Black Sabbath members face down mortality



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It’s the end for Black Sabbath. We know it, and the band knows it. They ditched the idea of doing a new record. The band’s original drummer, Bill Ward, is on the outs. Sixty-seven-year-old guitarist Tony Iommi is battling lymphoma. Bassist Geezer Butler drinks tea and goes to bed after each show. They even named their tour “The End.”

The whole thing has frontman Ozzy Osbourne reminiscing about the past.

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“When we first came to the States and we stayed at the Hyatt House in Los Angeles, I thought, ‘Fucking hell, we’re in California,'” he says in an interview with Rolling Stone. “The people were cool, the weather was great, we were swimming in an outdoor pool at midnight, we had drugs, alcohol, women and fucking parties. It was a great way to spend your young years.”

“When I think about that first tour, it was just everything I ever dreamed of and more,” Osbourne says. “I was always the guy who’d go, ‘Wonder how long this is going to last.’ When the first album took off, I was thinking, ‘Oh, well, this will be fun for a few years, then it’s back to the fucking factory.’ None of us were expecting this.”

The group kicked off their final tour, “The End,” on Jan. 20. The band’s teaser video shows gives viewers a great look behind the scenes:

It’s difficult to think of a time when Ozzy and the boys won’t be around. But the past month’s been nothing if not a stark reminder that the rock and roll’s icons are mortal, and we’re losing them at an accelerated rate. These guys represent more than an era – they’re a part of our collective consciousness. Our relationships with them are more than just a band and a fan. Their music unlocks visceral feelings from our youth. By never “growing up,” the boys embody that part of ourselves that we love the most: freedom, joy, living in the moment.

“We stuck to what we wanted to do instead of listening to other people, all the press slagging us and the record companies that wouldn’t sign us — that’s what I’m most proud of,” Geezer Butler says. “We overcame a lot of negative stuff and stuck to our music and never sold out.”

For all their narcissism, their partying, their mistakes, we owe them a debt a gratitude. They’re artists who embody a piece of us.

Check out the full Rolling Stone interview here.

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