Former Black Sabbath frontman Tony Martin recently looked back on the time when he was fired from the band by Tony Iommi. Apparently, the guitarist regretted his decision soon afterward, but things didn’t work out between the two.
Tony Martin first joined Black Sabbath during the recording of their thirteenth studio album, ‘The Eternal Idol’ back in 1987. The musician worked with the band for the next five years until they reunited with Ronnie James Dio for their 1992 album, ‘Dehumanizer.’ Martin had a successful tenure with Black Sabbath, and he was praised by music critics when the band released ‘Headless Cross‘ in April 1989 since the album was regarded as the best album without Ozzy Osbourne or Ronnie James Dio.
However, his position within the band was highly damaged when Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi talked about getting rid of the singer during an interview with Kerrang in mid-1991. Eventually, he was fired from the band quite abruptly. During a recent appearance on Almost Human, Tony Martin recalled the details of his departure from Black Sabbath.
According to the vocalist, he wasn’t aware that the band wanted him to be gone until he found out about it from his manager. While it was pretty shocking, Martin moved on and started working on his solo career. However, he got a call from Tony Iommi saying that things weren’t going well with Ronnie James Dio.
When the guitarist asked him to rejoin the band, Martin declined his offer as he was already focused on his own career. Yet, the rocker accepted the offer after Iommi insisted that the musician join the band. Eventually, their reunion didn’t work out due to lack of time, and Black Sabbath continued with Dio.
About his firing and return to Sabbath, Martin said:
“They fired me prior to the start of the ‘Dehumanizer’ sessions which, by the way, was a complete surprise. I didn’t see that coming at all. In fact, I was walking out of the door to go to rehearsals for the next album, and the phone rang just as I was leaving the door. And my manager was on the other end of the line and he said, ‘You’d better sit down, kid.’
I was like, ‘Go on. What?’ And he said, ‘They don’t want your services anymore.‘ I said, ‘What? You’re kidding me.’ I just didn’t see that coming at all. So, wow, okay. I was just so shocked by that, I didn’t know what to say, do, or anything.'”
“But within weeks I was back, it was four, five, six weeks maybe, something like that. I got a call from Tony Iommi saying, ‘This isn’t going very well with Dio.‘ I said, ‘Oh, really?’ And he said, ‘No. Can you come back?’ And I said, ‘No. I can’t come back. I’ve already started doing my solo stuff and I’ve moved on.’ And he said, ‘Okay. Okay.’ So then a few months went by, and he called me again. And he said, ‘Are you sure you can’t come back? It’s really not working.’
So they invited me to go to the studio when they were recording the stuff, so I went down there. And I did try to get some melodies and stuff, but they were short of time, as usual. And I said, ‘Look, if I’m gonna do this, I need to rewrite this whole thing. I need to take it away and sit with it and work it out.’ They said, ‘We don’t have the time for that.’ So I said, ‘I’m gonna have to leave it with you. Probably the best thing to do is just continue with Dio, and then we’ll talk afterward.'”
You can watch the interview below.