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Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath
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Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  1,318 ratings  ·  136 reviews
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 ca ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 381 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Da Capo Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,578)
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Forrest
Black Sabbath's Master of Reality was the third album I ever bought. I think I was 11 years old. I had somehow developed a liking for rock music, maybe through my dad's penchant for '60s surf-music, I don't know. I had heard about Black Sabbath and was intrigued when I saw the album, I think at a K-mart. I had the money, so I bought it.

Mom was not terribly pleased.

But she didn't do anything rash about it. I just knew that if I wanted to listen to it, I had to do so at a low volume on my little r
...more
Adam Light
This is a perfect example of how a rock autobiography should flow. Each chapter was short, concise, to the point. I enjoyed the Black Sabbath riff master's story all the way through. I am a big fan, but this would have been a great read if I had known nothing about the band.
Stian
So, you've been playing guitar for some three years and you're really into it. One day you go to work at the sheet metal factory where you work. This is, incidentally, your last day on the job. You're 17, and you don't really have any plans for the future: you're kind of hoping maybe all this guitar playing pays off somehow in the end.

Then you have an accident. A momentary lapse of concentration and somehow you bungle up something, and you lose the tip of your middle and ring finger of your righ
...more
Jeff
This is a GREAT read. Ninety chapters in 366 pages means Iommi writes kind of like he plays; riff-based. And he riffs great. Short, punchy, page-turning awesomeness. You won't want to put this down if you are at all a fan. There's a thorough history of the genesis of the band from the earliest days when Iommi was in a blues band, his reluctance to join up with Ozzy at first, the story of how Iommi lost his fingertips in an industrial accident on the last day of his factory job. His inspiration t ...more
David Raffin
I did not go into this with great expectations. When I tell you this book is good I should be clear that I'm saying “it's good” not “it's good because it defied my expectations.” I have read a few terrible books written by people in bands. Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath is able to tell his story in a coherent and often amusing way. He manages to not come off unlikable even after setting drummer Bill Ward on fire several times, spray painting him gold so they had to call an ambulance, and dropping h ...more
Charles
One of the better rock biographies I've read. Not just drugs and women, but quite a lot about the writing of the music and the various personages who have been associated with Black Sabbath over the years. A solid read, if not the most exciting rock biography I've ever read.
Rob Thompson
I read three Black Sabbath books one after the other. Why? To get what I hoped was a balanced overview of the events surrounding the band. These were:

1. Black Sabbath: Symptom of the Universe by Mick Wall
2. I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne
3. Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath by Tony Iommi

Perhaps the two quotes that sum up all three books are these, which are both from I Am Ozzy:
“I remember saying to Tony [Iommi], ‘Did you hear how heavy that Led Zeppelin album sounded?’
...more
Nycdreamin
Presented with a Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas 2011, for me it was a no brainer that I'd be spending part of it on a book I'd been holding off on purchasing: "Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath," the recently released autobiography by Sabbath founder, guitarist and main man, Tony Iommi.

Unlike "No Regtets: A Rock and Roll Memoir," the (also) recently released Ace Frehley autobiography, "Iron Man" comes to life as you read it...you actually hear Iommi's voic
...more
East Bay J
Tony Iommi would probably say I gave him a little too much stick in my review of For The Record 2: Black Sabbath. He’d be correct, too. I could blame Ozzy for the weird animosity I’ve developed toward Iommi over the years. This is with Iommi being one of my very favorite guitarists and a guitarist who’s had an influence on my playing and songwriting.

I remember having this Ozzy home video (that’s VHS, kids) called Don’t Blame Me. I used to work at this recording studio in Spokane, Washington and
...more
Mcclane
The book is well written and neatly organized. I particularly enjoyed the first half, where Tommy walks you through his early years as a musician and the formation and early years of Black Sabbath.

