No, Tony Iommi isn’t coming out with a line of ascots, rather the Black Sabbath legend is donating guitar strings to the charity Wear Your Music who create jewelry from the items. Check out the company’s intro to Iommi:

Having sliced off the ends of three fingers in a factory accident when first starting out Tony switched to very light gauge strings. These make his bracelet especially unique.

An Iommi bobble will run you $200, by the way.

Check out Wear Your Music’s full inventory at their official site.

Right here.

The National Guitar Museum, a traveling exhibit waiting to settle on a home, has an illustrious Board of Advisors featuring illustrious guitarists like Liona Boyd, Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Vai, and Steve Howe. Now that group is being joined by Tony Iommi. From the NGM site:

Iommi will add his insight and experience to the museum’s mission to promote and preserve the legacy of the guitar. While he is known worldwide for songs such as ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Paranoid,’ and ‘Heaven And Hell,’ he has also spent much of his career looking for ways to improve guitar technology and make the guitar more playable.

Keep up on the latest with NGM right here.

Michael Schenker is a man who has made numerous essential guitar albums with Scorpions, UFO and his own MSG. And now he’s identified what he considers required listening for guitarists. According to Music Radar:

All at once I got hit by these albums and this incredible guitar playing. I got swamped by them, and I loved it.

Schenker cites releases like Jeff Beck’s Blow by Blow, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, and Climbing by Mountain:

‘Theme For An Imagination Western’ really knocked me out. It’s like spending two days hearing the most beautiful, creative soloing ever. The compositions are very well thought-out. But it’s Leslie West’s playing jumps out at me. His vibrato, his choice of notes, his overall sound – he’s a total master on the guitar.

Read all of Michael’s picks at MR.

Right here.

There is now an audio version of Tony Iommi’s book Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath. Tony himself took a stab at voicing the material but wasn’t pleased with the results. Instead he enlisted onetime Sabbath drummer Bev Bevan to do the honors. Iommi explains the choice in a post on his official website:

I didn’t want someone who didn’t know me or the music business so I asked my old mate Bev Bevan as he already has a radio show and lived some of the chapters with me! I’m really pleased how it’s turned out.

Read more at Iommi.com.

Right here.

Premier Guitar is running a series of columns on “unconventional” effects. Their current subject is that most unique device, the ring modulator. PG describes one well known example of the effect in action:

During the solo of Black Sabbath’s heavy metal super-hit “Paranoid,” guitarist Tony Iommi makes use of a ring modulator to add a fuzzy, stuttering element to his already fuzzy tone.

The column also outlines how to use the effect and provides reviews of the Electro-Harmonix Ring Thing and Dwarfcraft Hax, among others.

Read more and hear examples at PG.

Right here.

"Exclusive U.S. Distribution: AMPEG, Elkhart, Indiana."

Tony Iommi began endorsing Picato in the ’70s. This ad came out between the Black Sabbath albums Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die! If you’d like more information on Picato … never mind, their website is under reconstruction.

Scanned from Guitar Player, October 1977.

See also: Tony Iommi for Picato Strings from ’88.

Tony Iommi’s website has announced that the Black Sabbath guitarist has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma. The original Sabbath lineup has famously been working on its first studio in decades. How the album and proposed tour will play out is uncertain, but as Reuters notes:

(T)he band members will move from Los Angeles to London in order to work with Iommi while he undergoes treatment.

Read more right here.

"Picato Musicians Strings"

Here’s a cheap looking ad for the British string company Picato, from Guitar for the Practicing Musician, April 1988. That places it between the Black Sabbath albums, The Eternal Idol and Headless Cross. Apparently Tony Iommi always uses them.

 

Though the news was revealed and refuted in August, it’s now officially come out that the original Black Sabbath will, in fact, reunite. It’s been confirmed that the quartet will headline the 2012 Download Festival and record a new album with none other than Rick Rubin at the helm. As Rolling Stone reports, the veteran producer had a hand in the reunion process:

The band credited Rubin’s persistence for helping get them back in the studio. “He phoned us every five minutes,” (guitarist Tony) Iommi joked.

The adjective “epic” is thrown around a lot these days. But this truly could be.

Read the complete RS piece right here.

In a recent blog post, Greg Kihn relates the story of how his band came to open for the mighty Black Sabbath in 1976. An equally peculiar pairing of opening act, Cheap Trick, had to cancel, leading to super promoter Bill Graham contacting Kihn, who took the gig minus a few details:

I didn’t even ask who we were supposed to open for, I just threw all the equipment in the van and took off on a dead run. At last the hour arrived. Sometime around this time Bill Graham told us we were the opening act for Black Sabbath.  At the time I was doing a lot of introspective love songs on an acoustic 12-srting guitar.  Needless to say, they hated us.  The Black Sabbath fans screamed at us, lit candles, and chanted for our eminent demise.  They gave us the finger, threw things, and generally expressed their overall displeasure with us.

Read the whole tale at Greg Kihn’s website.

Right here.

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