Thursday, February 19, 2009
"The man who invented the heavy metal riff"
Tony Iommi was a pioneer of heavy metal riffing.
Frank Anthony "Tony" Iommi was born February 19, 1948 in Birmingham, England.
Iommi combined blues-like guitar solos and dark, minor-key riffing with a revolutionary high-gain, heavily distorted tone and a Gibson SG.
The son of Italian immigrants,Tony picked up the guitar as a teenager.
Tragically, in an industrial accident at the age of 17 on his last day of work in a sheet metal factory, he lost the tips of the middle and ring finger of his right hand.
Iommi considered abandoning music, but his boss (who knew of Tony's "night job" as a pub band guitar player) encouraged him to reconsider by playing a record by jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, who earned wide acclaim despite limited use of his fretting hand following an injury.
Iommi is best known as a founding member of pioneering heavy metal band Black Sabbath.Tony was the sole constant band member throughout multiple personnel changes.