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on 14 March 2017
great autobiography of one of Rock's great guitarists. It charts his life from childhood in Brum through to international stardom as the father of heavy metal guitar. Very enjoyable read in his own words, nice short chapters chronicaling specific events and changes in the band and very entertaining. A must for anyone who loved Tony and Black Sabbath and certainly opened my eyes to the ups and downs of the band and his career over the decades. I bought this after seeing Black Sabbath on their final farewell tour in Leeds. Great read.
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on 12 April 2017
Compared to Ozzy Osbourne, I knew very little about Tony Iommi when I decided to buy this book, after reading it (aside from the fact he has wrote life changing music) he is the unsung hero as far as humour goes. I haven't read a book that made me laugh so much before and I highly recommend this book.
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on 15 May 2017
The Iron Man in writing. The way it all started. Infinite respect and a great read
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on 16 May 2017
Could not put this book down. Tony is a legend and not only a great guitarist but a great writer.
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on 26 April 2014
I happened to get the updated version, which I was glad about, as it covered his health scares, etc. Unlike the reviewer who seemed to want all that psychoanalytical claptrap, I just wanted FACTS! TRIVIA! HISTORY! THE TRUTH! And boy, I got it, at last! Forget notions about "that's only HIS version of events". I now fully believe HIS explanation of all those myths and tales we've heard for years. It is written so well - like he's speaking to your face in his own words. Honest. Down-to-earth. Full of so many little "aside" comments and stories which he (rightly) thinks would be of interest. It pretty much cemented how I rated Sabbath before, i.e. Tony IS Black Sabbath when all's said and done. Without his riffs, forget it. Some will rave about Ozzy's persona or Geezer's lyrics, but whilst they added to things, I admit, they are both very, very secondary. As for Bill Ward, well his contrariness pretty much backs up that ridiculous farce over his refusal to sign that recent contract. (He wouldn't give details of his grievance, yet pathetically still expected fans to "side" with him - don't start me off there!) As I said, it was nice of Iommi to come clean about so many things. Yes, he wasted fortunes on drugs - they all did - but he still came up with the goods. (Mind you, I was taken aback at how much money they wasted on expensive pranks. Still, it was his money to waste, I suppose!) The only REAL surprise for me was how he rated "Dehumanizer" so highly. He talked about it in the same breath as the classic Sabs albums, but to me it was, and is, totally different from anything else. I couldn't get into a single track. Maybe it's me? Maybe I should go and check it out again?! Anyway, a thoroughly enjoyable read from one of my rock heroes. I thank him for all the pleasure he's brought to people, and hope that his current good health continues.
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on 8 April 2015
I read three Black Sabbath books one after the other. Why? To get what I hoped was a balanced overview of the events surrounding the band. These were:

1. Black Sabbath: Symptom of the Universe by Mick Wall
2. I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne
3. Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath by Tony Iommi

Perhaps the two quotes that sum up all three books are these, which are both from I Am Ozzy:

“I remember saying to Tony [Iommi], ‘Did you hear how heavy that Led Zeppelin album sounded?’
Without missing a beat, he replied, ‘We’ll be heavier.’”

And:

“‘The world doesn’t revolve around Tony [Iommi],’ he said. ‘There’ll be other guitarists.’
He was a good guy, my old man. But this time he was wrong. There were no other guitarists.
Not like Tony.”

Tony and Ozzy’s books are more reminiscences or memoirs as opposed to in-depth autobiographies. Both books only scratch the surface and I think this is where some people felt let down by them (more on this subject later). In fact, I felt that Tony’s book was more or less as comprehensive as Ozzy’s but both were less detailed than Micks (if this makes sense?)

In Tony’s book it’s clear he writes like he plays the guitar. In brief, hard-hitting passages. This means that there are 90 short chapters in the book. All were very readable and written in a coherent and often funny way. There were lots of laugh out loud moments about his drug fuelled antics and many pranks.

Tony starts by describing his poverty stricken childhood. He then moves onto describe the early days of the band, working through each album in turn. The tours, drugs, Satanism claims, groupies, line-up changes, bad management, parties, fights, heartbreaks and personal problems all follow.

As I said earlier it’s interesting to read multiple versions of similar events; how does Tony’s version compare with Ozzys recollections? Then factor in the details researched by Mick Wall. Wile they’re similar I got the impression that Ozzy felt somewhat intimidated by Tony. Tony was the driving force behind the group. He acknowledges he didn’t like confrontations and this resulted in communication problems with band members and management. He assumed the role of reluctant leader. At time he made the tough decisions which nobody else wanted to take, just to meet the commitments that the group had taken on.

The were some revelations too. For example, Tony insists that he managed to project himself onto an astral plane a number of times. Plus he has seen various ghosts over the years. Of course, this has nothing to do with his massive consumption of drugs over a thirty year span, I’m sure?!

But perhaps the biggest revelation concerned the following: Tony reveals that that at one point Michael Bolton was considered as a singer for Sabbath! Definitely a shock.

