Do You Prepare Like Pre-Fame Black Sabbath?

Metal is not my preferred musical genre. Yet there is something truly both menacing and freeing about Paranoid.

So Black Sabbath play their final ever gig tonight. Back in their hometown after 50 years of rock.

They are the Metal originators. Invented an entire Genre. In the late 60s they uniquely put all the ingredients together to create the heavy rock which spawned the tens of thousands of metal bands and their galaxy of platinum records that followed. From Led Zep (of similar birthplace) and beyond.

“Scary music, [which] startled people into an awakening”, as I heard Izzy Osbourne, the lady fronting an American tribute band, term their sound.

Lead singer Ozzy Osbourne also pretty much if not created, then certainly accelerated the fly on the wall series of reality slebfests. Sadly he is both addled with a life of living the rockstar dream and a Villawit. Connected, John?

I was fascinated to hear their first manager that put them on the road to success, Jim Simpson, recount their earliest days.

He singled out three reasons why they went stellar.

First up. Based on hard work. They rehearsed themselves to death. An example he gave was their three weeks of performances as unknowns at Hamburg’s Star Club. Each weekday saw six 45 minute sets with only a 15 minute break between each. Then eight on weekends. After that, a 2-hour concert was no problem anytime after.

The unsung engine. Geezer Butler produced guitar riff magic. And chose a way better name than their initial, commonplace, bland “Earth”.

Despite gigs when they formed being in a string of small places (like their first ever at Birmingham’s 180 capacity Henry’s Blues House) they had the discipline to tackle the vital, yet often ignored non-music items. Every Wednesday morning they held a business meeting. With outputs that allocated tasks to each other.

Long rehearsal. A sparkler. The unglamorous detail.

Surely pillars any salesperson – or team – would also do well to heed. Then you too could prize a metallic stardom of your own.


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