Putting the fans centre stage

Jaz Singh a lifelong Sabbath fan with Bill, one of our Home of Metal volunteers

Now that the The End really has come to an end Home of Metal has moved on to the next stage of developing the exhibition. We met and talked to so many amazing Black Sabbath fans at the live dates earlier this year and, along with the fan portraits, we want to keep a record of as many as we can. We want to find out what makes a Black Sabbath fan tick, why they love the band, what it means to them knowing they’ll never again see them play live and how their lives have been shaped by the Brummie pioneers of heavy metal.

Black Sabbath fans come from all walks of life; we met fans from all over the world, dedicated people, young and old, who sometimes travelled thousands of miles to see Black Sabbath play their last shows and become part of musical history. Every night we witnessed a vibrant mix of people come together to celebrate Black Sabbath’s legacy. We want to show that heavy metal is not reserved only for the white middle class man, as the media often portrays; it’s important to and loved by women and men from all cultures and classes.

Dez travelled all the way from Cumbria to talk to us about his passion for Black Sabbath

We called out to the Black Sabbath fans and asked for their stories, their memories and experiences of being a fan. On March 25th we held an event at Birmingham City University and interviewed fans. People travelled from all over the UK (including Birmingham of course!) and we spoke to people via Skype from across Europe, Dubai and even South America.

Our aim is to create an audio archive of the fans talking about their lives as Black Sabbath fans, their personal history with the band and memories of gigs, listening to the records and collecting memorabilia. We even had one eight month old Black Sabbath fan accompany her dad to his interview!

We heard some really moving and funny stories and we are in the process of editing the material and creating clips to be used in the exhibition and elsewhere to let the world hear the fans’ voices.

The Home of Metal volunteers did an incredible job conducting the interviews and a huge thanks to BCU for their support on the day and to Laney, Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England for supporting our work. Keep your eyes peeled on the Home of Metal social media channels as we will be holding another session on the 4th May at Parkside , BCU in Birmingham as we had so much interest from people wanting to participate. So, if you think your Black Sabbath story is worth hearing then get in touch and tell us all about it and your story might form part of the permanent Home of Metal collection in the future.