Tony Iommi: Iron Man (Da Capo Press)

Tony Iommi obviously knows his way around a guitar, having used it to create the blueprint for heavy metal in Black Sabbath. However, the written word is new territory for him, and his discomfort shows in Iron Man, which he wrote with help from co-author T.J. Lammers. The biggest problem with Iron Man is that Iommi has great stories to tell but he’s not a good storyteller, and there’s no passion in his writing. If you compare the section of Iron Man that covers the early years of Black Sabbath to the section in Ozzy Osbourne’s autobiography covering the same era, you’ll see what I mean. Where Ozzy injects stories with infectious humor and excitement, Iommi ‘s versions are straight-forward and less entertaining. He also doesn’t do any of the soul searching or self-analysis his story calls for. Here’s a guy who’s been married four times, was heavily into drink and drugs for roughly a quarter of a century, and has been through twenty-four band members in Black Sabbath even though they became a Spinal Tap-ish self-parody by the mid-1980s. Seems like Iommi has some pretty deep-rooted issues which he could explore, but he takes a “just the facts, ma’am” approach that makes Iron Man an interesting book for Sabbath/Iommi fans, but not one that non-fans would care about.