Legendary guitarist Tony Iommi reflected on the early days of Black Sabbath, when drug abuse was rampant and the outside world viewed the band as being satanic, in a recent interview with the BBC television program ‘HARDtalk.’ A couple of excerpts from the chat can be found below.
While Iommi, who was a founding member of Black Sabbath, admitted that members of the band had “dabbled” in the occult during the sixties, he denied they were ever satanic: “We never sacrificed anybody on stage or anything like that.”
Iommi claimed that it was the band’s record company, Warner Bros., which gave them their evil image: “When we did the first album the record company did the album cover and that’s what done it. The inside cover was an upside down cross.”
He added: “It was creating music, and that’s all I do. I don’t try to create anything to destroy people or to upset anybody.”
Iommi also reflected on his and the rest of the band’s drug use, explaining that it was something he regretted: “If I’d have known, what I know now, I certainly would not have dabbled to that extent. I don’t think any of us would.”
He admitted it damaged the band: “It did a lot of damage. Initially, we thought it was great and we thought it was helping us create, but at the end of the day when it came to a point where we had to replace Ozzy, we were in a bad way and he was certainly in a bad way.”
Iommi said that he was personally taking a number of drugs during the first few years of being in the band: “I was doing cocaine, quaaludes and the stuff around at the time, but no acid or anything like that.”