to make music. There were times that Tony discussed where you get the sense that it would have been quite easy to just retire and enjoy his family. Instead Tony continued to move forward, regardless of changes in the band, touring and playing in dives, or personal tragedies. You can’t help but admire the dogged determination to do what he loves.
Towards the end of the book you begin to see that things have become much better for him, and that the drive to be the best has paid off. With the recent announcement of Tony’s new struggle this is even more poignant. Ending with wondering if Black Sabbath as we all know it would return to the stage you know that this was written a while ago, even though it was released just a few months ago. We know that a reunion album and tour is in the works, and head bangers world wide are praying that Tony is healthy enough to see it through. After reading this there is no doubt in my mind that the only way to keep Tony down is, well there isn’t one!
Full of personal insights and anecdotes this is a must read if you’re a fan of music, Black Sabbath, or just want a good look back at a life. While at times less than charmed, the perseverance throughout had me turning the pages and burning the midnight oil to see what twists and turns Tony’s life would take next.