Author: Tony Iommi
Pages/Hours: 11 hours, 27 minutes.
Iron Man chronicles the story of both pioneering guitarist Tony Iommi and legendary band Black Sabbath, dubbed “The Beatles of heavy metal” by Rolling Stone. Iron Man reveals the man behind the icon yet still captures Iommi’s humor, intelligence, and warmth. He speaks honestly and unflinchingly about his rough-and-tumble childhood, the accident that almost ended his career, his failed marriages, personal tragedies, battles with addiction, band mates, famous friends, newfound daughter, and the ups and downs of his life as an artist.
Everything associated with hard rock happened to Black Sabbath first: the drugs, the debauchery, the drinking, the dungeons, the pressure, the pain, the conquests, the company men, the contracts, the combustible drummer, the critics, the comebacks, the singers, the Stonehenge set, the music, the money, the madness, the metal.
I love Black Sabbath and have done so for ages, but with me I have never really payed any interest in favourite bands or actors personal life. I’m only interested in the art they present on a record or a movie screen. Even so, I was kind of surprised how little I knew about Mr. Iommi and the rest of the band, I mean even if I’m not that interested I should have picked up something along the way, but nope!
I listened to the audiobook version of his biography, and I loved to hear about all the craziness when they where on tour. How Ozzy set of fireworks in a hotel, how Iommi set fire on Bill Ward, the killing of Richard Branson’s prize carp fish with pyrotechnics, that Spinal Tap-inspiring Stonehenge stage set, Ghost encounters, Knife fights and auditioning Michael Bolton as Black Sabbath singer (!?!?).
Another surprise for me was how much drugs where involved in Tonys life and how candid he is about it here. By looking at him, I didn’t even think he was drinking alcohol. But I was wrong, when he discovered cocaine, he did it all out.
So since I came for the stories about the songs and records, not his private life. Did I get what I was looking for? Kind of, it has plenty of stories about the music but I would have liked even more. Since it’s almost 10 years since this came out, it would be great if we could get a updated version with the last tour in it. But all in all, this is a highly recomend read or listen.
Rolling Stone, 12/8/11
“There’s good material here.”
Milwaukee Shepherd Express, 11/22/11
“Iron Man chronicles a life of ale, drugs and women and a trail of destruction behind every tour.”
Bookviews blog, December 2011
“Fans of the group, Black Sabbath, will enjoy Iron Man.”
Curled Up with a Good Book, 12/6/11
”Many books have been written about Black Sabbath, but this one comes from the horse’s mouth and sheds light on moments only Tonio was privy to…This certainly needs to be read by any Black Sabbath fan.”
“Reveals the man behind the icon, yet still captures Iommi’s humor, intelligence and warmth.”
Publishers Weekly, 6/27
[Tony Iommi is] “the undisputed originator of heavy metal.”
Kirkus Reviews, 10/1/11
“[Iommi is] most entertaining when describing the Sabbath’s incessant, hazardous prank-playing…The guitarist is not wholly unaware of the oft-ludicrous nature of his enterprise.”
Publishers Weekly, 10/3/11
“An important addition to the Black Sabbath story…Iommi’s autobiography is as direct as his music.”
“This memoir [is] dead certain to appeal to heavy-metal fans of all ages…With plenty of behind-the-scenes stories and fresh perspectives on some of music’s most notorious characters…this is a frank and honest look at a special part of rock history.”
”The book recounts all the ups and downs the guitarist experienced with Ozzy Osbourne and company.”
USA Today, 10/31/11
“Iommi has a story that needs to be told…Iommi tells his story simply and chronologically, making it easy for anyone to slip into the fast-paced tale. And yes, while there are plenty of drug-fueled antics, there’s no doubt the focus is on the music here, as it should be…Iommi emerges from Iron Man seeming like a true trailblazer without sounding immodest or unkind—and I’ve learned that’s quite a feat, especially after reading, say, Motley Crue’s The Dirt.”
The Cleveland Sound, 12/11/11
“Fans will revel in the guitarist’s lucid memory and wicked humor—but casual rock readers will likewise enjoy this tale of one unassuming English kid’s improbable rise into to the pantheon of metal godliness, thanks primarily to Iommi’s fairly objective storytelling, charming prose, and keen sense of the absurd…[Iommi is] a raconteur whose words are as endearing as they are informative.”
Elmore, January/February 2012
“Iommi dishes on a life of heavy music and even heavier times…Dignified and classy, while still spilling plenty of messy musical beans.”
Midwest Book Review, January 2012
“[Black Sabbath’s] interactions with other famous music personalities and Tony Iommi’s perceptions of the music world make this a ‘must’ for fans of the group and any collection profiling rock music history.”
“Iron Man is likely to be the definitive insider’s account of Black Sabbath, coming as it does from the man who lived and breathed the band for decades.”―PopMatters.com
“A fascinating read…Always the quiet one, the man responsible for shoveling coal into the Sabbath furnace while frontman Ozzy Osbourne played the lovably demented buffoon out front, Iommi is a (perhaps surprisingly, given Sabbath’s reputation) thoughtful and reflective man whose take on the history of Sabbath is surely the definitive one.”―Buffalo News
“[Iommi] speaks honestly and unflinchingly about his rough-and-tumble childhood, the accident that almost ended his career, his failed marriages, personal tragedies, battles with addiction, band mates, famous friends, newfound daughter, and the ups and downs of his life as an artist.”―AOL Noisecreep
“The book takes you through Iommi’s entire personal life and groundbreaking musical career…A fantastic read full of small but nicely surprising personal revelations…Any fan of Black Sabbath is going to enjoy the heck out of this book.”―UltimateClassicRock.com