January 15, 2022

BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi has announced the passing of his longtime manager Ernest Chapman.

Earlier today, Iommi took to his social media to write: "I'm sorry to hear that my long-term manager, and Ralph Baker's business partner, Ernest Chapman passed away this morning. A very successful lawyer as well as a manager, he was a rock for me in a difficult time in my career. Despite being from completely different backgrounds we really bonded. He will be sadly missed and my condolences to his wife Christie and the family."

In his 2011 autobiography "Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath", Iommi wrote about how he first came to be involved with Chapman back in the late 1980s. He said: "In November and December 1987, the 'Eternal Idol' tour went through Europe… It was around this time that I started having problems with the taxman, and it was then that I got in touch with Phil Banfield, basically looking for help. As well as having his own agency, Phil continued to manage Ian Gillan and he told me about Ernest Chapman, who was Jeff Beck's manager. I met up with him and the first thing Ernest said was: 'You don’'t do drugs, do you?' I said: 'No, no!' 'I don't want anything to do with anybody doing drugs.' 'Oh. No, I don’t do them.' Lying through my teeth. A really good start to the relationship.

"I was amazed at how straight he was," he continued. "We started talking about stuff and I said: 'What about commissions?' We had nothing signed and he just said: 'Don't worry about anything like that. When we've sorted it out, I'll take a percentage. What do you need now?' There was nothing in it for him except grief, but I think he liked a bit of a challenge. Ernest and Phil Banfield worked a lot of things out, and then Ernest said: 'Ralph works with me at the office and he does a lot of my stuff as well.' I met Ralph Baker and then Phil gradually moved out. And Ralph and Ernest have been my managers ever since."

In February 2017, SABBATH finished "The End" tour in Birmingham, closing out the quartet's groundbreaking 49-year career.

"The End" was SABBATH's last tour because Iommi — who was diagnosed with lymphoma in late 2011 — can no longer travel for extended amounts of time.

Iommi revealed his cancer diagnosis in early 2012, shortly after SABBATH announced a reunion tour and album. He underwent treatment throughout the recording of the disc, titled "13", and the subsequent tour to promote it.

I’m sorry to hear that my long-term manager, and Ralph’s business partner, Ernest Chapman passed away this morning. A…

Posted by Tony Iommi on Saturday, January 15, 2022

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