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Watch side-stage footage of Tony Iommi's historic Commonwealth Games performance

Tony Iommi
(Image credit: Brill/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Tony Iommi made a memorable appearance last week at the breathtaking Commonwealth Games opening ceremony hosted at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.

It was the guitarist’s first major appearance since Black Sabbath played their final show in the band’s home city of Birmingham in 2017.

Among a dazzling display of sight and sound celebrating Birmingham's famously diverse cultural heritage, the guitar legend appeared alongside saxophonist and rapper Soweto Kinch (opens in new tab) to perform an epic interpretation of music from The Trial of the Chicago 7 soundtrack.

Fellow Brummie Ozzy Osbourne was moved to write a Facebook post about his former Black Sabbath bandmate: “Tony Iommi, I was really proud to see you tonight at the opening of the Commonwealth Games in our home town of Birmingham."

Birmingham pop legends Duran Duran also took to the stage later in the day, performing a spectacular medley of Save A Prayer, Planet Earth, Tonight United and Ordinary World.

Black Sabbath mural in Birmingham

Black Sabbath mural in Birmingham (Image credit: Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

With a billion people tuning in to watch worldwide, Iommi told Birmingham World (opens in new tab) he was “bursting with pride” to be part of the all-Brummie production.

“Representing Brum is a great honour and I’m bursting with pride to be doing it,” he enthused.

“I’ve flown the flag for Birmingham all of my life because it’s my city and it’s given me wonderful opportunities.

“I like to think that Black Sabbath helped to put Birmingham on the map musically, and it’s great now that the Games ceremony will feature so many talented people from the city.

“It means a hell of a lot to me.”

Gibson Tony Iommi SG Special

(Image credit: Gibson)

Last year, Gibson launched their Artist series Tony Iommi SG Special, following the limited run of 50 Custom Shop “Monkey” replicas in 2020.

While Iommi's latest signature electric guitar model does not include certain appointments found on the original/Custom Shop replica (such as a zero fret, John Birch pickups, and hand-aged finishing) all the essential elements are present.

These include a mahogany body and neck with a bound rosewood fingerboard, a fully adjustable bridge, chrome-covered P-90 pickups, and ‘witch hat’ knobs.

Browse the Black Sabbath catalogue here (opens in new tab).

Rod Brakes
Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World (opens in new tab)Guitar Player (opens in new tab) and MusicRadar (opens in new tab) in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.