Ian Gillan: ‘I joined Black Sabbath by mistake’

by WENN October 12th, 2020, 9:00 am


Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan joined Black Sabbath by mistake after a drunken night out with Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler.

The iconic metal band fired their original frontman Ozzy Osbourne in 1979 and recorded two albums with Ronnie James Dio on vocals before Gillan joined for their 1983 album Born Again.

However, the legendary singer has now revealed that he only agreed to join the group after a drunken night out, and couldn't remember agreeing to it the next day.

"I was having a drink with Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler," he tells The Guardian. "We got thoroughly p**sed one night and my manager called me the next morning and said, "If you're going to make career decisions, don't you think we should talk it through first?'

"I said, "What are you talking about?' He said, Apparently you agreed to join Black Sabbath last night.' I couldn't remember any of it."

The rocker also joined the band for their ill-fated Born Again tour – a jaunt that resembled hit rock mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, right down to the presence of a wrongly sized replica of Stonehenge – for Sabbath, too large, rather than too small, as in the film.

Speaking of another mishap, he adds: "With all the money being spent, they had never used dry ice at the rehearsals, but then this wall of shoulder high dry ice came out," revealing the smoke left him unable to read his lyrics. "And as I leaned down to read the first line, the floor lights came on, blinding me. I was swatting at the air to wave away the smoke. It was pure Spinal Tap, a moment of panic.

Other incidents that wouldn't have looked out of place included an injury to a dwarf dancer, who was supposed to be playing a Satanic infant.

"The dwarf fell off, and then carried on screaming because someone had moved all the mattresses away," he explains.

Deep Purple's latest album, Whoosh!, is out now.