Tony Iommi Recalls Being Thrown Offstage at Early Show
The iconic British quartet had begun working in the late ‘60s as Earth, although the fact that another band was using the moniker meant they had to find a new one.
Iommi told how he and Bill Ward had been playing together when Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler, who had their own group, suggested they join forces. “And it was awful,” the guitarist admitted in a new interview with BBC Scotland’s Ian Boffey. “We really had to work at it to get used to playing with each other. But, I mean, it was good in the end. We enjoyed it.”
He noted how the band was called Earth early on and how they were "mis-booked at a place." "It was a pop venue, basically," he recalled. "We turned up and there was people with bow ties and ballroom dresses and all this sort of stuff.” He remembered thinking, “Oh my God, what’s this?” “We said to the guy, ‘I think you’ve got the wrong band,'" Iommi remembered. He said, ‘Well, you’d better play … we can’t change it now.’ So anyway, we got up, we played one song, and that was it. That was the end of it – they threw us off.”
That led to the decision that they were "never going to do this again; we’re going to get a name that nobody else has got. And Geezer said, ‘Black Sabbath,’ and that was it, really.”
Iommi recently revealed he was revisiting what’s often regarded as Black Sabbath’s worst album, 1996's Forbidden, in order to bring it closer to the record he wanted it to be.