Back when heavy metal was first coming together in the sixties, it was very difficult to get amps that could get heavy distortion unless you cranked them up to oblivion.
We didn’t have tons of “high gain” amps back then, or tons of different varieties of distortion pedals at every music store then, and the music had to show the way.
Guitar players like Tony Iommi, who practically invented metal with Black Sabbath, would often get incredibly frustrated trying to explain the sound they wanted to gear manufacturers back in the day, but eventually through a lot of trial and error, metal helped gear progress, and vice versa.
The original line up of Black Sabbath is going to tour this year after completing a new album with Rick Rubin producing, even though Iommi’s been sidelined with health problems as he’s battling lymphoma. Still, he’s never been a quitter, in fact he kept pushing forward as a guitarist after he lost the tips of two of his fingers in an machine shop accident.
While metal fans everywhere wait for Tony to get better, a signature amp from Laney has been unveiled. Laney is a company from Birmingham, England, where Sabbath are from, and Iommi’s primarily used them for most of his career even though a lot of metal bands use Marshalls. Laneys, and a lot of volume, have been a big key to Iommi’s sound (he plays through eight stacks on stage), and metalheads everywhere will be sure to try out Tony’s signature amp once it’s available in music stores everywhere.
Much like the sports industry, gear companies everywhere often battle for the hottest guitarists to use their gear. Through the custom division at Gibson, you can get a Tony Iommi signature guitar, and with Laney’s Iommi signature amp coming to a music store near you, you may not be able to recreate the magic of the OG metal master exactly, but you should have enormous fun blowing out the neighbors with it. Personally, I can’t wait to play Paranoid and Iron Man through it myself.