The always omnipresent “Iron Man,” Black Sabbath guitarist and co-founder Tony Iommi, can now add another accolade to his illustrious career: an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Coventry University in Coventry, England “in recognition of his contribution to the world of popular music.”
You can view the video here below of Iommi receiving the honorary doctorate last week.
After basically re-sculpting and redefining the entire hard rock genre, and then using what he did in Sabbath as a precursor to the Heavy Metal boom that followed and continues to be passionately revered by scores of fans globally, Tony Iommi created riffs for a multitude of songs that are instantly recognizable to the sound, attitude, and style of the band, by the staunchest fan or the lightest Sabbath treader.
Iommi himself says he couldn’t believe the news about the Doctorate, telling the BBC that he received a letter from the University trumpeting him for being extremely instrumental and influential “about the history of Heavy Metal and all the years of things I’ve done.”
Although not mentioned in the news coverage, my editor Empress Eve wants me to point out that in the video of the event, Iommi can be seen seated beside his wife, Maria Sjoholm, former singer of the Swedish all-girl metal band Drain STH, who opened for Black Sabbath on the 1997 (before they were together) and 1999 Ozzfest tours. (She wants me to point this out because the Empress is a big fan of Drain STH and having seen them on the aforementioned tours, she’s sad that the talented Sjoholm went into retirement after becoming Mrs. Tony Iommi and feels that she has earned a place on her own in heavy metal history.) Here’s a shot from the event of Tony Iommi and his wife Maria Sjoholm:
Iommi also explained that his battle with lymphoma has its good days and bad, but he’s consistently getting the required treatment, which has managed to somehow exist in concert with his current tour with Sabbath, promoting their album 13, which was the band’s closest to an original lineup reunion since 1978’s Never Say Die. The current reunion features original bassist Geezer Butler and the legendary front man who started with the band and also has a dazzling solo career, Ozzy Osbourne.
And I’ll let all of you make the joke about Iommi now being the “Rock and Roll DOCTOR.”
Black Sabbath Legend Tony Iommi Collecting his Honorary Doctorate
You can watch another video of the coverage over at the BBC.