Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath

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The New York Times bestselling autobiography by the lead guitarist of Black Sabbath and the architect of heavy metal

Iron Man chronicles the story of both pioneering guitarist Tony Iommi and legendary band Black Sabbath, dubbed "The Beatles of heavy metal" by Rolling Stone. Iron Man reveals the man behind the icon yet still captures Iommi's humor, intelligence, and warmth. He speaks honestly and unflinchingly about his rough-and-tumble childhood, the accident that almost ended his career, his failed marriages, personal tragedies, battles with addiction, band mates, famous friends, newfound daughter, and the ups and downs of his life as an artist. Everything associated with hard rock happened to Black Sabbath first: the drugs, the debauchery, the drinking, the dungeons, the pressure, the pain, the conquests, the company men, the contracts, the combustible drummer, the critics, the comebacks, the singers, the Stonehenge set, the music, the money, the madness, the metal.
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About the author

Tony Iommi is a cofounding member and lead guitarist of Black Sabbath and is among the most influential guitarists of all time. Born in 1948, he lives in Birmingham, England.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Da Capo Press
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Published on
Dec 11, 2012
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9780306822315
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / Music
Music / Genres & Styles / Heavy Metal
Music / Individual Composer & Musician
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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'They call me a madman but compared to Pete Way, I'm out of my league.' - Ozzy Osbourne

There are rock memoirs and then there is this one. A Fast Ride Out of Here tells a story that is so shocking, so outrageous, so packed with excess and leading to such uproar and tragic consequences as to be almost beyond compare. Put simply, in terms of jaw-dropping incident, self-destruction and all-round craziness, Pete Way's rock'n'roll life makes even Keith Richards's appear routine and Ozzy Osbourne seem positively mild-mannered in comparison. Not for nothing did Nikki Sixx, bassist with LA shock-rockers Motley Crue and who 'died' for eight minutes following a heroin overdose in 1988, consider that he was a disciple of and apprenticed to Way.

During a forty-year career as founding member and bassist of the venerated British hard rock band UFO, and which has also included a stint in his hell-raising buddy Ozzy's band, Pete Way has both scaled giddy heights and plunged to unfathomable lows. A heroin addict for more than ten years, he blew millions on drugs and booze and left behind him a trail of chaos and carnage. The human cost of this runs to six marriages, four divorces, a pair of estranged daughters and two dead ex-wives. Latterly, Way has fought cancer, but has survived it all and is now ready to tell his extraordinary tale.

By turns hilarious, heart-rending, mordant, scabrous, self-lacerating, brutally honest and entirely compulsive, A Fast Ride Out of Here will be a monument to rock'n'roll debauchery on an epic, unparalleled scale and also to one man's sheer indestructability.

For more than a quarter century, biographer Philip Norman's internationally bestselling Shout! has been unchallenged as the definitive biography of the Beatles. Now, at last, Norman turns his formidable talent to the Beatle for whom being a Beatle was never enough. Drawing on previously untapped sources, and with unprecedented access to all the major characters, Norman presents the comprehensive and most revealing portrait of John Lennon ever published.

This masterly biography takes a fresh and penetrating look at every aspect of Lennon's much-chronicled life, including the songs that have turned him, posthumously, into a near-secular saint. In three years of research, Norman has turned up an extraordinary amount of new information about even the best-known episodes of Lennon folklore—his upbringing by his strict Aunt Mimi; his allegedly wasted school and student days; the evolution of his peerless creative partnership with Paul McCartney; his Beatle-busting love affair with a Japanese performance artist; his forays into painting and literature; his experiments with Transcendental Meditation, primal scream therapy, and drugs. The book's numerous key informants and interviewees include Sir Paul McCartney, Sir George Martin, Sean Lennon—whose moving reminiscence reveals his father as never seen before—and Yoko Ono, who speaks with sometimes shocking candor about the inner workings of her marriage to John.

“[A] haunting, mammoth, terrific piece of work.” -New York Times

Honest and unflinching, as John himself would wish, Norman gives us the whole man in all his endless contradictions—tough and cynical, hilariously funny but also naive, vulnerable and insecure—and reveals how the mother who gave him away as a toddler haunted his mind and his music for the rest of his days.

"They've said some crazy things about me over the years. I mean, okay: 'He bit the head off a bat.' Yes. 'He bit the head off a dove.' Yes. But then you hear things like, 'Ozzy went to the show last night, but he wouldn't perform until he'd killed fifteen puppies . . .' Now me, kill fifteen puppies? I love puppies. I've got eighteen of the f**king things at home. I've killed a few cows in my time, mind you. And the chickens. I shot the chickens in my house that night.

It haunts me, all this crazy stuff. Every day of my life has been an event. I took lethal combinations of booze and drugs for thirty f**king years. I survived a direct hit by a plane, suicidal overdoses, STDs. I've been accused of attempted murder. Then I almost died while riding over a bump on a quad bike at f**king two miles per hour.

People ask me how come I'm still alive, and I don't know what to say. When I was growing up, if you'd have put me up against a wall with the other kids from my street and asked me which one of us was gonna make it to the age of sixty, which one of us would end up with five kids and four grandkids and houses in Buckinghamshire and Beverly Hills, I wouldn't have put money on me, no f**king way. But here I am: ready to tell my story, in my own words, for the first time.

A lot of it ain't gonna be pretty. I've done some bad things in my time. I've always been drawn to the dark side, me. But I ain't the devil. I'm just John Osbourne: a working-class kid from Aston, who quit his job in the factory and went looking for a good time."
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