I’ve read that some reviews of this book which say that this was a terrible autobiography. It’s repetitive: record, tour, party, drugs, personal issues, etc. Also, that it’s not written with a lot of feeling, or emotion. But what did people expect? That’s what a band does and that’s who Tony is. Sure, you don’t get any great philosophical or psychological insights into “who is Tony” or what makes him tick. Nor do you learn how to write hit songs or get an in depth run down of the guitar and equipment set-up he uses. It seems that Tony is nothing but workman like when it comes to making music and getting on with life. There are no great big “ah-ha” moments where you think, that’s an amazing revelation which I can apply to my own life. Tony isn’t a role model and you wouldn’t want him as a neighbour. But saying this he doesn’t come off as being an unlikable man, he is polite about most people, even people he dislikes. You get the impression he is just someone who loves music and wants to play the guitar.

So in summary, even if you only have a passing interest in Black Sabbath I can recommend Tony’s book. Love them or hate them, he created one of the most important bands ever and invented a whole new musical genre: heavy metal. His personal willpower and strength of character to succeed against all odds is inspiring in a way, as is his lack of pretentiousness. He has massive inner strength and I do hope this helps him to with his current health issues.

Highly recommended.
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on 2 September 2016
I'm in no way saying that Tony Iommi isn't a nice guy.

I completely get that he was instrumental in forever changing the face of heavy music.

I totally agree that he influenced practically everyone to play, or listen to, metal over the last 50 years.

But this book is pretty bloody tedious.

Let's face it: when you buy a rock biography from an artist from the 'golden years' of excess, you expect it to be jam-packed with stories of hedonism, drugs, bizarre behaviour and anecdotes galore as well as providing an insight into life with a hugely popular band (think White Line Fever by Lemmy, The Dirt by Motley Crue, I am Ozzy etc)

Unfortunately, this book is just plain dull.

If you haven't read it, here is the basic formula for the 90% of the content after Black Sabbath became popular:

"We started recording a new album. I wrote riffs for the songs [x, y and z]. I produced it myself but couldn't get the right sound at first. We recorded the album and went on tour. [Band member's name] left the band, so I needed to hire a replacement. I found a replacement and we started recording a new album. I wrote riffs for the songs [x, you and z]....."

Now read that sentence 600 times and you have the majority of this autobiography.

There is the occasional mention of the fact he was taking ridiculous amounts of cocaine, but this is brushed off without going in to detail. Every so often, he splits up with one wife and marries another one but, again, it is skimmed over. The couple of anecdotes he does recount already feature in Ozzy's book, but are about 2% as amusing.

Be honest: when you buy a rock 'n' roll biography, do you really, hand-on-heart, expect one of the stories being described as 'really funny' by the author to be about two female members of another band eating a couple of big bars of chocolate?

No.

The ghost writer has not asked for any elaboration on any stories, not probed for interesting tales and has written the book in a manner that can only be described as half-arsed.

The passage about Tony and Ozzy playing the Queen's Golden Jubilee is a case in point.

They were asked if Phil Collins could play the drums. They said 'yes'. During rehearsal, Ozzy looked at Phil Collins, who thought it was a dirty look. Collins asked Iommi if Ozzy had the hump. Iommi said no. Collins said he thought he had been glared at. Iommi said 'Ozzy looks at everyone like that'. Collins asked if he was playing the songs ok. Iommi said yes.

Story over.

I mean, Jesus.

The ghost writer should be ashamed of himself. A golden opportunity well missed.
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on 13 January 2012
I caught myself laughing out alone more than one time while reading this book. The short chapters format was a different path to go, but iw worked. One has to get used to it.

Iommi covers everything, all the albums, but of course the book had a maximum lenght, otherwise it becomes a little unviable in terms of marketing. He goes through his four marriages, the usual drugs and alcohol related tales, pranks and disasters, his childhood and family environment, a little about every album and band member that went through Sabbath (contraty to Ozzy's book, where Jake Lee and even Zakk Wylde are almost not mentioned at all), manager troubles, the technique adaptation need for playing after losing two of his fingertips, etc. He does so in a way that doesn't become boring. Or would people like to hear about another hangover, another session of coke consumption, another groupie "banged"? I think not.

The sincerity is also there. He clearly says about difficulties to play the same solo identically two times in a row, difficulty in crating faster songs, never tryuing to write lyrics, etc. (probably he left behind the part of losing some audition capability, because I watched the Heaven and Hell tour in 2009 and gohs, they were loud, really loud!!!)

Very good book, it did not dissapoint me at all.
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on 7 December 2012
May I ask asking Amazon to pay their fair share of UK taxes. Those clever accountants may have all these creative schemes to stop you paying UK taxes, but it gets no hospital built or pot holes filled. Do the decent thing like your customers do and pay UK taxes, please.

Excellent work by the seller..
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on 30 December 2011
This is my first ever review! Totally enjoyed this book from the first to the last page and what made it even more fun was listening to the music while I read. Tony comes across as a great human being, awesome riffs and some serious motivation and dedication, perseverance.

He and the rest of the guys in Black Sabbath seemed to have a ball when they hit the bid time.

Thoroughly enjoyed his musical journey and thanks for this quite inspiring story ......
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