Tag Archives: Black Sabbath

The first time I listened to Black Sabbath

What a shitty week, ugh! Since my last post I’ve been embraced by a huge attack of flu which has finished off all my energy, forcing me to spend the week sleeping and vegetating basically, not being able to focus nor getting concentrated for long periods of time on reading, listening to music or watching TV. Really I haven’t been so fucked up in years. As if I’ve wasted my life and time this week, being non productive at all. Moreover because this fuckin’ virus was so tough and contagious, you can imagine I haven’t seen anyone these days. All the time on my fuckin’ own. What a horrible penitence. I NEED BEER ASAP!

Seems that I’m feeling better today, Friday 13th (UUUH), and leaving aside the birthday of a legend, Jason Voorhees, there’s something more relevant to celebrate: the 45th anniversary of the debut album of Black Sabbath.

black sabbath vinyl

Just few months ago I recovered this album to talk about the bells in rock, remembering the intro of ‘Black Sabbath’, with the storm and the bells, as one of the most sinister and overwhelming record openings in the history of rock/metal. Those bells make me think of the end of the hippie era, together with Vietnam (Nixon era) and the Manson family crimes. As if all related, all these facts created the portrait of a dark future ahead.

45 years after its release, this album is still mindblowing, with the same intensity as back in the day. I cannot recall of those days, but at least I have fresh in my memory the first time I listened to this album, followed by Paranoid, 20 ½ years ago.

I remember the year and the month, end of June 1994. Any given summer night, sitting in the copilot seat of my boyfriend’s car, actually his parents’, parked anywhere. You could go to a park or wherever, but the car has the stereo and we could listen to tapes. He asked me if I had ever listened to Black Sabbath, and I felt very ashamed when admitting I hadn’t yet, even though I knew it was one of these classic 70’s band I HAD TO listen. You know how things work when you are a teenager. It’s a constant struggle trying to show the world you know things, you’re an adult already, and you’re worthy of respect.  Thus, at this point someone asks you about a band or something you don’t really know, you can cheat assuring you know, putting your status into risk, or you can admit you don’t know, swallowing the shame and trying to recover your status the soonest. I chose the second option, as I knew he could catch me in a lie, especially related to music, very easily.

So more or less, the conversation was as follows:

-Hey Toi! Which band you prefer, Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath? (this is the equivalent question to “are you studying or working?”, huh?)

-Eeeer! I love Led Zeppelin, but I can’t really say about Black Sabbath. Never got the chance to listen to them, and I don’t know anyone who can tape me any stuff. (shit! I’ve fucked it up!)

-Oh, wow! So you haven’t ever listened to BLACK SABBATH!!! (Dude, don’t stare at me as if I was a fuckin’ freak)

-No, man, I haven’t yet. (Toi sinking in shame. SHEEEEEIT!)

-You want to listen to them RIGHT NOW? I got a tape here!

-I’d love to if you feel like, sure. (feeling better?)

– I really feel VERY JEALOUS OF YOU RIGHT NOW. You’re about to listen to BLACK SABBATH!!! for the first time in your life! That is AWESOME!

-Yeah, man. Seem so. (Uuuf! He’s not gonna dump me…yet! Great!)

 

After searching for a tape, the moment of truth arrived. Not only I was to discover Black Sabbath, but also at the same time I was being tested by a guy I liked a lot, and I couldn’t disappoint him. Not that I had to be a yes girl saying the band was absolutely incredible, and blahblahblah, which in some way I had to pretend in case I didn’t like the tape, but the real trick was managing to sound convincing.

The tape started rolling, but no music sounded. He told me to “wait”, so I was staring at nothing focusing all my senses to something it was about to start. And then rain pouring, thunder, a church bell tolling coming closer, to introduce the scariest and most wicked intro I’ve ever listened  to up to date. Fuuuuuck! What the hell was THAT? First lines of the lyrics could perfectly define what I was thinking at that very moment “What is this that stands before me / figure in black which points at me”. Holy shit! I had listened to Megadeth, Iron Maiden or Slayer, but that, that was a way on top different league. Guitar riffs were terrific and threatening, drums and bass super heavy, Ozzy’s voice was that of an evil wizard…I was overwhelmed.

