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Let's Remember BLACK SABBATH's Haunted 1973 Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Rehearsals

Posted by on October 31, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Once upon a time in 1973, a young and virile Black Sabbath wrapped up a world tour in support of Vol. 4, and headed to Los Angeles to begin writing their next effort. The month or so they spent at a rented pad in Bel Air, however, was fruitless; no one came up with any cool riffs, probably largely in part from the fatigue and substance abuse associated with the road. Figuring they'd best hole themselves away in an 18th century castle (red flag), the band headed back to the UK for a change of scenery.

Black Sabbath Rehearsals

Clearwell Castle, where Sabbath rehearsed in 1973.

The most bangin' place at the time was Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire, England–a Gothic-style mansion built in 1727 where the likes of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple hung out and made jams. The place is a wedding venue now, which definitely detracts from its spookiness, but it was apparently rife with ghosts when Sabbath were there. Now, I'm not a God-fearin' man, nor do I believe in the supernatural, but I've heard some stories about the weird shit that happens to small groups of folk when they're alone in big, old, creepy-ass places. Tony and Ozzy famously saw some shit, man:

We rehearsed in the armoury there and one night I was walking down the corridor with Ozzy and we saw this figure in a black cloak…We followed this figure back into the armoury and there was absolutely no one there. Whoever it was had disappeared into thin air! The people that owned the castle knew all about this ghost and they said, 'Oh yes, that's the ghost of so and so. We were like 'What'!?

What!? is absolutely right, friendo. Geezer thought the time spent in the castle's dungeons was ultimately for the best, though:

We rehearsed in the dungeons and it was really creepy but it had some atmosphere, it conjured up things, and stuff started coming out again.

Hey, man, do what you gotta do to get those creative sparks flying, I guess. Being haunted by ghosts from the 18th century was just what Black Sabbath needed to find their mojo again. And on that note, Happy Halloween!

A brilliant record inspired by actual hauntings. How metal is that?

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