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© Kevin Estrada ./Retna Ltd./Corbis
“The toughest times were when everybody had left. I, like I am, would try to continue and will continue. I brought other people in to ween them into playing the way…it’s hard to get someone new in to play and make the sound the same.
"That’s very difficult because there’s only four people that played the same so whoever you’re going to bring in it’s never going to be the same. But you just continue because I’ve never wanted to say, ‘That’s it now’.
“I’ve never left – I’ve always been there. So people have come and gone. It’s a funny story with Sabbath because the amount of people who have left and come back and left and come back is amazing. I’ve played with a lot of them twice now – Ozzy came back, Ronnie left and came back, Tony Martin came back. Ian Gillan has come back in a sense with me [for the WhoCares charity single this year]. Cozy Powell was in and out, Neil Murray too.
"It’s really weird. I was glad I could still continue but there were hard times for me because I had to finance the whole thing. It was a lot of heartache trying to push through [at times].”
Total Guitar issue 223 (on sale 28 December to 27 January) features a full tab of Black Sabbath classic ‘Children Of The Grave’, as well a backing tracking, a guide to nailing the tones and the story behind the song.