According to the Birmingham Mail, BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi's manager has refused to deny that the band's four original members are getting back together.
The Birmingham Mail reported on Tuesday (August 16) that the original SABBATH lineup plans to reunite for an album and tour, causing Iommi's web site to "virtually crash," according to the guitarist's manager, Ralph Baker.
When asked by Birmingham Mail writer Andy Coleman whether Iommi considered the story in the Birmingham Mail to be untrue, Baker said, "No, he doesn't say that." But Baker added, "We haven't got anything in place. He's not denying that the guys have been talking but there's nothing in the way that's been implied in the statements that you made.
"He made them to you in June and he felt that he made them to you off the record."
According to Coleman, the story of the reunion of SABBATH's original lineup first appeared on a specialist music web site and was expanded by the Birmingham Mail.
Iommi's manager said the guitarist's comments made to the Birmingham Mail in June during a wide-ranging interview that included the charity single he had recorded with DEEP PURPLE's Ian Gillan, his contract to write music for a series of horror films and his contribution to Birmingham's Home Of Metal exhibition, were taken out of context.
"A very insignificant little web site [apparently referring to MetalTalk.net. Ed.] put something out about SABBATH getting back together and being in the Midlands. End of story," said Baker.
"When you [Birmingham Mail] went online, that's when it went around the world because it was official.
"Tony's web site virtually crashed and it took off.
"That's why Tony's pissed off because the story would have died a death.
"I don't consider some dodgy little web site [presumably referring to MetalTalk.net. Ed.] a trigger [to publish]. It was picked up by everybody because a lot of these kids have nothing better to do than simply pick up a story from one site and run with it and see what happens."
The original SABBATH lineup has not toured together since summer 2005, and last convened for their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in early 2006.
SABBATH did try to record a new album 12 years ago, their first since 1978, but abandoned the attempt after just a couple of songs.
BLACK SABBATH "reunion" promotional photo (1999):
BLACK SABBATH live in 2005: