Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath - Tony Iommi, T.J. Lammers (2011)

Chapter 44. Susan’s Scottish sect

Ozzy wasn’t the only nearest and dearest leaving me. My marriage to Susan ended around the time I moved with the band to LA. In some ways I can understand why. Sue was left alone at this huge house while I was on tour and as soon as I came back I’d be in the studio. It must have been very lonely for her. She also saw the other guys going on holiday with their wives while I stayed behind, working in the studio. I didn’t see that I needed to look after the relationship more. With me it was all work, work, work. I got blinded by it. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, haven’t you? But because of that our relationship went astray.

She wanted a divorce and went ahead with the papers. It was a shock. I got bitter about it all and as a reaction to it I went a bit mad. I went to LA and I was going for it. I had so many girls come in that I booked them at different times: I’d have one girl come at two o’clock and then another a couple of hours later, telling her: ‘We don’t finish rehearsals till three, so if you come in at four . . .’

One time I was with this girl and I heard the buzzer going at the gate. I looked out of the window and it was this other girl. I said: ‘Quick! You got to go, it’s my wife!’

She freaked out: ‘Aah!’

I said: ‘Go across the roof and get down the wall there!’

I got her out of the window and she climbed across the roof which sloped down, so she could jump off it easy. As she was crawling along, the maid and my guitar tech were outside looking up, shaking their heads.

I gave up the Kilworth house. When I came back home from LA I moved in with my folks for a while. In the meantime, Susan joined this sect in the UK where you give your money and all your possessions away, and you move in with them and live off the land. It was really awkward. I spoke to her parents about it all and they were in shock. They said to me: ‘You’ve got to come back and live in the house.’

But I said: ‘No, I can’t. I can’t see me coming back there now.’

I had somebody value the furniture. I put what belonged to me in storage, sold some of the other stuff and gave Susan the money. She didn’t really want it, as she had moved into this sect and she’d given them all the money she was going to give them. I never understood exactly who they were, this sect, and neither did her folks.

Well after the marriage had ended, she phoned me out of the blue and said: ‘Please come and get me. I’m in trouble.’

She was up in Inverness, in Scotland. I was with a friend in a club in Birmingham and I’d had a few drinks. I panicked and said: ‘She’s having problems, I’ve got to go over there!’

Me and this friend went up in my Rolls-Royce. Because it was a long way I’d drive a hundred miles and then he’d drive the next hundred. We finally got there, all stubbly and tired and shattered, and she went: ‘Why have you come up?’

‘Because you were having problems!’

‘Oh, well, I think it’s sorted out now.’

I said: ‘You’re coming with us!’

‘No, I’m not.’

‘Yes, you are!’

One of those. She didn’t, so we got in the car and went. Drove back another 300 miles.

I saw her again just one more time, when I was in a relationship with Lita Ford. Lita was in LA while I was back home in Birmingham and Susan came to my house. She wanted to get back together. I said to her: ‘Look, I don’t feel the same way about you any more and I’ve got a girlfriend now.’

It’s hard to rekindle something like that. And that was the end of it. She moved to Australia and I haven’t seen her since.