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#50GreatestConcerts: Black Sabbath, 1970

Relentless touring in Europe had turned Sabbath into a brutal assault force for their American debut

Andy Greene Jun 30, 2017
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Black Sabbath in July 1970. Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records

When Black Sabbath landed at JFK Airport for their first U.S. tour, Ozzy Osbourne scrawled “Satanist” as his religion on the immigration form. Many who saw their shows ”“ opening for the Faces, Alice Cooper and the James Gang ”“ didn’t know what to make of the shaggy Brits.

A turning point came at New York’s Fillmore East. “I tore my floor tom off the riser and threw it at the audience,” says drummer Bill Ward. “I was like, ”˜Fucking move! Do something!’ Soon everyone was headbanging.” 

Relentless touring in Europe had turned Sabbath into a brutal assault force. “It was primal,” says Ward of the tour. “There’s a lower self that went onstage, and it was just dynamite.”

Click here to check out the entire story in the digital edition of Rolling Stone India. 

Watch Black Sabbath during the Paris leg of their 1970 world tour:


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