Dumfries 1969 (Zodiac 144)
Rugmans Youth Club, Dumfries, Scotland – November 16, 1969
(61:38) Black Sabbath, Let Me Love You Baby, Song For Jim (incl. Drums Solo), The Warning, Wicked World, Behind The Wall Of Sleep, Early Morning School, N.I.B., Blue Blooded Man
Well…..what a wonderful time to be alive! As they say, if you can actually remember the late 60’s and early 70’s…then, you weren’t really there… (man.) So….are we really able to enjoy and appreciate rock musics ‘golden era’ more so or easier so now? Probably….listening to a remastered C.D. on modern-day hi-fi systems while totally sober in 2017 HAS to be better than the 1967 equivalent – listening to much-loved and revered CLASSIC songs…….that would not be considered or deemed so for another decade at least….on a primitive tinny-sounding dansette with a speaker the size of a present-day mobile phone, only nowhere as loud or clear…… even if/when “smoking and tripping is all that you do…” Well, that’s what my rock’n’roll doctor told me anyhows. That said, why are we harking back so much to an era long gone, bands we’ll never see and musicians who we’ll never get to meet or speak to? (unless you’re a dab hand with a ouija board….) Clearly something has also long gone that’s making 40-something year old unreleased rejected barrel-scrapings be of more genuine interest than today’s officially released popular present-day HITS. Re-arrange the letters of that last word you just saw in capital letters…..and hopefully you see my point. It would seem that yesterday’s worst is still better than today’s best…….very true in so many cases. 40 to 50 year old songs on bootleg because they were never officially released – because the artists felt they weren’t good enough – that still have more originality than today’s official releases. Imagine a paralleI 1968 where you had Pink Floyd’s “Scream thy last scream”, The Beatles “What’s the new Mary Jane” and The Factory’s “Path through the forest” in the Top Ten singles that week, rather than Engleberk Humpaduck….it’s a lovely thought. In very much the same way that the Velvet Underground might have been tragically forgotten had Bowie had not name-checked them in interviews regularly in the early 70’s, this recording of a up-and-coming unknown obscure struggling Birmingham band called ‘Earth’ playing in Dumfries, Scotland in November 1969….(A fair long journey from Brum!!)…would have vanished into the void…..and they would have become yet another forgotten unwanted late-60’s pale-faced UK white-boy blues band destined to play pubs and working mens club type venues until they split thru “bad management” and “musical differences”……had this particular band not transformed into something much much more original, ground-breaking, and influential to a total MULTITUDE of future not-yet-born Rockers and Metallers…..that (without trying to) spawned a whole new genre of music that we call HEAVY METAL….and 20 years later, spawned a new genre of music within that particular genre of music. 1989 saw the birth of “Doom Metal”….a worthy multitude of bands who were to Sabbath what those Manchester morons (whose name I REFUSE to repeat here) couldn’t even dream of being to The Beatles. They could never musically assimilate the vibe of people who originally lived only 40 miles away in the next major city. That’s why the best thing to come out of Manchester at that time was the road back to Liverpool. But yet, the yanks captured the British Sabbath vibe/sound/feel in a much more verbatim style then certain “bands” who just try way way too hard. This long-lost show was recorded on a Grundig reel-to-reel machine (at 3 & 3/4 ips) by audience member Alex Wilson who, inspired and amazed by this show, later formed a band called Iron Claw. Sabbath played 2 sets that night and the first two songs here come from the first. The only reason he didn’t record all of the first one was because he was “too gobsmacked” – he also later pointed out that, unusually, (by his standards!) there was no “raw” language or “Are you all high??” from Ozzy that night as it was a mostly teenage audience in a youth club that did not sell alcohol. So, anyways…let’s go through this exclusive extravaganza track-by-track…..