At some point I realized I wasn’t alone inside that car and tried to pull myself together, noticing I had been observed all those 6minutes and something, so when I lifted my head and turn my face to the left to him, my mouth was open in amazement, half smiling, and the only word I could articulate was, of course “FUCK!”. No need to say I passed the test, and brought the cassette home to copy it, with Paranoid on the other side, and a couple of songs of Masters of Reality.

sabbath 1970

This old story works for explaining what this album means to me at all levels. It’s not my favorite Black Sabbath album even though I’d include it in a top 5 list of the band, however I reckon it’s one of the most influential records in my life. I’m not a musician, so I won’t tell you stories about how much it inspired me to write lyrics, and I don’t consider myself a metalhead either, being this album probably the milestone of heavy metal. But listening to those 7 songs, one after the other, ‘The Wizard’, ‘Behind the Wall of Sleep’ (oh man, the drum break at the end, I could listen to it nostop for hours!), ‘N.I.B’, ‘Evil Woman’, ‘Sleeping Village’ and ‘Warning’ blew my mind completely, and opened the gates to another musical dimension, heavier, darker and more powerful, and the word riff came to my life to stay for good. How awesome is that, huh?

45 years since Black Sabbath shocked world, and 20 ½ years since it overwhelmed me, and I reckon there will be lots of other teenagers who will hear this album for the first time in their lives and will get crazy about it in the same way I did, because the power of this masterpiece remains intact, thanks to the timeless magic it was created with.

Satan bless Black Sabbath!

I DIDN’T ATTEND ARF, AND SURVIVED

It’s been some days since I don’t post anything. Truth is that since I quit smoking, exactly 5 months ago, I’m catching colds too often and don’t feel with my mind clear enough as to concentrate on writing. On the other hand I feel like updating Popcorn and Movies and been also trying to write a couple of reviews, but again, colds let me low spirited.

Summer colds are the worst, never sure whether it’s just warm or fever, I’m sleepy and feel miserable. Disgusting, I hate being like this!

Anyway, due to all the Black Sabbath incident as the main reason, I cancelled my attendance to Azkena Rock Festival. You know there was this reunion tour scheduled, Iommi was dignosed lymphoma, and finally the reunion took place in selected venues without Bill Ward’s participation due to some scandal which had to do with contracts within the band. Shame on Sharon. ARF finally confirmed it’d be an Ozzy and Friends show, and because tickets could be returned, I decided not to make it. Moreover, I had seen two the bands which interested me most recently, at a proper venue abroad, you know, My Morning Jacket in Stockholm and Rich Robinson in Amsterdam.

Still, not attending the festival was hard, because music is the main reason, but also friendship and party time, and last year edition was the best for me ever. Thus, let’s say, cold aside, I wasn’t in very good mood for this reason.

The idea of the Anti Azkena weekend came out a couple of weeks ago when I knew some friends didn’t make it either, for the same reasons and for spending the budget in other festivals or vents, just like me.

A supper was arranged at my place for Friday with a couple of friends, and a dj’n night was scheduled for Saturday  at the last minute.

I improvised the poster with Beastie Boys thinking of (You Gotta) Fight for your Right (to Party), and called it Anti Azkena, not for disapproval of the festival, but as a kind of tribute to it and to those poor souls who didn’t make it, and were sad for our ultimate decision.

I knew Rocksound wasn’t to be packed considering ARF on one hand and Sónar electronic music festival held in Barcelona on the other, plus final exams at colleges… but having the possibility of playing stuff I like for about 3 hours is something I really enjoy. This is like a band with very few audience, you still have to make the best of it and try to please those who are listening. Seems that the few that were having some drinks, didn’t  get disappointed, and congratulated me for certain songs, which made me very happy.

Once again, here is the playlist in including most of the songs in Spotify, and the actual list of hits, enjoy them!

LOVE INTERRUPTION JACK WHITE
HEARTBROKEN,

IN DISREPAIR

DAN AUERBACH
CH-CHECK IT OUT BESTIE BOYS
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON N.W.A
TOO HOT FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS
POSITIVE BLEEDING URGE OVERKILL
SISTER SURROUND TSOOL
BARRACUDA HEART
GO FASTER THE BLACK CROWES
THIS TORNADO LOVES YOU NEKO CASE
THIS IS IT RYAN ADAMS
LAWLESS AND LULU BUCKCHERRY
IT’S ON THE ROCKS THE DONNAS
I STOLE YOUR LOVE KISS
DEAD JAIL OR

ROCK N’ ROLL

MICHAEL MONROE
GET THE FUCK OUT SKID ROW
CHERRY BOMB THE RUNAWAYS
DRAMA L7
DOWNTOWN THE HANGMEN
SEATTLEHEAD LOADED
ENFILADE AT THE DRIVE-IN
PURE 3 COLOURS RED
WORMS OF SENSES REFUSED
MIDLIFE CRISIS FAITH NO MORE
LET’S GET WASTED WARRIOR SOUL
AIN’T FIT TO LIVE HERE GRAVEYARD
MANAGER’S SPECIAL HERMANO
STAR WAR JR SUPERSHIT 666
MADE ME MADMAN BACKYARD BABIES
EASY LIVING GLUECIFER
THE FILTHY AND THE FEW ORANGE GOBLIN
HURRICANE KYUSS
GO WITH THE FLOW QOTSA
JESUS CHRIST POSE SOUNDGARDEN
JOHN THE BAPTIST THE AFGHAN WHIGS
DICKEYE JERRY CANTRELL
ALL I KNOW SCREAMING TREES
OLD WHITE LINCOLN THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM
SOUL IN THE CITY DANNY & THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD
SICK OF DRUGS THE WILDHEARTS
ROCK THE CASBAH THE CLASH
THE GARDEN GUNS N’ ROSES
AN AMERICAN TRILOGY ELVIS PRESLEY

