Visiting 'Black Sabbath Bridge' In Birmingham With Members Of FIREWIND And BEAST IN BLACK (Video)February 26, 2023
Before BEAST IN BLACK and FIREWIND's February 21 concert at O2 Institute in Birmingham, England, FIREWIND guitarist Gus G., FIREWIND bassist Petros Christo and BEAST IN BLACK bassist Máté Molnár walked over to the Black Sabbath Bridge. A four-minute video recap of their visit, courtesy of Gus's official YouTube channel, can be seen below.
The "heavy metal" bench on Black Sabbath Bridge features Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward and sits above the canal off Broad Street. It was officially opened by Geezer and Tony in June 2019 and has since attracted thousands of BLACK SABBATH fans and media from all over the world.
The handmade stainless steel bench was forged in the city by Gateway Steel Fabrications and features images of Osbourne, Iommi, Butler and Ward with the words "Geezer. Ozzy. Tony. Bill. Made in Birmingham 1968" etched on it.
BLACK SABBATH super-fan Mohammed Osama came up with the idea and worked closely with Westside Business Improvement District on the project.
The bench's artwork was created by Egyptian artist Tarek Abdelkawi.
Greek guitar virtuoso Gus, who joined Ozzy's band more than a decade ago, was asked in a recent interview with Czech Republic's Backstage TV how he looks back on his time with the legendary heavy metal singer. He said: "It was really good times. It was a really highlight of my career, obviously, playing at such a big level and, of course, to play with one of the fathers of this music, heavy metal. So, just to be a part of that legacy is incredible; it's mindblowing. I still cannot believe it happened. I learned a lot.
"I'm not a guy who thinks so much about the past," Gus explained. "I think I have evolved since then; I have become a better musician, better person, better performer. That was a big stepping stone for me. I look at those days with a lot of joy, and I have nice memories, nice feelings about Ozzy and Sharon [Ozzy's wife and manager] and the [rest of the] Osbournes; they treated me very nice. And it was some of the best years of my life with them; I got to see and experience things that not many musicians do, so I was lucky in that sense. But I'm doing my thing now and I've had my own thing for a long time. And I'm happy where I'm at in life right now."
A year and a half ago, Gus was asked by Guitar World how he found out he was no longer in Ozzy's group. "Sharon called me at home," he said. "I was kind of expecting it. They had announced a festival, and I was waiting to hear back what was going to happen. And then eventually, she gave me a call. I think it was in the middle of the night, because we have such a time zone difference. She called me in Greece, and said, 'I just wanted to let you know personally, so you don't find out online, we're going to do the farewell tour, and Zakk is coming back for that.' And I was, like, 'No worries at all. No problem.' And I thanked her for everything they had done for me. We're still on good terms, so, no problem at all."
Asked if he would ever consider working with Ozzy again, Gus said: "I think that's more of a question that you have to ask him. [Laughs] It's pretty obvious, I wouldn't say no if he called me up and wanted to play a show or for an album. I loved my time with him, and of course I would do it again. I think it's more of a question for him — because he gets to pick and choose who he works with. I don't think there is a guitar player on earth that would turn that down…or maybe there would be, I don't know. [Laughs]"
Back in 2018, Gus told TrueMetal.it that "it was a little bit of a relief" to find out that Ozzy was getting back together with his longtime axeman Zakk Wylde. "I was just kind of tired of waiting around for all these years, not hearing anything about potential tours or recording activities," Gus said. "Of course, [Ozzy] was very busy with BLACK SABBATH — I understand that — but then in between of all that, there would be all these one-off [solo Ozzy] shows popping up and I had to make myself available for that. But there was never any… I felt like there was no… I didn't see stuff coming up for the future, you know? So, as much as I loved being in that band and working with him, in a way, it was a little bit of a dead end for me, speaking personally. Of course, now he's gonna go on a big tour again and do his farewell thing, and that's great for him, but it was not a creative thing for me."
It was announced in April 2017 that Wylde would be rejoining Ozzy's backing group for all his upcoming solo show dates. Osbourne's most recent touring lineup also included Rob "Blasko" Nicholson on bass, Tommy Clufetos on drums and Adam Wakeman on keyboards.
Gus, who played on Ozzy's latest studio album, 2010's "Scream", told TrueMetal.it that part of his frustration stemmed from the fact that he wasn't told far in advance when his services would be needed by Ozzy, making it difficult for the guitarist to make long-term plans with any of his other projects. "There was never any definite announcement, like, 'Hey, guys, we're gonna see you next year' or something; it was always, like, 'We'll see what happens,'" he said. "So that's a bit of an uncertainty right there, and, of course, I had my own band [and] I had stuff to do, but I could never really book stuff too far ahead into the future just in case something [with Ozzy] came up. So it was really hard to get some info at some points… Anyways, you know, that's how it is; that was the situation. So, yeah, in a way, like I said, it was a relief, because now I can totally control what I'm gonna be doing, and that's a much nicer feeling."
Earlier this week, FIREWIND shared the official music video for the band's new single "Destiny Is Calling".
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