1) BLACK SABBATH (1:21) – Sadly here, we have only the final minute or so recorded – what is now the earliest-known live recording of this song is only a closing segment, therefore it can’t be determined just how different or how longer this early version may well have been – as they did used to improvise a lot in the early days in order to fill time onstage and to placate the rowdy crowds – Iommi once recalled a Hamburg star club residency where they could stretch the song to 20 minutes. We can also only assume that this early version still included the unused third verse that was left off the LP version and discarded from the song from then on – “Child cries out for his mother….” but that’s still a safe assumption without recorded proof as the verse is still there on “The Basement Tape” – the 1970 (but not released until Ozzy’s 1997 ‘Best Of’ comp “The Ozzman Cometh”) pristine quality studio demos of four classic early Sabbath songs in slightly different form – “War Pigs” is still called “Walpurgis” at this point (and has alternate lyrics concerning ‘dead rat dinners’.) “Wall of sleep” is twice as long, still containing the instrumental jazz section that comprised the 2nd half of the song – heard on the widely available Paris 20/12/1970 TV special but also discarded from the 1st LP, and “Fairies wear boots” is different in that we get the “So I went to the doctor…” verse straight after the 1st chorus, revealing the story’s ending only halfway through! The original “Basement Tape” version of “Black Sabbath” lasts for nine and a half minutes, as does a version recorded in Berlin on 26/6/1970 – this gig also features a very rare early “Paranoid” with different lyrics – Recorded only 10 days after the LP version where, infamously, the lyrics were written there and then to fill space on the album – the studio out-take not heard ’til the 2009 expanded deluxe re-issue appears to be Ozzy making the (thankfully) unused lyrics up on the spot – the “Planet Caravan” out-take is the same. The lyrics on the Berlin version are definitely different even if not clear enough in the mix to understand fully – but just two months later, a fantastic gig recorded at Montreux on 31/8/1970 has the finalised “Paranoid” lyrics we all know and love – this show is complete and in pristine soundboard quality – and was only unearthed in 2009, and in 2015 was officially released as part of a super-deluxe re-issue of “Paranoid” along with a very rare Brussels 1970 show. Who knows what else is hiding out there? So…….back to my original point – because we only have the final minute of this first song, what I can tell you is that here, we don’t get the final “BA-DA-DA-BANG” reprise we usually do….and still not yet 8 months later at Berlin 26/6/1970, the 1970 ‘Beat Club’ TV special, Philadelphia 30/10/1970, NYC Filmore West 27/11/1970, Paris 20/12/1970 nor the “Basement tape” version. However, the two studio out-takes (Both recorded 17th November ’69 at Regent sound studios) released in 2009 reveal a first version with Ozzy laying down the vocal, again with no end reprise, then a second totally instrumental take that starts with the tolling bell (the still falling rain and thunder would later be added to the LP without the bands knowledge) and ends with the final four-note reprise, at last. So I guess they maybe just forgot to do it on some nights in the early days….that seems well plausible – many people round at that time don’t seem to be able to recollect very much……..
2) LET ME LOVE YOU BABY (5:00) – A Buddy Guy song covered from everyone from Stevie Ray Vaughan to the Jeff Beck group on the ’68 LP “Truth” featuring Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood & Nicky Hopkins. This is one of several songs on this recording that does suffer from a slight bit of tape drop-out for a brief moment but there are no missing sections. The first song is partial only due to the recorder not being switched on until a minute before the song ends. A mid-tempo bluesy-boogie, somewhere inbetween B.B.King and classic 70’s Quo. The song brings tonights first set to an end and Ozzy announces that the band will return on stage in “about a half hours time”. Hopefully most of the teenage audience caught the rest of their set that night and still made it to school in the morning.
3) SONG FOR JIM (INCL. DRUM SOLO) (10:43) – A showcase for Sabbs sticksman Bill Ward here as well as a showcase for Tony Iommis flute playing! This musical nod to their then manager Jim Simpson who you can see being interviewed extensively regarding the early days of the band as part of the the bonus extras on the Black Sabbath story Vol.one DVD (which also features bonus interviews with Bill and Tony). In the main feature, you hear the only snippet of the studio version of this much-sought-after Sabbs rarity that anyone has ever heard other than Jim himself, the band and whoever engineered the session. I guess this simply has to be Bill’s first recorded drum solo with the band. An extended instrumental work-out, this sees Tony and Bill answer each other musically by swapping ‘trade-offs’. Not particulary Sabbathy as it features neither Ozzys vocals nor Iommis guitar or riffs and you would be forgiven for initially thinking that this was Jethro Tull – who of course Iommi had very briefly joined the year before. It seems that Ian Anderson didn’t want people who enjoyed a toke in his band and was clearly the leader – he leads the band to this day. In a 2001 channel 4 prog rock-doc, Iommis replacement Martin Barre (joined ’69, still in the band at that point) stated “In the 70’s, bags of dope would get thrown onto the stage most nights so we’d go over, look down through our noses at them and kick them off the stage.” One assumes that Anderson was much happier with that, so whereas Tony was a Tull member for just over three weeks, Barre remained one for over three decades. So rather than having to play second fiddle (or flute) to someone else, Iommi decided to stick it out with his old mates instead and led Sabbath for the rest of their career – “I came back from Tull with a new attitude altogether – They taught me that to get on, you’ve got to work for it and get up and rehearse….somebody’s got to be a leader of sorts – You can’t just go “Well, we’ll make it at some point and rehearse” – you have to go ‘be here at ten in the morning and get cracking.’ I was put in the spot of leader, really – they looked to me for that guidance and I got the band work.” You can of course see Iommi playing in Jethro Tull in The Rolling Stones ‘Rock’n’roll circus’ film, filmed in December ’68 and unseen in full until October ’96 when it was launched at the 34th New York film festival. (Unseen and shelved for 28 years due to The Stones being blown fairly-and-squarely off their own stage that night by The Who.) Bill’s gargantuan drum solo here is one of his best – longer and much better than his solo on the album version of ‘Rat Salad’. And Tony’s flute playing ain’t bad either! As heard on the album versions of “Solitude” and “Looking For Today”, and infamously he is credited on the sleeve of 1983’s “Born Again” with “Guitar, guitar effects & flute”…yet…there doesn’t appear to be any flute on the album, unless it’s just lost in the shockingly bad mix. A good album ruined by a diabolical production – the bootleg of the unmixed demos is far superior. The sleeve was also done on a budget of fifteen pence and their model Stonehenge was too big to fit through stage doors. And you thought “Smell The Glove” was fiction! “Is there actually any flute on the ‘Born Again’ LP and if so, where?” was the second most popular & frequent question in Sabbath fan club/fanzine Q&A mailbags in the 80’s, second only to “Is it really Ozzy singing on ‘Solitude?” Indeed it is. One story concerning Iommis flute playing is relayed to us by Geezer himself on the Black Sabbath Story vol.1 DVD. With a slightly embarrassed looking Iommi sitting next to him, Geezer recalls when Tony was playing flute onstage one night…well, at least he thought he was. Not forgetting that this was a band who, as well as snorting their way through Colombia would also toke on huge chillums right up until the moment they went onstage. Tony had his eyes closed – so had NO idea that the flute mouthpiece was actually down by his chin, and he was just blowing into the microphone. All you could hear over the P.A. was the sound you get when you blow into an empty wine bottle. People must have thought Mungo Jerry was onstage….the “Blow on a jug” reprise at the end of the “Sabotage” LP was, er….inspired by him – he sure as hell couldn’t blow into a jug like Tommy Hall of the 13th Floor Elevators. With his eyes being closed, Tony didn’t notice Ozzy walk offstage into the dressing room and then come back with a huge mirror which he proceeded to put right in front of Tony…..who finished what he thought was his flute solo and then opened his eyes and saw himself…. “WAAAAAAAARRRGGGHHHHHH!!!….” Geezer maintains steadfast that it was at least 20 minutes before they could bring themselves to start playing again, because that’s how long it took for them to stop laughing.