I’m glad all my friends who’ve just come back from the festival, had enjoyed a great time in Vitoria. I only hope I can make it next year, don’t wanna be mournful and miss people so much again, nor been texted with videos and pix of the shows I should have seen myself. As Terminator Schwarzenegger said,

I’LL BE BACK

TOI AND THE GIGS, UFF! TOUGH QUESTION

Yesterday somebody asked me for the gigs I’ve enjoyed most ever. Shit! That’s one of the most difficult questions to answer, impossible to reply instantly, plus there are many shows to come.

I’ve been thinking of a top 20, because a top 10 wouldn’t be enough, but then it’d be too long, plus, no matter whether the list names 10,20 or 30 bands, I’m gonna be regretting all the time for forgetting this or that band, so…let’s make it once and for all, following a chronological order.

Here they go!

GUNS N’ ROSES, MADRID, 1993

At that time I already adored this band, but wasn’t conscious of what they would mean for the rest of my life. Guns n’ Roses are my favorite band, and they were the first ones I had to move my ass from my hometown to see on stage.

I was 16, my parents wouldn’t allow me to go to Madrid on my own, thus I managed to gather money for my father’s ticket, as a birthday present. He liked them and couldn’t refuse. Eventually, he had so much fun as to give me the money back.

The trip was crazy, it was organized, and the coach was plenty of diehard fans packed with booze and joints. By the time we reached Madrid, everybody was pissed and stoned, me and my dad included.

The show was great, despite the fact that Izzy wasn’t in the band anymore. And yes, Axl went on stage almost two hous later than supposed. Didn’t mind.

KISS, REUNION TOUR, MADRID, 1997

I wasn’t a big fan, in fact, I wasn’t to excited about going to Madrid to see Kiss, but I had given Rock n’ Roll Over to my boyfriend as a present, and he insisted I should go, so finally I accepted.

I had to help him and another friend with the make-up, and remember while going to the venue, people stopping us to take some pix.

I was left on the stands, half babysitting two kids in their 15’s, scared for so much noise and the explosions. I started to vibe and cheer up with all the show, fire, explosions, blood, guys flying…it was awesome! Remember when Paul Stanley came flying  towards us singing Love Gun, and there he was, on a platform, 10m from when we were. I had a total crash, fell in love with the band for good.

Kiss is a band you should see at least once in your lifetime, and the younger you are, the better. I’d pay millions for seeing Kiss when I was fifteen.

BACKYARD BABIES, @  WATER RATS, LONDON, 1998

I had been living in London for 3-4 months more or less. Weather was crap, my job at a laundry services factory was shit, and living with my boyfriend a nightmare, plus I had had a huge argument with him hours before.

The previous night, the Swedish were meant to open for Monster Magnet and Rob Zombie, but unfortunately due to doors opening delay, they couldn’t make it. Still I got the chance to talk to Nicke, and moreover, have a long chat with Dregen, who ended up being really cool and I promised to bring him a bottle of Spanish wine the day after.

The show was organized by the band fan club, and not being members, we weren’t allowed to get in the venue. It was freezing, raining, and we couldn’t believe it, until he came out for changing his creepers for his ragged sneakers, Dregen came straight to me and asked what was going on. I explained, and he begged, I swear, to the guys at the door, to let us in. After some talks we made it, for free, so I spent all the money on merch, and gave him the bottle that he drunk during the show.

The Yo-Yo’s were the supporting band, a blast, but then Backyard Babies came after, and God, such energy and rage were unfuckinbelievable!

THE HELLACOPTERS @ THE BARFLY, LONDON, 1999

My first gig as a single, I went with a friend from my hometown who was spending summer working in London. I was a bit down yet in the mood for having fun.

The venue was very small and we were around 100 people. Before the show, I was sitting on a pool table, and the guys in the band were asking me for my lighter all the time. It was like a big family having a party, we jumped onto the stage, danced and everybody got crazy. They were introducing my favorite Hellacopters album, Grande Rock.

