The Crossroads of Sabbath walking tour is an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Ozzy, Geezer, Tony and Bill and learn about the environment that shaped them. The tour lasts approximately 2 hours.
Black Sabbath are unique. No other Rock N Roll Hall of Fame inductee can make the claim that all its original members grew up is such close proximity to each other. And no other Rock N Roll Hall of Fame inductee is as widely acknowledged by peers, critics and fans as having given birth to a genre that is still as relevant, vibrant and global in its reach as Heavy Metal is to this day.
Much has been made of the influence of the band’s environment on the sounds they made when they first entered a rehearsal room together. On the Crossroads of Sabbath tour you see this environment and learn about it during the period when the Sabbs called it home.
You will pass the schools, homes, rehearsal spaces and hangouts of band members and hear stories associated with them. The narration has been developed using local history sources with the intention of presenting a full, thick and heavy picture of life in the area during the period when our heroes roamed its streets.
If you have read all the books and seen all the films about Black Sabbath you will see many of the locations referred to in those texts. You will also be introduced to places and ideas not so widely known in the Sabbath tale. And you will feel them.
No dates currently scheduled
Tours cost £6 per person.
WHERE? GETTING THERE AND BACK.
The start and end of the tour are close to several public transport links with ample on street parking. The tour starts in Perry Barr a few miles north of Birmingham City Centre and ends at The Barton’s Arms pub in Newtown. When you book a place on one of the forthcoming tours you will be sent details of where to meet and how to get there.
WHO IS IT FOR?
The tour has been developed so that it is of interest to those who have a broad knowledge of the Black Sabbath story and wish to learn about the environment they grew up in. The economic and social history of the area is also included in a way that will be of interest to those with no prior knowledge of the band.
The 10 minute video embedded at the foot of this webpage gives a broad overview of Black Sabbath’s formation in Aston around 1968.
The tour is called Crossroads of Sabbath because it concludes with references to what has come to be known as The Crossroads Myth concerning the American blues performer Robert Johnson. You won’t be spoiling your enjoyment of the tour by familiarising yourself with this story in advance.
There’s a lot of sociology/cultural studies references – y’know, left leaning sort of stuff in praise of the post war settlement. If you voted Tory or UKip it’s probably not for you. In fact, I’m not gonna lie – there’s some explicit Marxism at the very end when we reach the Crossroads Of Sabbath.
CROSSROADS OF SABBATH IS NOT…
- About the music heritage attractions of Birmingham city centre or the areas of the city not mentioned in the tour description.
- An opportunity to spend time inside Ozzy Osbourne’s childhood home or inside any of the other locations visited.
- Available in any language other than English unless by prior arrangement. Contact me before you make a booking and we’ll work something out!
- Formally: aligned with, authorised by, partner of, endorsed by, funded or approved by any other organisation, public or private company, group or charity – yet.
- Conceived with toddlers in mind. One five year old boy did enjoy it recently but I think his dad wished he’d brought a push chair.
The download is no longer available.
It is now possible to download a version of the tour absolutely free to your iPhone. This version of the tour is text based giving truncated versions of the live tour/fanzine commentaries. A google map function alongside images shows the route and locations. Use the button below to get to the Crossroads of Sabbath page of the app providers website.