How Black Sabbath Sprang from an Ad in a Record Shop

Ever wonder how a bunch of guys from different walks of life and with a bit of school rivalry ended up forming one of the biggest heavy metal bands? It all started with a simple ad in a record store.

A dynamic black and white photo from a 1970 concert capturing Ozzy Osbourne on the left, with a microphone in hand and hair flying, and Tony Iommi on the right, playing a guitar. Both are members of the band Black Sabbath, engrossed in their performance with amplifiers visible in the background.
Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi (1970)

So here’s a story: Ozzy Osbourne, back then known as “Ozzy Zig,” sticks an ad in a record store that basically says, “Ozzy Zig Needs Gig — has own PA.” Pretty simple, right? But this little note catches the eye of Tony Iommi and Bill Ward, who were looking for some new bandmates after their old band split up. Tony kind of knows Ozzy from school – but mostly remembers him as the younger, annoying school clown, not a singer.

Despite the iffy school memories, Tony and Bill decide to check out this Ozzy guy. They turn up at his house in 1968, and Tony’s about ready to bail when he sees Ozzy. He’s thinking, “No way, not the school idiot!” But somehow, Ozzy and Bill manage to calm Tony’s doubts, and they start jamming together.

From an unassuming ad to a legendary band, the story of Black Sabbath reminds us that great things often have humble beginnings.

A few days later, Ozzy and his mate Geezer Butler show up at the shop Tony’s parents own. This meetup is kind of a turning point, and Tony and Bill agree to team up with Ozzy and Geezer. And that’s how Black Sabbath started, first with some other names like The Polka Tulk Blues Band and then Earth, before they settled on Black Sabbath.

The whole school thing between Ozzy and Tony? Turns out it wasn’t as bad as some stories make it out to be. Ozzy said Tony never beat him up or anything – they just weren’t exactly buddies.

From a simple ad in a record store, these guys who weren’t exactly besties in school end up forming one of the big names in heavy metal. Just goes to show, sometimes the most unexpected mix of people can end up making something pretty cool.