‘Paranoid on Westside’, celebrating 53 years of the seminal Black Sabbath album – Sunday 17 September at Velvet Music Rooms

Words by Ed King / Profile pic of Ozzy Osbourne by Paul Ward

On Sunday 17 September, a special celebration is being held to mark 53 years since the release of the seminal Black Sabbath album, Paranoid.

‘Paranoid on Westside’ will be a free to enter event, held at Velvet Music Rooms on Broad Street from 12 noon – with live music kicking off from 3pm.

Organised by Big Bear Music, who’s founder Jim Simpson was Black Sabbath’s original manager, the all day event will feature two bands – Bromsgrove’s ‘stadium hard rock’ four piece, Moose Jaw, and celebrated Manchester based Black Sabbath tribute act, Sabbra Cadabra.

There will also be a rock and roll jumble sale, the mind boggles, and a special Black Sabbath slide show and rare video screening – introduced by Jim Simpson, who took the heavy metal pioneers through their first three albums, whilst Birmingham gave birth to heavy metal.

As Back Sabbath frontman and vocalist, Ozzy Osbourne, told Uncut Magazine in October 2015, “We were made by Jim Simpson” – after the Midlands music man gave Sabbath, then called Polka Tulk, their first break at his renowned regular live music night, Henry’s Blueshouse.

Known for being a popular hangout for local rock musicians at the time, who came to watch and perform alongside the American blues artists booked in Birmingham by Simpson, Henry’s Blueshouse ran for two years and was frequented by bands including Led Zepplin, Jethro Tull, Judas Priest, Supertramp, Thin Lizzy, and Status Quo.

Originally held at The Crown pub on Station Street from 1968 to 1970, Henry’s Blueshouse now promotes regular gigs at Velvet Music Rooms on Broad Street in Birmingham City Centre.

Paranoid was released by Vertigo Records on 18 September 1970, the second studio album from the Birmingham born Black Sabbath, and carries now widely regarded rock anthems including ‘War Pigs’, ‘Iron Man’, and the title track ‘Paranoid’.

The album also offers Sabbath’s polemic about the Vietnam war, with ‘War Pigs’ – the album’s original title track – comparing the strategists behind the American led conflict to Satan worshippers and occult rituals.

‘Hand of Doom’ further explores the heroin addictions of many returning service men, after using the drug in conflict to numb the horrors of the Vietnam War. It was originally penned after Black Sabbath played gig for American service man on army bases in the US.

Paranoid was released by Vertigo Records in the UK and Warner Bros. in the United States and is currently ranked at No. 139 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of ‘The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time’.

Black Sabbath play ‘Paranoid’ at O2 Academy, Birmingham, in 2012

‘Paranoid on Westside’ will be held at the Velvet Music Rooms, Broad Street, Birmingham City Centre, on Sunday 17 September. Entry is free.

For further information, please phone 0121 454 7020 or email: charlie@bigbearmusic.com

For more on Velvet Music Rooms visit www.velvetmusicrooms.co.uk

For more on Big Bear Music visit www.bigbearmusic.com
For more on Henry’s Blueshouse visit www.blueshouse.bigbearmusic.com