With the opening track of the second side of their fifth album, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, here are metal’s founding fathers. The album was released in December of 1973 and this footage is from a festival called California Jam, which was held at the Ontario Motor Speedway on June 6, 1974. The re are 3 striking things about this footage; Sabbath playing in daylight in front of a rainbow prop while wearing glam clothes, Tony Iommi’s lack of facial hair and the fact that Ozzy is still easy to understand.
When I was growing up in rural Indiana in the early 80′s, there was very limited access to heavy music. These were the days before MTV blew up with the whole hair metal, Headbangers Ball phenomenon. But on Sunday nights, there was a two hour radio show that came from WOXY, the radio station of Miami University, just across the state line in Oxford Ohio. It was called “Massive Metal for the Masses” and I would wait all week for it to air. It was through this show that I was introduced to bands like Venom, Bathory, WASP, Michael Schenker Group, Slayer and countless others. This is my tip of the hat to that show. I call it “Massive Metal Mondays.” Every week, I pay tribute to defining moments by the artists that laid the groundwork for heavy metal to become the worldwide cultural bond for all of us metalheads.