Tony Iommi: "I’ve always had determination. I had to go against all the people who said, 'You’re never going to be able to play guitar'"

Tony Iommi: "We had this interest in the supernatural. Light and shade… Something a bit frightening"
(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

Tony Iommi truly is the iron man of rock. After a hand injury that would have halted most guitarists in their tracks, he battled a constant “you can’t do that” from parents, record companies and guitar builders, survived a revolving door of bandmates (since 1968 he’s been Black Sabbath’s only constant member), and even beat cancer.

To honour his astounding career, Gibson has recreated his heavily modified SG Special, the ‘Monkey’ guitar. Here, Tony weaves the tale of this instrument into the story of a career that, without such dogged determination, might never have happened…

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Neville Marten

In the late '70s and early '80s Neville worked for Selmer/Norlin as one of Gibson's UK guitar repairers, before joining CBS/Fender in the same role. He then moved to the fledgling Guitarist magazine as staff writer, rising to editor in 1986. He remained editor for 14 years before launching and editing Guitar Techniques magazine. Although now semi-retired he still works for both magazines. Neville has been a member of Marty Wilde's 'Wildcats' since 1983, and recorded his own album, The Blues Headlines, in 2019.