A Black Sabbath reunion, as reported by the Birmingham Post and Mail on Tuesday, has become huge news across the world with fans questioning whether it will ever happen... and guitarist Tony Iommi has refused to deny that the four original members are getting back together.
The Aston-born guitarist’s manager, Ralph Baker, said Iommi “was not saying that it wasn’t true”.
Worldwide interest in the news that the original Sabbath line-up plans to reunite for an album and tour caused the guitarist’s website to ‘virtually crash’, according to Mr Baker, who was speaking on behalf of Iommi.
When asked whether Iommi considered the story to be untrue Mr Baker said: “No, he doesn’t say that.”
But he added: “We haven’t got anything in place. He’s not denying that the guys have been talking but there’s nothing in the way that’s been implied in the statements that you made.
“He made them to you in June and he felt that he made them to you off-the-record.”
The story, originally published on a specialist music website and expanded by the Birmingham Post and Mail, quickly spread across the internet, with fans as far afield as Brazil and America logging on to read that Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward were working together again.
Iommi refused our request for an interview but his manager said he was upset that the story had been reported.
He said Iommi's comments made to the Mail in June during a wide-ranging interview that included the charity single he had recorded with Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan, his contract to write music for a series of horror films and his contribution to Birmingham’s Home Of Metal exhibition, were taken out of context.
“A very insignificant little website put something out about Sabbath getting back together and being in the Midlands. End of story," said Mr Baker.
"When you [The Birmingham Mail] went online, that’s when it went around the world because it was official.
“Tony’s website virtually crashed and it took off.
“That’s why Tony’s p****d off because the story would have died a death.’’
Tt was pointed out to Mr Baker that the Mail was only confirming the story that was put into the public domain by MetalTalk.net and was picked up by a number of other specialist sites, such as Music Radar.
“I don’t consider some dodgy little website a trigger [to publish],” he said. “It was picked up by everybody because a lot of these kids have nothing better to do than simply pick up a story from one site and run with it and see what happens.”
MetalTalk.Net reported that the band had got together on Monday at a secret rehearsal studio to begin the process of putting the show on the road.
Iommi posted on his website that when he spoke to the Birmingham Mail in June he was “merely speculating, shooting the breeze, on something all of us get asked constantly, ‘Are you getting back together?’”