Thursday, January 28, 2010


For those of you who are new to No Expiration, about once a month I go on SIRIUS XM’s The Catholic Channel’s Busted Halo show to talk about music. Tune in at about 7:20 pm ET on SIRIUS channel 159 and XM channel 117. Thursday nights are “Faith & Culture Thursdays” and we usually talk about a certain artist. We’ve discussed Bruce Springsteen, U2, George Harrison and Bob Dylan in the past, and tonight we’ll be talking about Black Sabbath. Seriously!

Not being of the faith myself, I was a bit worried that this would seem blasphemous. The perception of Sabbath and frontman Ozzy Osbourne is a lot different than the reality. I have interviewed all four original members (we’re only talking about the original lineup) – Ozzy, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward – for The Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath 1970-1978, which I wrote the liner notes for (and I mention this at every opportunity, sorry about that). They used the scary imagery, not because they believed in black magic or whatever, but because as young guys, scary music was cool. I’m not trying to play these guys off as angels, but they weren’t Satan worshippers. In fact, they told me one story about a bunch of actual Satanists who were waiting to meet them at their hotel after a concert, and they all kind of rolled their eyes about it.

Geezer Butler wrote most of the lyrics, and actually came from a Catholic home. Songs like “After Forever” are actually very pro-God, it actually expresses sympathy for atheists and cynics. So, hopefully no listeners will be offended, it should be an interesting discussion.

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