Black Sabbath in 1970

Black Sabbath were an English heavy metal band formed in Birmingham in 1968 by guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. They are often cited as very first heavy metal band. After previous iterations of the group – the Polka Tulk Blues Band, and Earth – the band settled on the name Black Sabbath in 1969.

Toni Iommi was born at Heathfield Road Maternity Hospital in Birmingham, the only child of Italian immigrants Sylvia Maria (née Valenti) from Palermo, Sicily, and Anthony Frank Iommi Sr. from Marche. Their family home in the Park Lane area of Aston in Birmingham, also housed a shop, with the living room doubling as the shop’s stockroom. Born and raised in Handsworth, Birmingham, Iommi attended Birchfield Road School, where future bandmate Ozzy Osbourne was also a pupil one year behind him.

Bill Ward was born 1948, in Aston, Birmingham. He met Tony Iommi already when he was 15 years old in 1948 and was awestruck by Tony’s guitar playing. He would later meet Geezer Butler in 1967 and Ozzy Osbourne in 1968.

Geezer Butler grew up in a working-class Irish Catholic family in their house on Victoria Road in the Aston section of Birmingham. He had six siblings. His father had served in the Royal Scots Regiment and later settled in Birmingham, where he worked for an engineering company. Both of his parents were born in Dublin.

John Michael Osbourne was born at Maternity Hospital in Marston Green on 3 December 1948,[8] and grew up in the Aston area of Birmingham. His mother, Lilian (née Unitt; 1916–2001), was a non-observant Catholic who worked at a Lucas factory. His father, John Thomas “Jack” Osbourne (1915–1977), worked night shifts as a toolmaker at the General Electric Company.

Tony Iommi later moved to the quiet village of Lapworth in Warwickshire, England, not far from Birmingham. Iommi still lives in the Midland area, most likely close to Solihull. The house that was in Chessetts Wood Road was put on sale in 2014. Geeser Butler lives today in Los Angeles, USA. Bill Ward has lived in California since 1980. He lives today in a coastal city called Seal Beach. Ozzy Osbourne have been living in Los Angeles, USA for many years, in Hancock Park. In 2023 Ozzy and wife Sharon moved back to England, to a countryside mansion in Buckinghamshire.

Later key members of Black Sabbath is: Ronnie James Dio, born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA. Ian Gillan from Chiswick, Middlesex, England. Glenn Hughes from Cannock, Staffordshire, England. Tony Martin and Geoff Nicholls from Birmingham, England. Vinnie Appice from Brooklyn, New York, USA. Cozy Powell from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England.



Black Sabbath Bridge Bench
Black Sabbath Graffiti


Mapledurham Mill (Black Sabbath)
St Patrick’s Chapel, Heysham (The Best of Black Sabbath)


Geoff Nicholls’ Grave
Ronnie James Dio’s Grave


Cozy Powell Plague
Ronnie James Dio Monument


Dio Way

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