Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Black Sabbath has never been a band that you would associate with daily affirmations and holding hands on a sunny day.  Their name lets you know exactly what to expect, and the dark side of rock and roll has been paying their bills for decades, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that they would at some point bump into something sinister.

The self titled debut album from Black Sabbath includes the song also called Black Sabbath.  It's a heavy and sinister song with lyrics about Satan and begging for mercy and all the other things that have gone on to thrill kids and terrify parents ever since.  Did you know it was inspired by a true story?

Geezer Butler, Sabbath's bass player, was a student of all forms of magic and mysticism.  One day Ozzy Osbourne (no explanation necessary) came over to Geezer's place with an old 16th century book about black magic that was written in Latin.  The book gave him a really creepy vibe, so he stashed it away in a cabinet.  That night he awoke and saw a dark apparition at the foot of his bed that freaked him out so much that he immediately decided to end his studies in the occult.

The event inspired Ozzy to write lyrics about Geezer's terrifying night visit and he named it Black Sabbath, after 1963 Boris Karloff film.  The music by guitarist Tony Iommi features a passage that is referred to as "diabolus en musica", a piece of music that was once considered so evil that it was banned by churches.  Once the band started playing the song they found that it received a crazier response than any other song in their set, so they changed their original name from Earth to Black Sabbath, and the rest is history.

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