4) WARNING (18:02) – Originally by the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation, one of the two cover versions on the 1st LP – the only two cover versions they ever professionally recorded/released – the STORMING version of “Blue Suede Shoes” live on German TV show Beat Club was only a camera and soundcheck to test out the equipment there, due to the band not being able to bring their usual set-up over with them – Iommi and Geezer didn’t have their usual Laney stacks & cabinets and so for years afterwards, everyone in Germany who saw this show assumed that Sabbath exclusively used Orange amplifiers. Most of them also assumed that “Blue Suede Shoes” was actually a Sabbath song, according to a 1990’s U.S. radio ‘rockline’ interview with Iommi. There’s a few mere seconds of “Day Tripper” just before the tape cuts off at Inglewood Forum on 23/2/1971 – a HUGE bloody shame – The Sabb 4 took over after from where the Fab 4 left off if you ask me, So Iommi’s appearance on the Stones ‘Rock n roll circus’ film on which Lennon appears (Iommi has said he actually managed to have a nice albeit brief chat with John during the filming) and Ozzy’s guest backing vox on Ringo’s “Vertical man” are the only Sabbs/Fabs connections I can recall for now, other than the “Sabbey Road” picture you see above. And let’s not forget Ozzys onstage guest appearance to sing alongside Paul McCartney and Kermit the frog. Why Macca didn’t get Kermit to sing “We all stand together” is anyones guess….but at least it led to Ozzy recording “Born to be wild” with Miss Piggy. Predictably, she just hogged the microphone…and I’m not telling porkys, I just don’t mean to be a terrible boar. As for more one-off Sabbs live covers, at Winterland on 10/3/1972, Tony appears to play the “Laurel and Hardy” theme tune, at Bristol Colston Hall 12/10/1975 Ozzy has the whole crowd sing along with “When the saints go marchin’ in” and at Moscow in 1989, the “Headless cross” line-up play The Shadows “Apache” as another nod to One of Tony’s main early inspirations – Mr.Hank Marvin. Technically, their version of “Smoke on the Water” on the ’83 ‘Born Again’ tour is a cover version but it’s a bloody good one. But back to “Warning” – the Aynsley Dunbar original being 3 and a half minutes long, the Sabbath studio version being 10 and a half minutes long, but their live versions stretched out much further to showcase the obligatory Iommi solo section of just about every 1970’s Sabbs gig there was. Actually rather strikingly similar to the album version, but much longer and here we have the sections cut out of the album version, as was the ‘jazz-blues’ section of “….Wall Of Sleep”. Again, a slight bit of tape drop-out here and there but nothing drastic. After Bill’s storming solo performance in the last song, this time it’s Tony’s turn to have the stage to himself while the other three leave him to it and leave the stage to go get some refreshments, probably courtesy of “the great COKE-Cola company of Los Angeles” as namechecked and personally thanked on the liner notes for “Vol.4”, their 1972 LP – after all……….it’s the real thing!
5) WICKED WORLD (5:26) – It wasn’t long at all after this that this song became the one that would be stretched-out onstage to sometimes over 20 minutes, including Iommi’s obligatory solo spot, commonplace in just about every Sabbath show from here-on. On a bootleg of a 1971 U.S. show, Ozzy introduces the song and you hear an audience member say “Aaaw Yeeeahh….it goes on all night, this one” The N.Y.C. 22/10/71 version lasts just under 24 minutes – just 5 minutes shorter than your average Beatles concert! This version however is pretty faithful to the studio version – same lyrics – other than a section inbetween the first two verses you only got in the live versions. The studio version was of course the original B-side of the “Evil Woman” single and was bloody hard to get hold of on vinyl until 1976’s “We sold our soul for rock’n’roll” 2-LP compilation.
6) BEHIND THE WALL OF SLEEP (4:58) – A spot-on verbatim very faithful rendition, practically note-for-note and word-for-word with the Paris and Montreux 1970 versions, only the sound quality here being not quite as good, suggesting that this show was recorded on something more primitive and crude. The slightly rough sound pales into insignificance considering the historic quality and value of this surviving preserved piece of proof of the history of Heavy. Not quite an original penny black stamp or an actual Norman or Saxon bow and arrow….but it is to this writer – who promises you personally that this definitely isn’t one of those bootlegs that sounds like it’s been recorded on an edison cylinder or a dictaphone stuffed in a roadie’s back pocket outside the stage door. The ‘jazz-blues’ section of the song (that David St.Hubbins would call ‘more blues-jazz, really…’) that you sadly don’t get on the album version is still intact here of course, as with all live renditions from 1970. The complete studio version can be found on the legendary ‘Basement Tape’. It was dropped from their setlist until the 90’s reunion shows, and was played on their last tour across 2016/7.
