An Antipodean murder mystery - Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath - Tony Iommi, T.J. Lammers

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

Chapter 23. An Antipodean murder mystery

In January 1971 we flew to Adelaide to headline the Myponga Open Air Festival. We were lured into doing this by the promoter, who said: ‘Why don’t you come and stay for a week’s holiday? All expenses paid!’

Really great for us. We got there and he turned out to be a very generous host. He said to us: ‘While you’re here: whatever you want.’

We wanted! Caviar and champagne, it was over the top. There were four limousines at our disposal and on top of that he gave each of us a brand new car. He said: ‘For you to use in case you want to drive anywhere yourselves and have a look around.’

The wrong thing to do. We decided to go down to the beach to have a race along the water’s edge. One of the cars got stuck. I tried to tow it out and I got stuck.

‘Ah, fuck!’

Then the tide came in. As the water got closer, we started to panic. We got these oars off this bloke’s boat and we were trying to get them under the wheels. ‘Kchch!’ Broke both his oars. No matter what we did, the cars couldn’t be moved. We watched helplessly as, finally, the water covered both cars. I phoned the promoter up and told him what had happened. He took it in his stride and sent a truck to tow them out. Of course the cars were completely knackered.

In the run-up to the festival I did some radio interviews and at one of them I said: ‘Oh, we’re very lonely, we could do with some women here.’

Live, on air. And what happened? Loads of girls turned up at the hotel. Me and Patrick Meehan ended up with this one girl in our room and then … she passed out.

Meehan went: ‘She’s dead!’

Oh, fucking hell! I thought, Christ, she’s dead. She’s dead!

I could see the headlines: ‘Girl found dead in hotel room with two guys’. I just thought, they’ll think it’s us!

Meehan went: ‘We got to get rid of her! We got to get rid of her!’

His idea was to throw her off the balcony and say that she had fallen off it. We were really high up. The thought of it now is absolutely frightening, but in my panic I went along with it. We got her to the balcony, we were trying to pick her up and then … she came round.

‘Bloody hell, she’s alive!’

She was probably high on drugs, but, we could quite easily have just tossed her off of there and I would have become a twenty-two-year-old murderer.

‘But your honour, she was dead already!’

I bet that girl doesn’t even know what happened. I’ll probably be arrested now. She will read this book and come out of the woodwork: ‘Yes, there he is!’

‘It was Meehan! It was Meehan!’

Such a shame, really. It was a big festival, everything there went great and the promoter looked after us like you wouldn’t believe. We later heard he went bust.

I wonder why …