The roots of legendary band Black Sabbath are revealed in artefacts expected to raise thousands of pounds when they go to auction next month.
As Ozzy Osbourne’s band continue their final world tour, a collection of early and pre-Black Sabbath memorabilia, including postcards from John Osbourne, as he was then known, to his parents in Aston, Birmingham are revealed for the first time.
Written when Ozzy was in the band Earth, the precursor to Black Sabbath, one postcard remarks how on a trip to Hamburg he had noticed a number of local attractions.
He wrote: “There are thousands of strip clubs all over the place, I have met a rather nice German girl here [sic] name is Sylvia.
“We are going down rather well at the Star Club, incidentally it is the same club that the Beatles first made D BIG TIME.”
All the artefacts date from between 1968 to 1973 and include Earth publicity posters, flyers, handwritten song lyrics, photos and the postcards. Others were also sent to his ex-wife Thelma.
They will be sold at Sheffield Auction Gallery on September 30.
Another sent from Florida includes: “Dear Mom + Dad. Going down well at gigs, whether [sic] is great and everybody is sun taned [sic]...We are getting two gold discs at the end of the tour.”
Specialist music valuer and auctioneer at the Gallery Stephen Flintoft said: “It is discoveries like this that make my job so fulfilling.
“Perhaps the most interesting item among so many is the handwritten lyrics headed by Earth to the song Changing Phases, a title later changed to Solitude, which featured on the 1971 double platinum Black Sabbath album Master of Reality.
“It is perhaps ironic as Black Sabbath bring their career to an end, the story goes full circle and artefacts from their very beginning come to light.”
Black Sabbath, which is a name taken from a Boris Karloff horror film, was formed in 1969 and has sold 100 million records worldwide.
The treasures were found by a Sheffield resident in the 1980s when the old London Docklands were demolished.
The auctioneers said they are braced for international interest when they are auctioned off. Ozzy Osbourne was greeted by hundreds of fans young and old as he opened a tram named in his honour in Birmingham in May this year. The so-called Prince of Darkness came home to see a new Midland Metro tram named in his honour.
The ceremony took place outside New Look in Corporation Street where a new stop has recently been installed. He said: “It’s good to be here, thank you very much. Being with Sabbath has been an incredible journey.”