7) EARLY MORNING SCHOOL (4:51) – One of the last traces of blues band Earth transmogrifying into Heavy rock legends Black Sabbath. Blues music, essentially, should be played by middle aged poverty stricken black Americans singing about their wives leaving, their dogs dying and 50 years of workin’ on the railroad…..wealthy famous British white people singing about that just isn’t gonna quite hit the mark…..Duran Duran’s excretable versions of Public Enemy and Grandmaster Flash songs prove this. Doing a seven-night consecutive run of the Royal Albert Hall onstage in a £2000 suit….is that the blues?….let me Layla law down…I Feel Free to almost literally Cream myself thinking about it, but I would just come to a Crossroads. But my Sabbs Badge collection looks Wonderful Tonight in my White Room, so let’s not topple Dominoes. So, whilst not the most memorable thing on here, it’s still interesting to see the early embryonic evolution of a a band….the caterpillar that blossomed into a beautiful butterfly. After much speculation, it appears that this is a cover of “Early one morning” by Elmore James but with Ozzy mangling the original lyrics, something he was prone to doing in those early years. Tony & Bill had already performed Elmore James “Dust my broom” and other blues songs such as Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful” previously in their pre-Sabbs band Mythology, also a blues-rock orientated outfit who supported fellow Brummies The Move in Carlisle on 30th april 1968. Mythology appeared at Silloth Queens Hotel in Cumbria on 17th march 1968 – also recorded and released on bootleg a few years ago – rather similar in both sound and musical quality to this show and quite possibly also recorded on reel-to-reel. Back to “Early Morning School” – this particular recording of the song has been already available on the internet for a good few years now and until this whole show surfaced in 2015, the only recordings by Earth ever heard were a tiny segment of a studio take of ‘Song for Jim’ heard on the ”Black Sabbath story vol.1” VHS released in 1991, and 50 second clips of ‘When I came down’ and ‘The Rebel’ also released onto the internet years ago. In 2008, the full complete version of ‘The Rebel’ appeared on YouTube. “Yeah, right…sure” I do remember thinking before I clicked the link. “It’s either an ‘out-fake’ (Idiots impersonating the band) or the short clip repeated over and over….we’ll see.” After the 50-second mark, this genuine complete early recording was accompanied by a sudden huge loud CLUNK!…….the sound of my jaw hitting the ground. I urgently phoned a friend that night to get him to convert it into a mp3 for me as I did think the song would be quickly taken down. It’s still there now. Someone will just put it back up again. Starting with a tinkling piano, it’s not quite the traditional trademark Sabbath sound just yet – Tony’s familiar nuances in his solo’s being instantly recognizable as the great man – but the low-down-tuned riffs from Hell and the Hammer Horror influence hasn’t creeped in yet, literally… Thank God for Boris Karloff! He inspired “The Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett (You’d never guess…) and starred in the original film that gave Black Sabbath their name! The lads noticed the long queues of people lined up outside a Birmingham cinema showing Hammer Horrors….”People are paying money and queueing uo to be scared! And there’s loads of ’em! Maybe we should make some scary music, it may just be as popular and successful..” Onto a winner there lads!
8) N.I.B. (5:15) – The very first known recorded outing for this legendary self-penned Sabbs classic which remained in their setlist right until their final tour in January 2017. Yet another case of a Sabbs song performed live (and captured by the bootleggers) that has different lyrics to the ones eventually used on the album versions. All the verses here are different and the sound quality is clear enough to make out what these alternate lyrics actually are. “A national acrobat” at London Alexandra Palace 2/8/73 – definitely alternate lyrics but sound quality so appalling you can’t make out a word. Here though, on BOTH choruses (I thought the first one was a lil’ mistake…) Ozzy sings “My love for you has just got to be real…” so, seems they turned the tables and swopped roles for the album version! Legend has it that the title is an acronym for “Nativity in black”…..but as usual, the truth is much more less romantic and deeply poetic than we would like to think. It’s simply a reference to Bill’s beard he had at the time (Geezer – ‘It looked like a pen nib’) and ‘nib’ was in fact the original title so no need to look for any symbolic hidden meaning! If you have sod-all else better to do than play records backwards looking for stuff that ain’t there, then you ARE Satan! The lads themselves always said that the title has nothing to do with the content of the song – just like the L.S.D. Lucy – Sky – Diamonds coincidence, and AC/DC does NOT stand for Anti-Christ/Devil’s Child…..
