Jim Florentine knows a thing or two about metal music. As the former co-host of VH1’s That Metal Show, Florentine revealed a deep love and encyclopedic knowledge of metal in between his endless streams of quips and wry observations. A perfect foil to Eddie Trunk’s radio know it all and Don Jamieson’s more combative style of comedy, Florentine was the easy-going metal fan inside us all.
When interviewed by Metal Injection, Florentine shed some light on a central band to all heavy metal: Black Sabbath. Florentine has been able to interview the members of Sabbath on multiple occasions, and while talking with Metal Injection, he shed some light on the records that Ozzy Osbourne liked, and those he didn’t.
“If you look at footage from ’75 to ’78, Iommi was standing in the centre of the stage where the lead singer [typically] stands, and then Ozzy was stage left,” he said. “Like Ozzy would be singing on the side while Iommi was right in the spotlight… it’s just weird if you watch those old Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert performances and even on that ’78 tour.”
Adding: “I mean, Iommi pretty much did those last two records [Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die!] himself. Everybody else was all fucked up. They even had another singer [Dave Walker] lined up for Never Say Die!, but then Ozzy came back and finished the record. So he wasn’t around for much of Never Say Die!, and he hated that record.”
In his memoir I Am Ozzy, Osbourne has this to say about the album: “No one really talked about what had happened. I just turned up in the studio one day – I think Bill had been trying to act as peacemaker on the phone – and that was the end of it. But it was obvious things had changed, especially between me and Tony. I don’t think anyone’s heart was in it anymore.”
Both Osbourne and Iommi have also corroborated the accounts of excessive drug use. “We were all into silly games and we were getting really drugged out,” Iommi explained in his book How Black Was Our Sabbath. “We’d go down to the sessions and have to pack up because we were too stoned. Nobody could get anything right. We were all over the place. Everybody was playing a different thing.”
Osbourne was even blunter when talking to writer Kory Grow: “We were just a fucking bunch of guys drowning in the fucking ocean. We weren’t getting along with each other and we were all fucked-up with drugs and alcohol,” he said. “And I got fired. It was just a bad thing. You try to lift your head up above water, but eventually, the tide sucks you under.”