Black Sabbath Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
By Laura Lee Flanagan

Most lovers of Black Sabbath discovered them during their teens, loved them through their twenties, and stayed loyal forever after that. I found Sabbath later in life.

Of course I’ve been cursorily familiar with the music for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, as a human I became musically conscious at a time when Ozzy Osbourne had huge teased hair, thick black eyeliner, and was being “Shot in the Dark” — not an auspicious introduction to the man most notably connected to Sabbath.

Fast forward.

My husband is really responsible for properly introducing me to the wonders of Black Sabbath. A musician himself, he has all the original Ozzy-era albums, signed by all the original band members — Bill, geezer, Tony and Ozzy — and is the official domestic DJ in our house. Without his morning-music-musings, I would never have understood why they are so extraordinary…and how much bigger than Osborne they are.

And just like that, as I have come to love them, in 2016 the world will say goodbye to Black Sabbath. At the end of February, New York will send them off at the Garden.

In the midst of the juggernaut of impassioned fans and die-hard devotees, The Global Black Sabbath Convention will celebrate Sabbath in all of its iterations, and then carry the torch for the scores of uninitiated who will love the music well into the future.

The Global Black Sabbath Convention is refreshingly unlike other “fan clubs.” In fact, all it shares is a membership that is completely passionate about the band.

Founders David T. Davis and Ben Fahl started using Facebook back when the album 13 was released. They used social media as an experiment to see if they could bring the Black Sabbath fan-family together, instead of wasting time arguing about what the best line-up was, as so many other fan sites seem to do. David and Ben set out to celebrate every aspect of the band and all of its members over the years; a genuinely ecumenical Sabbath fan site!

They don’t discriminate, either. Their goal in NYC and beyond this year is to “keep the music alive and keep the fans together so the music is honored.” Because “after the tour is over [they’re] not going anywhere,” according to Ben and David.

And maybe they will be the Masters of (a new) Reality post Sabbath. Musing about the fresh sound of the first Sabbath album even to this day, the GBSC is looking only to create and foster a community in a more and more digitally divided world. They want to “make real” the experience of Sabbath by bringing the fans together physically, all over the world to celebrate the music they all cherish.

It’s refreshing in its mission and its medium, using social media to actually gather (living breathing) humans together. Wow, novel. Seems simple, but they are the ones making it happen and the fans, thousands of them all over the world, love it.

To bid adieu, the GBSC will host Into the Void — noted as being the best Black Sabbath tribute band out there, Bible Black NYC with the legendary Denise Mercedes (a New York Natives feature story and guest contributor), and Phil Jakes, acoustic finger style master. Renowned metal music journalist Martin Popoff will be a special guest in attendance.


The Global Black Sabbath Convention

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Slake Concert Hall

251 West 30th Street

Tickets: General admission $20 (18yrs+)