Former BLACK SABBATH Roadie Discusses Band's Early Years

David Tangye, Ozzy Osbourne's assistant during the early BLACK SABBATH years, recently spoke to Sweden's about his book about BLACK SABBATH, "How Black Was Our Sabbath", which he co-wrote with another roadie, Graham Wright. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow: Tell us a bit about your book! What made you write it now and not 15-20 years ago?

David Tangye: "Graham and I are both the same age, and decided many years ago, that when we reach 50 (or was it IF we reach 50), we would have to write a book detailing our exploits and experiences. We have kept in touch, as have we with the rest of the crew we worked with back then. We have had reunions, and meet-ups a various parties, weddings, etc... I contacted Graham in 2000 and said, 'It is time, are you up for it?' He agreed, so off we went. From a standing start, we managed to get ourselves a synopsis written, and three sample chapters to present to various literary agents here in the U.K. We heard nothing at all for 12 months, and then suddenly out of the blue, we had an agent and an interested publisher, Pan Macmillan. And that's how we got to where we are today. This was long before, I hasten to add, 'The Osbournes' took over our TV screens, and Ozzy and BLACK SABBATH were not really to the forefront, and at the cutting edge of heavy metal scene, as they are today." How would you compare today's version of SABBATH to the good old days?

David Tangye: "I think that Tony Iommi did an incredible job keeping the name of BLACK SABBATH up there with the rest, although it did become a bit like 'musical chairs' with all the various line-ups. For all the original bands differences, and disagreements, I myself personally think that there is only one 'TRUE' BLACK SABBATH. That band is set in stone. I still play all the old stuff regularly, and love the sheer energy and raw gutsy style. I do not think that comparisons can be made." You guys seem to have come really close to the members in the band. What was it like being part of a band and watching them rise to stardom and also be part of all the madness that surrounded them?

David Tangye: "It is strange to think that all those years have past, and that BLACK SABBATH would enjoy a cult status as they do today. When we were out their doing it, no one would have ever dreamed that 30 years on there would be this iconic formula that would trundle on into the 21st century. Back in the 1970s, which twenty-plus-year-old male would not loved to have travelled and worked with a rock band? I know it was like a dream come true for me. The madness and high jinks were just absolutely great clean fun; we had a fantastic time back then. We were totally unaware that we would ever be part of BLACK SABBATH's history in the making." Name your three favorite SABBATH albums and why those three!

David Tangye: "My favourite albums are, I have to say, 'Sabotage', 'Black Sabbath', 'Volume 4'. In saying that, as an ardent fan, I do like all of their early work. 'Sabotage' was really my favourite album of their Seventies stuff, they wrote this album when they were on a real downer and under pressure, this was a time when they were experiencing managerial problems, and their anger and disgust was channeled into the writing of this great album. Their first album, 'Black Sabbath', heralded their arrival, and as such, laid the roots for what will eventually be their epitaph. 'Volume 4', If I can put it this way, with perhaps the exception of 'Changes', for me this album has all the energy of an express train. I think it is a remarkable album, showing the true writing genius of the band."

Read the entire interview at


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