Birmingham audiences are again being given the opportunity to delve into the world of one of rock’s greatest guitarists at An Evening with Tony Iommi.
The questions can be anything, I don’t mind what anyone asks me really,” he says. “It can range from anything like what’s it like on tour, what do you do when you’re on tour and what’s it like playing to that amount of people to what do you do during the day and what are your pastimes?
I really enjoyed the last one. I hope people will come along and enjoy it and learn some interesting things. It will be great to see people there. I like to see an audience and for me, it’s a bit like being up on stage playing – this is the closest I’m going to get to an audience without playing.”
One question which Tony is frequently asked is ‘what is your highlight?’ Bearing in mind he’s now 70 and has been working since the sixties, he admits this can be a challenge.
It’s actually quite hard to answer because, for me, there have been so many highlights. One of them was the first time we played Madison Square Garden in New York. That was a real buzz for me because so many great people have played there. Or playing at Buckingham Palace – I never thought I would get to go there!”
But it hasn’t all been highlights. In 2012 Tony was diagnosed with the blood cancer lymphoma. He underwent treatment including chemotherapy and in 2016 announced he was in remission but it has left its mark.
It takes it out of you. I had to change my life completely. Up until I was ill I would just be on and on, working and working and working and then as soon as you get ill you realise this is serious stuff and you have to start living your life differently.
One of the hardest things for me was having to stop touring. There comes a point where you have to say you can’t tour any more like you did. That was hard because I’d been touring for 40 years and then suddenly because of my illness I had to start saying no.
I miss not seeing the audience now so in a way doing An Evening with Tony Iommi is a way to carry on seeing the audience. It’s about staying in contact – I don’t ever want to lose contact.
Saturday 23rd June 2018
Price: £25.50* inc. per ticket commission
Victoria Square, Birmingham, West Midlands, B3 3DQ