This week it was officially announced by the Black Sabbath camp that this was indeed “The End”. After a mega lengthy farewell tour featuring 3/4ths of the original lineup, the sad masterful reality that now the very first band that created a whole new genre combining heavy British based blues, American Psychedelic and Horror movie film score has now called it a career.
Now I am not one of those fans that is necessarily sad over this inevitable event. Bands have got to go sometimes, some too soon and others wear out their welcome. I feel they ended their run just in the nick of time before it had the chance to be sad, something that is only the fault of father time at the end of the day. The only thing I am sad about is realizing that while there may be an endless slew of bands who were obviously influenced by the Sabs, are any of them great enough to be the true successor to their throne? Anybody can be heavy or scary or be perceptively dangerous but are there any bands that can do all of that but also, and most importantly, have the tunes that will last forever and inspire the new crop of kids? I don’t have the answer, just leaving you that ultimate question.
It sounds cliche but the fact that Ozzy, Tony, Geezer and Bill are all still walking the Earth is nothing short of the thing that fantasy and rock and roll dreams are made of. Further proof of this can be found in what I consider to be the definitive Sabbath Bio “Symptom Of The Universe” by Mick Wall. Not very well known for their off stage antics by anybody but the true hardcore fans, their exploits are fascinating and plentiful for anybody who cares to go down that rabbit hole. Martin Popoff’s Black Sabbath FAQ is equally informative and fun as well.
Back to the fanboy side of things, I am proud to say that I attended four different Black Sabbath concerts. The standout show was without question in January of 1999 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX in front of 60,000 people full stage show and to sweeten the pot, one of the great wayward sons of the band was opening up, Texas’ own Pantera. I still have the program too! It is something that I will always be able to look back on and smile and of course brag to future generations that I was there. I am convinced that nothing will ever replace the live music feel in my lifetime. It just makes me now wonder what Sabbath material that Ozzy will keep alive while he maps out the twilight of his solo career, I for one of many will be staying tuned and buying my ticket guaranteed and presently anticipating.
Alice Cooper once said that his band and the Doors were proud of the fact that they ‘drove a stake through the heart of the love generation’, a mere three years later Sabbath would drive the point home on the other side of the pond with zero remorse and (of course) without the help of radio and the ultrahip and now irrelevant critics of the day.
In “THE END”, they owe us nothing but they gave us everything
Thank You Black Sabbath.
Reported by Joey Haynie
Joey is the host of the Rock Strikes Ten podcast available at the following links
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