INTERLUDE – We now temporarily interrupt this transmission to bring you a K.T.R. mental health warning- Tragically over-active imaginations with too much time on their hands and too much drugs in their system can lead people to delude themselves that “Dark side of the moon” runs perfectly in sync with “the wizard of Oz” film. Pathetic. All in all, it’s just another brick in the yellow road, Dorothy. Now back to our featured broadcast –
…But this and the title track on the 1st lp being the two songs on there that do specifically refer directly to the dark horned one downstairs (along with the very macabre poem inside the gatefold sleeve) is what initially gave them their image and aura of the band being possible Satanists for real…. Just like the accusations The Stones were lumbered with for decades after “Sympathy for the devil” and “Dancing with Mr.D” – not to mention the horror of Altamont. When on tour in the U.S. Sabbath would have to endure armed cops being in the dressing room watching their every move, alongside the crackpot nutcakes (Acid casualtys who’ve read a little bit of Dennis Wheatley….) who would be inviting the Sabbs to join them for a black mass ceremony of some sort – and even back home in the U.K. Alex Saunders – the head chief witch at the time would attend Sabbs gigs with the very same intention. On one American tour, a group of Satanic” monks” in hooded robes holding candles found their way to the hotel room in which the lads were staying that night. Persistant as hell banging on the door for quite some time, the door did eventually open…..and out flew Ozzy and Bill, who blew out the crackpots candles and sang “Happy birthday to yoooou…” – Well…..what else can ya do? That was possibly the same tour when Ozzy switched on the radio in his hotel room, only to hear the D.J. make a special annoucement….”Remember kids, if you’re going to the Black Sabbath concert at the arena tonight, whatever you do, DON’T look them straight in the eyes or you’ll be possessed by the devil forever!” – The Sabbs equivalent of hearing (on the hotel’s radio) that they were currently residing in the ‘where are they now?’ file…. Over to Ozzy – “The only black magic Sabbath ever got into was a box of chocolates….after we went to see “The Exorcist” we all had to stay in the same room together, that’s how black magic we were.” An Ozzy solo track from the late 80’s called “Bloodbath in paradise” (about the Manson ‘family’ – more satanic lunatics…..) begins with a very menacing sounding and creepy backwards message. Reversed, it says “Your mother sells whelks in Hull”……hmmmm….maybe the Ozzman still remembered that particular film all those years later?? Sounds like! Geezer, the bands main lyricist says “It’s about the devil falling in love with a human being and then he totally changes his identity and becomes a good person” Thank God for that!….maybe literally!! This song closes side one of the first album – hearing what old Beezlebub was up to on the opening track is what cost yours truly here a LOT of sleep as a young kid when I first heard it. But the last word on the somewhat false and exaggarated Satanic imagery that they could not shake off for years – you can blame that on the record company. The original studio out-take of “Black Sabbath” begins with just the sound of the tolling bell – nothing else. When Ozzy got his first copy, he took it round to his dads house to play him it. At first, Ozz thought he’d been given the wrong record or possibly a mis-pressing as the thunder and lightning sound effects had been put on there without the bands knowledge or consent, as had the inverted cross and creepy poem inside the gatefold, right alongside the hideous mis-spelling “Ossie Osbourne”. When the song finished, Ozzys dad said to him “Son…..are you sure you’re only drinking the occasional beer?” Well, one thing that we ARE sure of for certain here……is that the LP was released on friday the 13th, 1970. Just thought I’d tell you. !!* # Cue: Grateful Dead’s Twilight Zone music*!! Just after this particular version finishes – now the earliest known recording with alternate lyrics – Ozzy signs off with “Thankyou very much, thankyou, that’s all baby…” The tape is then paused and is switched back on after the band have come back on, as the clapping suddenly stops and cuts straight to Ozzy’s mumbly hard-to-understand introduction for the encore number. Which is…..
