67 years ago today, the architect of heavy metal was born. Black Sabbath guitarist Anthony Frank “Tony” Iommi was born in the West Midlands of the UK on February 19th, 1948. And while many know the origins of his sound, there are still some unaware that some of the most memorable riffs in rock history are played by a man that’s missing two of his fingertips. When working at a factory in Birmingham, the axeman got the tips of his fingers cut off. Initially depressed, he was turned on to jazz guitarist Django Reinhart, who’d also overcome disabilities to become an iconic guitararist.
In a VH1 animated short for their new animated series The Complete History of Heavy Metal, Iommi talks about the origins of his sound. “Fingers Bloody Fingers” is self-explanatory, but hearing the original riff lord narrate how his sound came about and how he made “a good thing off a bad thing” is somewhat inspirational. The animation, all done in black, white and red, is a nice complement to his words as well.