Every band has a story, either because one of its members excels in certain activities, or the group has found ways to excel in certain areas.

Today we will tell you a story of the legendary band Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi.

Tony Iommi losing his fingers before becoming Godfather of Heavy Metal - Tommy Iommi 1
Tony Iommi losing his fingertips before becoming the Godfather of Heavy Metal

This famous guitarist, composer and member of the band Black Sabbath showed us that with passion and desire he was able to overcome what everyone considered impossible.

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Anthony Frank Iommi

Anthony Frank Iommi, better known as Tony Iommi, English guitarist, composer and producer. From an early age, he was interested in martial arts and other sports.

Thanks to his family heritage, he also developed a genuine interest in music, with the accordion being one of his first instruments. After experimenting with music, he realized that the drums were his thing, but apparently they were too noisy, which led him to get better acquainted with the guitar.

He had several jobs, one of them in a metallurgical company, but his real dream was to be a musician, so when he saw an ad that a band needed a guitarist, he did not hesitate to apply and get the job, but his obligations at work had to end, or at least that’s what his mother recommended.

Maybe it was a sign from the universe for him to stay home, but his mother wanted him to do things the right way.

But Tony didn’t expect that tragedy would be with him at that moment too, and that he would end up blaming his mother for what happened later that day.

Tony Iommi losing his fingers before becoming Godfather of Heavy Metal - Tommy Iommi Young
Tony Iommi losing his fingertips before becoming the Godfather of Heavy Metal

Although we know him as a phenomenal guitarist, Iommi worked for a metal factory, where he had an accident that would have made anyone retire from an instrumental career.

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Black Sabbath and Tony Iommi

During the year of 1968, a group of young people gathered their musical talents to form a band that would become a reference for the future of heavy metal, among them the genius of Tony Iommi, who would do his job as guitarist in the lineup.

He became a legend, creating origins, and forever changing the history of music, and all this without having his fingers full. The king of darkness created a unique style, which stayed with him forever.

The accident that cut off his fingertips

Before becoming part of the legendary Black Sabbath and becoming the pioneers of heavy metal and a guitar wizard, Tony had a very different job, which would completely change the course of his days to come.

The founder of heavy metal and the band Black Sabbath, also worked with metal in a factory, and one day he suffered an accident with a machine, which momentarily took away his dreams of playing in a band in which he already had a position.

It was in a metallurgy where it all happened, where Tony saw for the last time his hand and fingers complete.

The artist told in an interview that he was working in a metal shop, basically passing some things around, and so on until he finished his shift. But on his last day of work, the person whose turn it was to take the shift after him did not arrive, so he had to take his place unexpectedly. It should be noted that the boy had no idea what he was doing, as he had never been at that workstation before.

Tony Iommi losing his fingers before becoming Godfather of Heavy Metal - Tommy Iommi Young 2
Tony Iommi losing his fingertips before becoming the Godfather of Heavy Metal

“Django Reinhart gave me the courage to continue with my musical career” were the words of Tony Iommi after suffering depression due to his work accident where he was on the verge of resigning

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He had to work on that shift with an industrial press, of huge size, similar to a big guillotine. The next thing that happened, he’s not sure how his hand ended up in the wrong place.

The machine caught his hand, and from one moment to the next, it cut off the tip of a couple of his fingers, he realized what was happening and tried to pull his whole hand out completely, but the machine kept cutting past the tip and ended up going all the way to the bones, cutting plenty more.

Iommi was taken to the hospital so that his injuries could be treated. There the doctors had to remove some of the jaggedly cut and completely exposed bones. The legendary guitarist recalls that the doctor made a joke, specifically telling him to forget about playing guitar. This infuriated Tony, who had had this passion for some years.

Tony Iommi losing his fingers before becoming Godfather of Heavy Metal - Django Reinhart
Tony Iommi losing his fingertips before becoming the Godfather of Heavy Metal

Django Reinhart was the one who gave Iommi the courage to pursue his career. This great guitarist also had a disability in his fingers but he was still able to reach the top.

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But it was his frustration that turned him into the Godfather of Heavy Metal

The boy could not assume that he would never play his guitar again and that he would not be able to show his skills in the band that recognized his talent, he was very upset and frustrated. He was so uncomfortable that when the factory foreman came to visit him with a record as a gift, he didn’t even want to listen to it.

But this visit would bring everything Tony would need to become the legend he is today. The foreman remarked that the guy on the Django Reinhardt record only had two fingers, yet he could still play guitar.

Something inside Iommi woke up, so he decided that he would keep doing what he loved, and even though it was obvious that he was missing his fingertips, he would find a way to work it out.

Tony Iommi losing his fingers before becoming Godfather of Heavy Metal - Tommy Iommi 3
Tony Iommi losing his fingertips before becoming the Godfather of Heavy Metal

Thanks to his passion for the guitar, Iommi decided to practice from scratch, adjusting to his new problem, but this disability would have little negative effect on his music, making him one of the most talented guitarists in the world today.

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Finger prosthesis

Iommi began to look for practical solutions to get back to being close to the guitar, one of them was to play his guitar in reverse, he was left-handed and thought he could manage to play with the other hand, but he couldn’t, so he quickly discarded the idea.

And apparently, his days at the factory taught him something he didn’t know he would need in the future. So he began to melt a bottle, and then, with a blowtorch, he began to mold it into the shape of his fingers, or what was left of them. Unfortunately, this first attempt at a prosthesis failed to fit the musician’s needs.

But nothing stopped him, so he kept trying, again and again, making several plastic tips, which were other failed attempts, since when they had contact with the strings, they were useless.
Iommi then had an unexpected idea and cut an old leather jacket. When he tried this new material, the prosthesis was a success, but he still had the most difficult job, to completely reinvent his way of playing.

Tony Iommi losing his fingers before becoming Godfather of Heavy Metal - Tommy Iommi Finguertips
Tony Iommi losing his fingertips before becoming the Godfather of Heavy Metal

Today the guitarist has prosthesis in the tip of his fingers. However, in the beginning, he himself with the help of his mother was able to devise different types of “prosthesis” testing different materials and how they fit the sound of the guitar.

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Heavy metal was born thanks to Iommi’s prosthesis

Iommi knew that only part of the challenge was complete, so he had to adapt to his entire environment to be able to play successfully. Playing with all the elements involved, he realized that he was creating a completely different style, grim, thick, and sweeping.

That’s how this legend began to be written, and he became one of the ultimate guitar idols. Thanks to that accident, the essence of Black Sabbath came to completely revolutionize rock music.