9) BLUE BLOODED MAN (6:02) – An uptempo rockin’ bluesy-boogie brings tonights concert to an end in style. Reminiscent (in a big way) of the electrifying and audacious performance of “I’m Going Home” by Ten Years After at the legendary Woodstock festival four months before – one of the highlights of the movie. A fine way to round things off – the guitar solos and middle eight section swings along with a very similar groove to their take on “Blue Suede Shoes” but even faster and heavier! Before Ten Years After had played at Woodstock,, Earth/Sabbath were helped and supported by Alvin Lee, who was instrumental in helping them get gigs as his support act – he took a huge interest in the band and assisted them in a big way. Alvin (as a solo act) even supported Sabbath in Largo, Maryland on the 1981 “Mob Rules tour. Regarding Alvin Lee, Bill says “Back then (’69) he was enormous in the ‘underground circuit’ – he hadn’t done Woodstock yet but when he did he really became ‘it’ – Very popular on the London scene. We visited him at his home and even wrote press articles for the papers. We got his seal of approval.” They also supported the likes of Keef Hartley and Jethro Tull, which led to Iommi being approached by Ian Anderson to join Tull as original guitarist Mick Abrahms had just left. When this song and the show finally comes to ‘the end’ – Ozzy says “Thankyou very much, good to see you all…hope you had a good….” and the tape cuts off there.
Sabbath cut off for good in january 2017 with their final world tour. After many European dates, they came back to finish off where they started, in good old Blighty. Needless to say the final date was in Birmingham at the Genting Arena on the 4th of february, and was streamed live on their official facebook page… a DVD release would be just lovely. Show over, the lads stood together on the stage soaking up the applause with the words “THE END” on the screen behind them while it rained balloons with the purple wavy “Master….” Sabbs logo on. Iommi then said “Thankyou, goodnight….thankyou so much” to the crowd…the Milwaukee 1980 riot show is the only other time ever that I have heard him talk into the microphone – NOT surprising after the flute incident! I do wonder, though, how much people are bidding/paying for, for those balloons on Ebay now. Tony Iommi: “After the final show, nobody knew what to say to each other…but a couple of days later we were back together filming documentary interviews”. Television documentarys aside, a definitive documentary film (Cinema & DVD) covering the whole story from start to finish is WAAAAAY long overdue. Hopefully still a possibility. Finishing where they started is exactly what they did…the same rain and thunder that started their first album also ended the last one. With that, on the final tour, as well as “The End” T-shirts, fans were able to purchase an exclusive CD of that very same name, comprising four exclusive live tracks from 2013/14 & four unreleased out-takes from the final studio album “13”. (See track list just above) Actually very good, and a total mystery as to why a couple of them remained off the LP. The only time I’ve ever paid £25 for eight songs… (£75 if you wanted an autographed one!) …but this CD is what obviously rounds off Sabbath’s recorded legacy. What with the CD being titled “The End”. this Dumfries show CD should really, by rights, be called “The Beginning”. Having surfaced in 2015, it’s interesting that the studio trax on “The End” CD were recorded 2013, as were two of the live trax, the other two in 2014. these 8 recordings would not see light of day until 2016, the year after the Dumfries show was FINALLY released in full. So…..two CD’s that came out within months of each other….have the WHOLE Sabbath legacy bookended nicely. Very nicely.
So…to quote the eponymous song that started the eponymous first album – “….this is the end, my friend…” . Then again though, to quote the first song on their last album.. “Is this the end of the beginning….or the beginning of the end??” Who knows?….because who knows what else will surface from the archives? Especially now that the band is no more…so, let’s not feel so terminal about all this. * Don’t start (Too late) * Not quite “The End”….I look forward to the next Sabbath bootleg of unheard (until then) material. When that happens, no doubt that we’ll meet again, do know where (Er….here on C.M.R.) don’t know when, but…..no doubt Dame Lynn will still be alive on that sunny day! (Awww……finishes off with something nice. Now here’s Tom with the weather….)
Finishing off with something exclusive, above you can see my personalised autographs….Tony & Geezer at Birmingham N.E.C. in ’92 and Ozzy in the trafford centre in 2009. My online persona/alias/screen-name here is, as you know, ‘Keef’s Telecaster Roadie’ – although obviously, my own mother (needless to say..) to this day, still addresses me as “Toerag”. Old habits die hard.
Thanks for reading! – Keef’s Telecaster Roadie.
Finally…..to everyone who read this piece from start to finish…
…have a drink on me! – K.T.R.