The four original members of Black Sabbath are holding at press conference at Los Angeles’ famed Whiskey a Go-Go club on November 11th at 11:11 AM. The group are widely expected to announce a reunion, but a press release merely says it will be a “special announcement at the same location where the influential band made their Los Angeles debut on November 11, 41 years ago.” Henry Rollins will host the event.
Rumors of a Black Sabbath reunion have been swirling for months, even though bassist Geezer Butler released a Sherman-esque statement in February shooting them down: “I would like to make it clear, because of mounting speculation and rumors, that there will definitely be NO reunion of all four original members of Black Sabbath, whether to record an album or to tour.”
In August, the Birmingham Mail published an interview with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi essentially confirming that the Ozzy-era lineup of the band was going to reform. “It’s all been very hush-hush,” he said. “Ozzy’s been the worst at holding it back…We’re really looking forward to it and I think the stuff we’re writing is really good. It’s more back to the old original stuff.”
Iommi released a furious statement when the quotes hit the Internet, but in a brilliant non-denial denial, he never actually denied saying the quotes, nor did he deny that Sabbath were reforming. He mainly just seemed angry that the story had leaked earlier than he had planned.
We spoke with Iommi earlier this month, and he refused to address the issue directly. “There is no status at the moment,” he said. “That’s something that can always happen. We just get on with it and see what happens.”
The original line-up of Black Sabbath reformed in 1997 and toured off and on through 2005. Their last album of new material was 1978’s Never Say Die! The Ronnie James Dio line-up of Black Sabbath toured and recorded as Heaven and Hell from 2006 through Dio’s death in 2010.
The only real question about this press conference is whether the band is going to announce a tour, a new album, or both. Even before news of this press conference surfaced, 11/11/11 had already been declared National Metal Day by VH1 Classic. The cable channel plans on showing a 24-hour marathon of metal programming.