THE ARCHIVE: Black Sabbath/Earth gig flyer 1st August 1969

This gig was just after Sabbath returned from a trip to Hamburg. When the gig was booked they were called Earth. Some sources state that the decision to change the name was taken on the boat on the way over to Germany. This flyer was obtained from Norman Hood who booked the gig. His main memory of the evening is that the band announced from the stage that they had changed their name to Black Sabbath, Tony played a 25 minute solo and that it was one of the loudest nights Lichfield had experienced since the Civil War. The Pokey Hole moved from pub to pub in Lichfield as landlords complained about the noise – Sabbath/Earth played at all the venues.

The flyer mentions the first LP but this is probably a reference to some demos recorded at Zella Studios, 32 Bristol Street, Birmingham as this gig predates the Regent Sound, Denmark Street, London sessions which became VO6 by some months.

Geezer and Tony also remember gigs at The Pokey Hole. In the BBC Rock Family Trees programme Sabbath Bloody Sabbath they talk about how The Pokey Hole was the venue where they played the song Black Sabbath for the very first time.

Tony: “…so we threw in this new song.”

Geezer: “We finished the song and it went nuts, the whole place just went nuts. Before it was always apathy and then we did this song ‘Black Sabbath’ and it just went absolutely mad. People going ‘What the hell was that that you played?’ And we realised that we were on to something.”

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4 comments on “Black Sabbath/Earth gig flyer 1st August 1969

  1. Rob HorrocksGrindi

    Wow, in awe really. So this was in essence the very FIRST Sabbath gig under that name. Timing sounds about right. Think I’m off on a pilgrimage to Frog Lane, Lichfield, tomorrow!

  2. Rob HorrocksBig Bear Music

    There will be a live pre-gig talk at the Crown (Station Street) on Friday 6th July 2012 as part of this years Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival. The talk will be called “Remembering Henry’s” and will be hosted by Jim Simpson- Black Sabbath’s first ever manager and director here at Big Bear Music. The event is free and will be a great nostalgic trip to the old Blueshouse for Blues and Sabbath lovers alike.

    The event will commence at 6pm. Don’t miss out!

  3. Rob HorrocksNorman Hood

    Two of the original promoters of the Pokey Hole, Terry Gallagher and myself, are thinking about doing a ‘Blues Brothers’ and ‘getting the club back together again’ to mark its 45th anniversary in 2014.

    The original venues – all three of them – are now closed, but that is a minor consideration as we were always getting booted out of them anyway. We would love to hear from anyone who has memories of the club, short-lived though it was. Any info sent to me at norman@cartoonstore would be most welcome.