Black Sabbath Tour 2016 Will Be ‘The End’
Black Sabbath released their self-titled debut album in 1970.
In the U.K., the album dropped on Feb. 13. A week earlier, The Doors released Morrison Hotel. A week later, Funkadelic released their self-titled debut.
That’s a pretty good couple of weeks of music. Had I been alive back then, I definitely would have spent all of my February allowance on vinyl.
Two days after Black Sabbath’s debut hit the streets in America, Deep Purple issued their classic Deep Purple in Rock.
That’s appropriate since Ian Gillan played in both bands and Black Sabbath and Deep Purple (along with Led Zeppelin) were the main hard rock/heavy metal bands of the 1970s.
Fast forward 45 years, and Black Sabbath has announced intentions to tour one last time. Yes, that’s right, Black Sabbath is launching a farewell tour.
Their tour poster reads: “The final tour by the greatest metal band of all time.”
Their upcoming trek will feature Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler—three of the band’s original members.
Drummer Bill Ward (the fourth original member) had a falling out with the fellows in 2012 and it’s unknown if he’ll join. Iommi said it’s all up to “Bill.”
As things stand now, Tommy Clufetos, Ozzy’s drummer, is set to sit in.
The band last toured in 2014. That’s when they wrapped up their 84-show “Reunion Tour” (it launched in 2012). The trek visited five continents and supported the band’s nineteenth studio album, 13.
The album 13 was the first Black Sabbath platter to feature Geezer Butler since 1994 and the first to feature Ozzy Osbourne since 1978.
As for a new Black Sabbath album, Iommi said he’s been writing, and “tracks are ready,” but he also said things are “up in the air.”
One has to assume if they don’t get into the studio real soon (like right now) there won’t be a new Sabbath album… ever! It seems a little weird to release a new album after your farewell tour.
Also, you have to believe that after a year on the road, the members will be sick of one another and the last thing they’ll want to do is spend more time together in the studio.
Sabbath’s ultimate tour comes when Motley Crüe and The Who are winding down their own farewell outings.
Black Sabbath, Motley Crüe, and The Who are all saying “no more touring” forever. What are the chances that any of those bands will stay true to their word?
Motley Crüe apparently signed a binding legal document stating they would never tour again. Who knows if they will abide to those terms? After all, members of that band have killed people so breaking a legal document seems well within their means.
Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey don’t need the money like John Entwistle did and touring just makes them the butt of a bunch of old jokes. It’s highly conceivable they actually mean it when they say goodbye.
As for Sabbath, it appears this will definitely be their last go around.
“I can’t actually do this anymore,” notes Iommi. “My body won’t take it much more. All the traveling involved in Sabbath tours increasingly takes its toll.”
To clarify, Iommi loves performing and he loves Sabbath fans. It’s not the rocking, or face shredding, or ear melting that “takes its toll” it’s the grind of traveling.
Even though he’s flying, driving, and lodging in first class accommodations, the rigors of going from city to city, country to country, is just too much for the 67-year-old guitar legend. In fact, he’ll be 69 by the time the tour is completed.
Iommi is also recovering from lymphoma. The disease has gone into remission but he still has to check in regularly with his doctor.
“Even when we build in rest breaks,” explains Iommi, “I have to have blood tests every six weeks. I find it tough going.”
Between Motley Crüe, The Who, and Black Sabbath, I’ll say Sabbath is the least likely to tour again and Crüe the most likely.
The End 2016 Tour
Black Sabbath’s “The End 2016 Tour” gets underway Jan. 20 in Omaha, Nebraska. According to Black Sabbath’s web site, their next two stops are the United Center in Chicago (Jan. 22) and the Target Center in Minneapolis (Jan. 25).
Also on the itinerary are stops in Los Angeles (Feb. 11), Las Vegas (Feb. 13), and Detroit (Feb. 19).
Of their 17 North American dates, six are in Canada: Saskatoon (Jan. 28), Edmonton (Jan. 30), Calgary (Feb. 1), Vancouver (Feb. 3), Hamilton (Feb. 21), and Montreal (Feb. 23).
Their North American leg wraps Feb. 25 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
In April, Sabbath has seven dates plotted for Australia and New Zealand.
From June through early July, the band will perform all over Europe. Their route begins in Budapest on June 1 and ends July 12 in Moscow.
According to Iommi, more dates are coming. He says the tour, when all said and done, will last about a year.
Don’t take this as hype, or as a cheap marketing ploy, but this is really your last chance to see Black Sabbath in concert. When “The End” comes to an end expect Black Sabbath to never hit the road again.
As Iommi said: “…we’re going out on one last tour, to say our farewells. And then it very definitely is the end. We won’t be doing it again.”