Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath

Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath

by Tony Iommi
Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath

Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath

by Tony Iommi

Paperback(First Trade Paper Edition)

    Qualifies for Free Shipping
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


The New York Times bestselling autobiography by the lead guitarist of Black Sabbath and the architect of heavy metal

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306821455
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 12/11/2012
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 167,129
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Tony Iommi is a cofounding member and lead guitarist of Black Sabbath and is among the most influential guitarists of all time. Born in 1948, he lives in Birmingham, England.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Sound of Heavy Metal xi

1 The birth of a Cub 1

2 It's the Italian thing 4

3 The shop on Park Lane 7

4 The school of hard knocks 10

5 Out of The Shadows, into the limelight 15

6 Why don't you just give me the finger? 20

7 A career hanging off an extra thin string 25

8 Meeting Bill Ward and The Rest 28

9 Job-hopping into nowhere 31

10 How three angels saved heavy metal 33

11 Things go horribly south up north 35

12 Down to Earth 40

13 A flirt with Tull in a Rock 'n' Roll Circus 48

14 The early birds catch the first songs 53

15 Earth to Black Sabbath 56

16 Black Sabbath records Black Sabbath 60

17 Now under new management 67

18 Getting Paranoid 71

19 Sabbath, Zeppelin and Purple 76

20 This is America? 79

21 Happy birthday witches to you 81

22 Ozzy's shockers 85

23 An Antipodean murder mystery 88

24 Flying fish 91

25 Number 3, Master of Reality 93

26 No, really, it's too much ... 97

27 White lines and white suits 102

28 Air Elvis 105

29 Going Snowblind 107

30 This is your captain freaking ... 114

31 A rather white wedding 116

32 Going to the big house 120

33 One against nature 124

34 The well runs dry 126

35 Sabbath Bloody Sabbath 133

36 The California Jam 137

37 Where did all the money go? 141

38 Everything's being Sabotaged! 145

39 Bruiser in a boozer 149

40 Me on Ecstasy 155

41 Ecstasy on tour 159

42 We Never Say Die 163

43 Ozzy goes 171

44 Susan's Scottish sect 174

45 Dio does but Don don't 177

46 Bill goes to shits 181

47 Heaven and Hell 186

48 Ignition 193

49 Vinny says Aloha 195

50 Getting Black and Blue 199

51 Melinda 203

52 Friends forever 206

53 The Mob Rules 208

54 The Mob tours 214

55 A Munster in the mix 217

56 To The Manor Born Again 220

57 Size matters 227

58 Last man standing 235

59 The mysterious case of the lofty lodgers 238

60 Lovely Lita 242

61 Together again, for a day 244

62 Twinkle twinkle Seventh Star 246

63 Glenn falls, but there is a Ray of hope 251

64 The quest for the Eternal Idol 255

65 Taxman! 263

66 Headless but happy 268

67 Oh no, not caviar again! 273

68 TYR and tired 279

69 It's Heaven and Hell again 281

70 Bound and shackled 285

71 In harmony with Cross Purposes 291

72 The one that should've been Forbidden 296

73 Flying solo with Glenn Hughes 301

74 Living apart together 304

75 The love of my life 309

76 Reunion 313

77 Cozy's crash 318

78 Bill, Vinny, and Bill and Vinny 320

79 Belching after a Weenie Roast 325

80 Iommi, the album 328

81 An audience with the Queen 332

82 Hats off to Rob Halford 336

83 Fused with Glenn again 339

84 Entering the Halls of Fame 341

85 This is for peace 344

86 Heaven and Hell, tour and band 347

87 The Devil You Know 351

88 Farewell to a dear friend 356

89 Not a right-hand man 359

90 Good news and bad 365

91 Coming out the other side 377

92 Reflections 381

Acknowledgements 385

Index 387

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

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.” Booklist 11/1/11
“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.”, 10/24/11“The book recounts all the ups and downs the guitarist experienced with Ozzy Osbourne and company.” Houston Press, 10/20/11“Written in short, easily digestible chapters, Iommi's autobiography is full of revelations and observations of his career…A good read.”

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.”

New York Daily News, 10/28/11“A raucous autobiography…He brainstormed one of the heaviest and darkest sounds known to man. But Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi makes a surprisingly sweet narrator of his own life.”, 11/1/11 “In his 350+ page autobiography, Iommi leaves no doubt that he is fully deserving of the rock bad boy title but is even more worthy of the Hall of Fame nod…What makes the book stand out, though, is Iommi’s lack of pretense, his insider perspective and surprising sense of humor in telling classic tales…It’s the rare glimpse into the personal perspective of Iommi that makes Iron Man a must-read for music fans.”, 11/1/11”A personal look inside one of the most unique bands of the past 40 years.”
 Library Journal, 11/15/11 “Iommi paints an intimate portrait of his own life from childhood to his most recent musical effort in Heaven & Hell…Readers who enjoyed Joel McIver’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath will be drawn to Iommi’s insider perspective.”
January Magazine, 11/18/11“When it comes to rocker biographies, the 2011 winner is former Black Sabbath lead guitarist, Tony Iommi’s Iron Man. This is the whole package: Iommi is candid, engaging and celebrated and that’s exactly the right combo for this sort of book. Though it’s Iommi’s autobiography, this is also the story of Black Sabbath, one of the most celebrated and seminal rock outfits of all time. And on this journey we take with him we discover that our wildest imaginings about sixties and seventies rock n’ roller behavior were only scratching the service…Iommi is a likable correspondent and you don’t mind spending time in his presence for the duration of the book. If you only buy one rock biography this season, for so many reasons, it should be this one.”, 11/11/11“[A] must-read…It contains some near-unbelievable stories: drugs, the Mafia, knife fights, Iommi setting fire to Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, killing Virgin mogul Richard Branson’s prize carp fish with Sabbath pyrotechnics, that Spinal Tap-inspiring Stonehenge stage set, even auditioning Michael Bolton as Black Sabbath singer (true!)…and, of course, all the guaranteed craziness you’d expect from a band involving Ozzy Osbourne.”, 11/12/11“A four hundred page monster of a book, as heavy in places as ‘War Pigs,’ as deep and reflective in others as ‘Planet Caravan.’”, 11/11/11“In Iron Man, Iommi lays it all bare. Told in an economic, forthright style, the autobiography explores everything one would expect and then some…An enjoyable read and will make a nice holiday gift for the metalheads on your shopping list.”

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.”, 12/2/11
“Reveals the man behind the icon, yet still captures Iommi’s humor, intelligence and warmth.”
 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.”

Guitar World, 12/26/11
“One of the top 15 books of 2011.” 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."

SLUG, March 2012
“Some obscure gems…It has a rapid-fire ‘quick story’ quality…Tony’s delightfully frank…It’s honest, endearing.”, 6/8/12“Though there are a number of books about Black Sabbath available, there aren’t too many by one of the band’s members—and most of those books are, unsurprisingly, by lead singer Ozzy Osbourne. So it’s nice to get another viewpoint from the band’s guitarist and co-founding member. Iommi covers his history from start to finish, with some interesting factoids being served up along the way.”

Hudson Valley News, 1/9/13“A must-read for fans of the heavy metal genre, this memoir is also an inspiring story of a musical group and its leader.”

From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews