TONY IOMMI

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Frank Anthony “Tony” Iommi (born February 19, 1948) is a guitarist from Birmingham, England, who is best known as a member of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. Though Ozzy Osbourne may have been the most visible member of Black Sabbath, it was Iommi who wrote nearly all the band’s music and led the band in terms of musical direction. Iommi picked up the guitar as a teenager, after being inspired by the likes of Hank Marvin and The Shadows. In an industrial accident in his youth on his last day of work in a factory, he lost the tips of the middle and ring fingers of his right hand – which, being left-handed, he uses to fret the strings of a guitar. At first he thought his days of playing guitar were over. However, his boss, who knew of his “night job” as a pub band guitar player, paid him a visit during his recovery. During the visit, his boss encouraged him to reconsider. He played a Django Reinhardt record which inspired Tony to pick up the guitar again (Reinhardt lost mobility in the third and fourth fingers of his fretting hand in a fire). After trying to learn to play right-handed, he instead strung his guitars with extra-light strings (which he created himself by intertwining banjo strings) and wore plastic covers that were made from bottle caps over those two fingers (which he covered with leather, so he could grip the strings properly). His accident also had an impact on the Black Sabbath sound: after some time Tony detuned his guitar from E to C# (1 and 1/2 steps down) in order to ease the tension on his fingers, making Sabbath one of the first bands to detune. This idea is now a mainstay of heavy metal music. Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler also tuned his instrument down to match Iommi’s. http://www.facebook.com/tonyiomm?temp-new-window-replacement=true http://www.iommi.com/biography.php?temp-new-window-replacement=true ddc

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