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An Interview With Former Black Sabbath Roadie David Tangye (7/18/2005)

Metal website recently conducted an interview with David Tangye, author of "How black was our Sabbath"...

What are you currently up to?

At the moment, I am busy with my working on my website, I am hoping to expand the site in the near future to include further information and news regarding Black Sabbath. In my spare time, I work in Market Research.

Who´s David Tangye?

That´s a question I have been asking myself for years, I retired from the music scene 20 years ago after the completion of many tours and exploits with Black Sabbath, and then later on Ozzy´s solo album era tours of "Blizzard of Ozz", and "Diary Of A Madman". I came back to the "Real" world following these excursions to the outer limits, and returned to a nine to five routine of sanity, or sanity, as we know it!

Tell us abit about your co-author Graham Wright!

Graham still tours, although he has a less hands on approach now, meaning he is not involved with the day-to-day existence of band members. He drives trucks and is currently out on the "Vertigo" tour with U2, they have thirty rigs out on this one.

Tell us abit about your book! What made you write it now and not 15-20 years ago?

Graham and I are both the same age, and decided many years ago, that when we reach 50 (or was it IF we reach 50), we would have to write a book detailing our exploits and experiences, we have kept in touch, as have we with the rest of the crew we worked with back then. We have had reunions, and meet ups a various parties, weddings, etc... I contacted Graham in 2000 and said it is time, are you up for it? He agreed so off we went. From a standing start, we managed to get ourselves a synopsis written, and three sample chapters to present to various Literary Agents here in the UK. We heard nothing at all for 12 months, and then suddenly out of the blue, we had an Agent and an interested Publisher, Pan Macmillan. And that´s how we got to where we are today. This was long before I hasten to add, "The Osbournes" took over our TV screens, and Ozzy and Black Sabbath were not really to the forefront, and at the cutting edge of Heavy Metal Scene, as they are today.

How would you compare today´s version of Sabbath to the good old days?

I think that Tony Iommi did an incredible job keeping the name of Black Sabbath up there with the rest, although it did become a bit like "musical chairs" with all the various line-ups. For all the original bands differences, and disagreements, I myself personally think that there is only one "TRUE" Black Sabbath, That band is set in stone, I still play all the old stuff regularly, and love the shear energy and raw gutsy style. I do not think that comparisons can be made.

Your favorite Sabbath memory?

My favourite memory was when Sabbath played Madison Square Gardens for the first time in 1975, this was a real milestone in the bands history. This was something that they had strived for, and to realise this, was at that time phenomenal.

Any fun story from the 70´s that didn´t make it into the book?

There was one incident that took place in the Holiday Inn at Swiss Cottage in London, Ozzy did an interview with a rock journalist from one of the broadsheet weekly music papers that was circulating back in the mid seventies. The interview was quite cordial, and there were spliffs being passed around. The journalist totally lost the plot, and got up to leave the interview midstream, headed for the exit, and walked straight into the wardrobe. He was lost, we just fell about at this chaps total confusion.

You guys seem to have come really close to the members in the band. What was it like being part of a band and watching them rise to stardom and also be part of all the madness that surrounded them?

It is strange to think that all those years have past, and that Black Sabbath would enjoy a cult status as they do today. When we were out their doing it! no one would have ever dreamed that 30 years on there would be this iconic formula that would trundle on into the twenty first century. Back in the 1970´s, which twenty plus year old male, would not loved to have travelled and worked with a rock band? I know It was like a dream come true for me. The madness and high jinks were just absolutely great clean fun; we had a fantastic time back then. We were totally unaware that we would ever be part of Black Sabbaths history in the making. Name your three favorite Sabbath albums and why those three!

My favourite albums are I have to say; "Sabotage", "Black Sabbath", "Volume 4". In saying that, as an ardent fan, I do like all of their early work. Sabotage was really my favourite album of their seventies stuff, they wrote this album when they were on a real downer and under pressure, this was a time when they were experiencing managerial problems, and their anger and disgust was chanelled into the writing of this great album. Their first album "Black Sabbath" heralded their arrival, and as such, laid the roots for what will eventually be their epitaph. "Volume 4", If I can put it this way, with perhaps the exception of "Changes", for me this album has all the energy of an express train. I think it is a remarkable album, showing the true writing genius of the band.

Finally, plug your book and let us know what the future holds for David Tangye!

Well there is a question and a half! We had a great deal of fun writing our book, the chaps from the original road crews contributions and recollections, were absolutely fantastic. It is strange to think that you have known these people all these years, and when you come to ask them straight forward questions about their time with Black Sabbath, how much valuable information came out!. In the future, I hope to keep on working, and promoting our book, "How Black Was Our Sabbath". We are still looking for a deal with an American publishing house to get our book in store over there, although in these days of the Internet, many barriers have been removed, and our book is now readily available at and other Internet bookstores. It is my intention to develop my website in the near future. Currently it provides information regarding our book, with information on reviews and online ordering worldwide, and so is a handy tool for us to get our message out.

You can check out David's website at

His book is available on, get it now!!!!


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