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Great new rock book - going behind the scenes of some of the greatest records ever made by some of music's most legenday bands at Rockfield studios. ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD features Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Queen, Robert Plant, Rush, etc

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Rock Legends - extract from chapter 2 -- featuring Black Sabbath

Here's the second extract from ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD. The books out on sept 15th (details below)

It's from chapter 2 -- Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - Ozzy's causing mayhew at Rockfield.

This first part of this extract comes from a conversation I'm having in a pub with Graham Wright and Les Martin - two former Sabbath roadies. At the time of our meeting they were working on the Rolling Stones 2006 Bigger bang tour. Our conversation is a pub in Cardiff overlooking the Millennium Stadium (where the Stones were playing the next night) and talk turns to practical jokes during the band's time at Rockfield studios - the second part relates to practical jokes during Ronnie James Dio-Sabbath era when recording Dehumanizer:

The practical jokes often spilt over into meal times. It seems it was never safe to eat at the Sabbath table.
‘Food times were hysterical,’ says Graham Wright. ‘Ozzy loved currys. He’d make one and give himself a plate first. Then he’d doctor it, usually with one of Bill Ward’s socks. Bill would be sitting eating and would suddenly pull this long horrible thing from his food and shout “Errghh! what’s this!” It would be one of his own socks. Or Ozzy would get a jar of vindaloo paste, put the whole lot in and dish it up to the unsuspecting band. It wasn’t just Ozzy. Tony Iommi would get some meat pies from the fish and chip shop in Monmouth. He’d bring them back, take the tops off, take the filling out and put cat food inside instead. Then he’d offer them round to the rest of the band “Anyone want a meatpie?”
Even the road crew were fair game. Putting his pint down on the table, Les Martin looks me straight in the eye as his mind flicks back to when the Prince of Darkness singled him out for the old “switch-a-rooney”.
‘I used to like tuna fish sandwiches and Ozzy would take the label off a tin of tuna and put it on the cat food. It took days to get rid of the taste of those sandwiches!!!'
............................................................................................................................................In the early 90's when Sabbath recorded Dehumanizer, despite being almost 20 years on from the band's first time at Rockfield, one constant remained : The boyish japes and practical jokes. Drummer Vinny Appice recalls the day when he and Ronnie played a joke on Tony Iommi.
‘Tony had just bought a new Range Rover, which he was proudly showing us outside the studio. Well, I decided to screw around a bit and poured a bit of motor oil under the car. I told Ronnie to tell Tony that he’d noticed some oil leaking from under the car, because if I’d told Tony he wouldn't have believed me. So Ronnie ran into the studio and told Tony he thought his new car had a leak. Tony came out and asked me to look under the car for him as I knew a bit about motors. I said to Tony, “It looks like a very bad leak”. I was under the car trying to stifle my laughter while Tony’s face dropped. He was very upset and called the car breakdown people, the RAC. They had to drive quite a distance to get to the studio and charged Tony about 100 pounds to have a look and maybe tow it elsewhere. I then told Tony it was all a joke! He was so angry I thought he was going to kill me, but I hadn't finished the drum tracks yet, so I survived! Later on though, he was laughing about it. But he hadn’t forgotten! The next day I opened the door to my room and there was a loud explosion. Tony had gotten a load of fireworks and rigged the door. When I got in the room it was an absolute mess! All my things were upside down and all over the place. Yeah Tony, very funny!’

ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD is out on University of Wales Press on Sept 15th.
It's available for pre-order on and

Jeff Collins


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