After a while, however, the book or myself ran out of steam and it became too slow. Or maybe it was a reflection of those years where Sabbath had an employee turnover higher than that of a McDonalds graveyard shift. They were so poorly managed and unprofessional that they even got two singers at the s
...more
Dr. Detroit
For most of junior high and high school, Hoss’s house on Sherwood Court was party central on the weekends since his widowed mother was seldom home, either at work, out on dates, or babysitting bar stools somewhere. Hoss was a good seven months older than the rest of us and able to legally purchase beer, wine, and liquor while we were all still in 11th grade. That’s called a “bonus.” Of course we all took full advantage of the situation, paying absolutely no heed to those drugs-will-fry-your-brai ...more
Sam
As a fan of Black Sabbath I thought I'd pick up this autobiography of the man who created their revolutionary sound. Being new to the rockstar genre of life-stories I didn't really know what to expect but first things first, this book is written for the very simple. There's no other way round it! Not to cast aspersions on the average Black Sabbath listener but the turn of phrase and general flow is very child-like.

That said, the content wasn't quite as raucous or inspiring as I had thought eithe
...more
Andres
A good one, but somehow I expected more. "I am Ozzy" is much more rounded and, lets say, human. This one tends to slip into "then we got this guy and that and recorded and toured" kind of chronicles which tends to be hard to read. Throughout the book, I got a nagging feeling that there is a lot untold. People just disappear from the story, there are hints at hard feelings but not a word on how they developed. Maybe it is too much to expect, but I'd have loved more details. On the people around h ...more
Ruel
A better editor would have improved this book tremendously. I appreciate trying to capture Iommi's voice in print, but at times it's a sloppy read. It's about 100 pages too long and quite repetitive in the last half: snort coke, write a new album, go on tour, buy a Rolls-Royce, and complain about the band's management. It's interesting at first, but loses its steam at the midway point. For diehard Black Sabbath fans only.
Mason
I Read this a few months ago, It was a fast ride through the guitarists life.
Janne Paananen
Tony Iommin elämäkerta on erittäin viihdyttävä ja miehen itsensä näköinen. Näin kuuluu luonnollisesti hyvän elämäkerran kohdalla ollakin. Suurin piirtein kronologisesti etenevät, lyhyet ja jopa hieman lakonisesti kirjoitetut muistelot ovat viihdyttäviä ja sopivat tyyliltään Iommiin. Kirja ei kiehu yli kuten Mötley Crüen Törkytehdas, mutta eikä ole myöskään paperinkuiva historiikki, jossa käydään läpi kaikki levyt, kiertueet ja miehistönvaihdokset. Kirja maalaa Iommista kuvan maanläheisenä ja vas ...more
Rohit Sudarsan
An interesting read about the roller-coaster ride that is Tony Iommi's life. I was drawn to this being a guitarist myself who enjoys Black Sabbath's music a lot. Plenty of anecdotes which are quite humorous and lot of the wild antics the band did in their heyday. Rarely gets dull and the story jumping back and forth from future incidents referring a present incident is a nice touch.

The prose style could've been a bit more detailed/loose with the emotions he felt during both the more trying and e
...more
Jeremy Doherty
Tony Iommi silently stalks concert stages and remains reserved and soft-spoken in interviews. Song lyrics aren't his department. So how's his book? Conversational. As he recounts the story of his life — a hardscrabble upbringing in the Midlands, then years on the English club circuit before succumbing to a Scarface-worthy tsunami of cocaine, money and excess — it's easy to imagine you're relaxing in a comfy chair in Iommi's living room, a cool drink in hand as he runs through decades of anecdote ...more
Kahn
You've got to hand it to Tony Iommi - a career as a guitarist that wasn't stopped by losing the tips off two fingers, a walloping amount of coke or spending so much time with Ozzy Osbourne.
Sadly, what should be a roller coaster of a life just comes across as stuff that kinda happened. Almost as if he's not bothered by it.
Part of it is the tone. Iommi, a fantastic guitar player - make no mistake, is no orator. He's a laid back guy with a slightly monotone voice. Sadly, a voice that is captured pe
...more
Nayef Al-Haddad
A truly good book about the the father of metal, the mastermind of all heavy riffs. Tony Iommi shares with us his whole life experience, good and bad throughout the 60s till date. Iommi is very straightforward and honest about his feelings towards his band members, ex-band members, friends and musicians. I have truly enjoyed this book, as back in the day I had a very negative opinion about him for claiming Black Sabbath to him. Yet, I have done him injustice for he is and still is the main reaso ...more
Bill

Having read Ozzy's book on his life, including his time with Black Sabbath, it was interesting to marry it up against that of godfather of the heavy metal riff, Tony Iommi. His life story is just as fascinating, beginning with his upbringing in Birmingham, to losing the top of his fingers which potentially could have killed off his career, to his life in one of the greatest bands ever.


