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A representative for BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony
Iommi has confirmed that the highly anticipated and
much-rumored reunion of Iommi, Ronnie James Dio,
Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward appears to be shaping up
and taking a new form. After various promoters have
approached the former SABBATH bandmates' respective
representatives, the guys have started taking all of
this very seriously, as they have aparently wanted to
reunite for some time now. It looks as if the new
shape may be that of HEAVEN AND HELL — that is the
moniker that the band is likely to use on their new
venture. If all goes well, HEAVEN AND HELL should be
hitting the road in early 2007.
In an August 16, 2006 appearance on the syndicated
radio show "Rockline", Dio had the following to say
about the possibility of further collaborations with
BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi:
"We've already written one [new] song together. The
reason for that is that there's a release coming out,
it's called 'Black Sabbath: The Dio Years' — they've
already done one, of course, 'Black Sabbath: The Ozzy
Years'; that was the beginning and, really, the best
part of it all — but they've decided to do one, again,
'Black Sabbath: The Dio Years', and we wanted to make
it a little but more special, not just give you things
you've not heard from a live perspective. These are
two things you'll never hear again — two new songs. We
are going to do that. It's been fun already. The one
we've done — the one that I've done with Tony has been
really wonderful — just great to realize how
magnificent a player he was. You forget that after 10
years at a time that you don't work with someone. So
we are gonna be doing that. And I hope you'll like it.
I think it'll be great."
On the rumors of him possibly rejoining BLACK SABBATH,
Dio said, "There's always rumors about everything —
about a RAINBOW reunion, about a BLACK SABBATH
reunion. Our purpose was to do this because we wanted
to have this product be a bit more special than
anything else — not just, 'Here's a live track you've
never heard before.' I mean, that's cool, but I'm sure
people have heard that. We wanted to do something a
bit more special, so the whole band would write and
play these songs, and… They've wanted to hear them
long enough, so here they are. But it's not anything
that we've talked about leading to anything other than
that. No, it's for that project."
from Joe Siegler on the 'Sabbath' rumors:
A few remarks by me on all this:
Today was not the first time I had heard these rumours. Running this
site I hear all kinds of things, and generally I tend to discount them
- but this one had some more weight to it, so I decided to do some
poking around on my own. While I can't get anyone to officially say
anything about this, it does seem to have the air of an authentic
story to me. Heck, I can't get any official word about who is even
playing on the new tracks for the Dio Years set, besides Iommi & Dio.
One would hope it's the same four guys (Iommi/Butler/ Ward/Dio) , but I
can't get official confirmation of that one, either.
So it's known that the Dio Years box set is happening. When - who
knows, although I would imagine sooner rather than later. What the
contents of the set are is also officially unknown. I've been hearing
some rumours about specific content, but I don't really want to spread
any more FUD about that issue, so I'll leave that out for now. Suffice
it to say if what I heard is true, fans will really like it.
The other issue I wanted to say something about was the bit about
legally not being able to call themselves Black Sabbath. A few points
about this.. Ronnie has stated on many interviews and on his website
that he would not be rejoining Black Sabbath. Assuming you take that
as true, the rumour I heard that it was a choice to call themselves
Heaven & Hell and not Black Sabbath should be taken as correct. The
other side to that is the ownership of "Black Sabbath". It's always
been my knowledge that in the mid 80's Tony Iommi bought all the
rights, and to this day retains such ownership. There was a lot of
stories that in order to get Ozzy to come back in 1997, some of that
ownership would have to be given to the Osbournes. Now I want to say
this. I am a fan. A somewhat connected fan, but I still am a fan. I'm
an idiot if I think I know everything - I do not. But I do pay
attention, and I have never seen anything that tells me that the
ownership situation of "Black Sabbath" has changed. My educated guess
tells me that this bit about legally not being able to use the name
Black Sabbath is incorrect, that it's a choice to do that. If I hear
anything factually to counteract that, I will retract my opinion here.
Having said all this stuff, this is a very exciting possibility. To
* There will be a "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years" box set.
* Said box set will contain at least two newly recorded tracks.
* Tony & Ronnie collaborated on the newly recorded tracks.
These are all unconfirmed - so don't take it as fact, eh?
* Geezer Butler & Bill Ward will comprise the rhythm section on the
* Iommi/Butler/ Ward/Dio will tour in 2007 as "Heaven & Hell".
* They are not billing themselves as "Black Sabbath" due to legal
reasons - FALSE, see update below.
* The Dio Years set may include the video mentioned by Dio on the
Live Evil recordings.
Hopefully I can get some official confirmation about this stuff now
that the "word is out" so to speak. I do work for Bill Ward & Geezer
Butler, and am fairly friendly with Tony Iommi's people, so hopefully
I can find out something I can officially talk about. The only
"official" things are the three things listed above as "facts". The
rest is speculation. I hope it's all true. And if they do tour, they'd
better come to Dallas, dammit!
Hmm... Dio replaced Ozzy back in 1979, and now it's (in a fashion)
being done again in 2007. Does this mean that a TV show with Ronnie
going "WENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN NNNNNDY, the dog crapped on the carpet
again!" is far behind?
UPDATE Sep 28: I've since gotten email from an official source that
wishes to remain anonymous that I was 100% correct on the legal
situation with Tony Iommi and the name "Black Sabbath". It's still his
sandbox, so there's no legal reason that would stop them from going
out under the name Black Sabbath should they choose to. Should this
all come off, and the name "Heaven & Hell" is used, it's my belief
that it was some artistic choice, and not a legal one.
According to a posting on Spain's MariskalRock. com web
site, Ronnie James Dio revealed during an appearance
at the Classic Rock Roll of Honour event in London
Monday night (Nov. 6) that HEAVEN AND HELL — the new
band featuring Dio alongside original BLACK SABBATH
members Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward — will
headline next year's Download festival, set to take
place in June 2007 at Donington Park, Leicestershire,
England. The group, named after the first post-Ozzy
Osbourne SABBATH album, is expected to announce many
other festival appearances during 2007.
Ronnie James Dio recently spent time in the U.K.
"kicking around ideas" with Tony Iommi for a couple of
new tracks to be included on SABBATH's forthcoming box
set, "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years". In addition,
according to Ozzy, a BLACK SABBATH tour with Osbourne,
Iommi, Butler and Ward will kick off late 2007 to
coincide with the group's first new studio album
featuring that lineup since 1978's "Never Say Die!"
Dio was honored with the "Metal Guru" award at the
Classic Rock Roll of Honour event, which was organized
by Classic Rock magazine.