I’d hazard a guess that most people who like rock music can remember where they were, what they were doing, and how they were affected the first time they heard the music of Black Sabbath.
Me? I was in 4th grade when Sabbath crept into my life. During recess, our teacher let myself and a few friends listen to records through headphones while the rest of the class went outside to the playground. I was all about the Beatles, but one day, my friend Greg brought in this rather terrifying album cover depicting a shadowy figure standing in front of a church. “Wait ‘till you hear this,” he smirked, and then we put our headphones on, he dropped the needle on side one of this creepy-looking platter, and as the sound of rain and a distant church bell gave way to the loudest, heaviest tri-tone (basically a root note followed by a flat V, sometimes referred to as “the Devil’s interval”) in the history of recorded sound, there went my innocence.
Black Sabbath freaked me out. I soon realized the band wasn’t actually evil, or satanic, or any of that nonsense, but was rather responsible for the creation of what we now call heavy metal. Sabbath was first, and with very few exceptions, the band has never been beaten at the game it created. Which is why the group is now on at least its third generation of fans, many of whom learned to play instruments by mimicking Sabbath albums, and all of whom are incredibly loyal.
On Saturday, a slew of Sabbath fans who also happen to be musicians will gather at Nietzsche’s (248 Allen St.) to pay tribute to Ozzy Osborne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward – and perhaps Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan and Vinnie Appice, too. “Gathered In their Masses” kicks off at 9 p.m., and will feature performances of Sabbath tunes form the likes of DDT, Sasquatch Bloody Sasquatch, Do Driver, Children of the Crate, Metal Maiden, TMG, Classic rock Guys, and Alaysa Dale.
A $5 admission fee will go to benefit the Buffalo Animal Shelter.
- Jeff Miers