He has a similar story to tell - drugs and alcohol, a number of marriages and relationships with wonderful and v

...more
Gregg Akkerman
Having previously read Ozzy Osbourne's autobiography, I was considerably intrigued to see what the driving force behind all incarnations of Black Sabbath would have to say about many of the same events. Frankly, I was impressed at how often the two band members were in near agreement on the various scenarios of cocaine-laced pranks they played upon their long-suffering drummer, Bill Ward. No wonder it is often Ward who is the last one willing to sign on for the intermittent Sabbath reunions. The ...more
Mike O'neill
If you are a fan of Tony Iommi or Black Sabbath I would highly recommend this book. Although it was mostly a story of the band itself, Tony also tells you a little bit about his life, including his troubled childhood, failed marriages, and the battle for custody over his daughter, and lastly his continuing battle with lymphoma. Most of this book left me in stitches while imagining the wild antics that included Ozzy Osbourne. However, this book does reach a dry spell and becomes boring to read. B ...more
Sal
A fairly perfunctory rock bio. I was amused by how Tony downplays his prodigious cocaine abuse, but then goes on in detail about various paranoid delusions without ever putting 2+2 together (if you're running around your lawn in your underwear at 4am waving a gun and looking for unseen intruders, you should probably cut back on the blow).
Steve Szczepanik
I had the distinct impression (and reminder because I have only read it so many years/decade ago) of the book "Kender Gnomes and Gully Dwarves."
Let me explain.

In this abstract association after reading these two books, is that Mr. Ozzy Osbourne is similar to a kender, Mr. Tony Iommi and Mr. Geezer Butler are both the gnomes (with their tinkering of their mechanical creative minds), and Mr. Bill Ward is the GULLY DWARF! HA HA HA HA LMAO! Poor Bill....Kudos to Mr. Iommi for his tenacity and his de
...more
Ransom
Apr 06, 2014 Ransom added it
Due to the subject matter and the writing style this one is probably for Sabbath fans only. But if you love his music and you love reading about the crazy lives of rock stars you'll love this book. One interesting thing is that Tony's version of how they chose their name is different from the account I've read elsewhere. Another fun aspect is Tony's British way of saying certain things. He has a different way of using the F word that I hadn't heard before. Stay away if you don't want a lot of th ...more
Jerry Lannon
Well-written account from Sabbath's lead guitar player. Great insight into the band's history and Tony's experiences. Makes you feel like you're "one of the blokes"
Ed
Incredibly worthwhile read. I am a devout Black Sabbath fan from the 70's so finally reading about Tony's life with all the glories, gories, trials and tribulations is hugely satisfying. This great metal band was the foundation for ALL metal that came since, so I appreciate being able to understand how they came up with their ideas and how they recorded and performed.

Tony slings some mud but is not a focal point of his book. He walks through his life in a conversational way, while making points
...more
Stephen
candid and humourous account of tony iommi account of growing and being in black sabbath and about his life in general
Tim Wiebe
Quite repetitive. As another reviewer has said, suffers from poor editing. On the other hand gives a very clear picture of the genre of music that I grew up with. From uncertainty to whether the music was "devil music" or not, to burning album after album due to its negative influence, to now looking to repopulate some of my music library with songs from the time, I've come to better understand the misinterpretation and misunderstandings that still rattle the heavy metal genre. I can't help but ...more
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Anthony Frank "Tony" Iommi is an English guitarist and songwriter best known as the founding member of pioneering heavy metal band Black Sabbath, and its sole continual member through multiple personnel changes.

Iommi is widely recognised as one of the most important and influential guitarists in heavy metal music. In 2004, Iommi was ranked number one on Guitar World's "100 Greatest Metal Guitarist
...more
More about Tony Iommi...
Black Sabbath - Riff by Riff: Your Guide to the Guitar Style and Techniques of Black Sabbath Tony Iommi [With Lesson Book] Iron Man, mon voyage au paradis et en enfer avec Black Sabbath Black Sabbath - Anthology

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