Tony Iommi: "I've got hundreds of riffs - new music is going to happen"

Tony Iommi
(Image credit: Steve Thorne/Redferns)

Tony Iommi has spent the last half-century conjuring the loudest, heaviest, most evil-sounding racket known to man and beast. But even he can still be stunned into silence every now and then. 

Take, for instance, the moment when the 71-year-old guitarist first laid eyes on his new Gibson model, a note-perfect replica of the cherry red 1964 SG Special (affectionately known as “the Monkey” due to a sticker on its body of a cartoon primate playing a fiddle) that was his primary instrument on the first five Black Sabbath albums - a clutch of records that, together, form something of the ur-text of heavy metal as we know it today.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.