BLACK SABBATH REUNION TOUR,@ ASTORIA, LONDON, 1999

I received the news that Black Sabbath original lineup were performing their first show in London when I was on holidays in Spain. My friend Lukas called me after he tried to buy a pair of tickets unsuccessfully, apparently they were sold out in just a couple of hours.

Once back in town, I heard of a new ticket selling place and gave them a call, in order to buy one for Iggy Pop and try luck with Sabbath. And I won, but just one, at the initial cost, 19.50 pounds. Tickets sold by scalpers were over 350.

Later I knew that it was kind of launching, not a proper tour gig, so most of the audience were guests and media coverage.

I cried, and screamed, most of time on my own, although at the end of the gig, people were hugging each others, moved by happiness for real.

FU MANCHU @  BORDERLINE, LONDON, 2000

I had already seen Fu Manchu twice before, but this time it was kind of pre-launching of California Crossing mixed with King of the Road, the venue, able to hold barely 150 people, was overcrowded, and once again everyone got crazy.

It was so full of people, some in the first rows got hit by Scott Hill’s guitar. Fuzz was so loud, I had this uncomfortable whistling for a couple of days. It didn’t mind, I got what I wanted.

RYAN ADAMS, @ HAMMERSMITH ODEON, LONDON, 2007

The unfortunate performance and bad attitude of the singer years before have forced a kind of veto into this country, so if you feel like seeing him performing, be sure you’ll have to move your ass somewhere else. This is gonna happen next month, I’m going to see Adams to Portugal, and happened three years and a half ago.

My ex and I arranged an exciting weekend in London with three gigs in three nights: Adams, Alice Cooper with Joan Jett and Motorhead, and as special dessert, Lucinda Williams.

Adams played for more than two hours. I liked him, but not as much as I do now. He introduced Everybody Knows EP, and the feeling I got it was as if Heaven was down to Earth. I got these flashes, these sparks in my mind, very fresh, I will never forget. I was listening to beautiful songs with my beloved one, felt grateful for what was happening, and was also aware of being really happy…shy tears brought out from my eyes…everything was perfect that night.

THE WILDHEARTS @ RAZZ 3, BARCELONA, 2008

I had already seen The Wildhearts twice, one at the festival in Vitoria, and second, one month after seeing Ryan Adams, in London as well.

Once the gig was confirmed we bought the tickets thinking they might be sold out. No way, this doesn’t happen in Spain,  this band is doomed or something here, venue was even changed to a smaller one, which in the end was better, because we were closer to the band, packed and one thing was for sure, those 100 people there, were diehard fans of the band.

It was party animal gig, jumping onto the stage, sweating, we lost our voice…I got the set list and a pick from CJ. Everyone was so happy! It was a “I was there” moment, once in a lifetime, full of magic.

NEIL YOUNG, PRIMAVERA SOUND, BARCELONA, 2009

I had seen Young at a festival in UK I worked for, back in 1996, and got really impressed at the time. Although I always liked and respected him, it took me many years to take him seriously and become a devotee of uncle Neil. Gotta give the credit to my ex, he became completely obsessed and eventually convinced me I should pay him more attention.

When Young came to Barcelona, it was the right time, and enjoyed the gig a lot, surrounded by good friends. Once again, I cried. You can’t get enough of Young on stage, he could be playing for 4 hours, sure you’d like him to play four more.

MICHAEL MONROE @ ISLINGTON ACADEMY, LONDON, 2010

I reckon this was the best show I witnessed last year, so great, I’m seeing him in two weeks twice, here in Barcelona, and two days after in Madrid.

Monroe is one of the finest front men ever, set lists are like bombs, and this guy sweats and shit energy wherever he goes.

First time I saw him in London, on my own, and was another party with the guy stage diving, jumping, climbing and everything. I was in shock!

Last year was mayhem at the venue, supported by an amazing lineup, he left his balls on the stage, the setlist was just perfect, and they sounded best ever.

******

It’s two o’clock already, I’ve been thinking on this post for many hours this afternoon, but started writing very late, and with all the decisions, memories back, and all the stuff, I’ve been here for two hours. I will edit the post and add some pictures, probably when you read this, they’ll be already uploaded.

Many bands and shows have been left out, but it had to be 10.

I feel lucky for still being able to feel passionate about live music. Many people who go to gigs on a regular basis, have lost this emotion or illusion, you name it. I’m able to cry of happiness, get excited to abnormal levels when a date of a band is officially confirmed, and feel the groove in the pit, standing right in front of a band.

Some other day, I’ll talk about stuff collected from gigs, you know, setlists, picks, drum sticks…there’s stuff all around my Hellhouse.

 I know you feel shy regarding writing comments in here, I don’t care the language you use as long as I can use Google Translator, I beg you, I’d love you to participate telling me those gigs which have left a mark on you for the rest of your lives.