Fun Fact #19: Tony “No Tips” Iommi

Posted: March 8, 2013 by b0ynamedsue in Fun Facts
Tags: , , , ,

Black Sabbath has gone through many changes over the years. However, the one thing that has remained is its guitarist, Tony Iommi. A living legend and part of an elite group of left handed players such as Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Paul McCartney. Picking a Black Sabbath song out of a lineup is pretty easy. They forged their own sound and blazed a trail for an entirely new take on rock n roll. Their sound was derived from Bill Ward’s barbaric drumming and Tony’s heavy 6 string distortion. Tony had a very unique guitar setup, one that was made out of necessity.

Just before he had become a professional musician, he worked in a steel factory as a welder. One day he was asked to work the press that cut the steel, so that it could go on to be welded. Having very little experience with the press, he made a big mistake that would ultimately pay off huge in the end. Tony had cut off the tips of his right middle and ring fingers. Not a big deal. Unless you are a left handed guitarist…like Tony. This was merely a temporary setback. Determined, he went on and melted down some plastic, fit it to his fingers, sanded them down, and wrapped the tips on leather. To help ease the process, he slackened his guitar strings to make note bending easier. Combining the fingertip cover with his loose string setup gave his Gibson a mean, yet definitive tone that made rock n roll history. Would Black Sabbath have been the same in lieu of Tony’s accident? Maybe. Am I thankful that it happened? A little bit. Sorry Tony!

Long live Rock n Roll.

Tony Iommi

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