Heavy rock legends Black Sabbath's first tour of the U.S. almost didn't happen - the naive group's gear blew up because the bandmates didn't realize "the electricity was different". The "Paranoid" hitmakers were superstars in Europe and were shocked to learn they were expected to play club venues when they arrived in New York for their first American shows.
And shock turned to dismay when Ozzy Osbourne and his band realized they were ill-equipped for the shows. Drummer Bill Ward recalls, "The PAs (public announcement system) and the equipment that we brought was totally unsuitable for America."
Bandmate Geezer Butler adds, "We didn't know that there was different electricity." And guitarist Tony Iommi remembers, "We played at the worst dump. We plugged the gear in and it all blew up."
Butler states, "We had to borrow stuff for that night and we did the set and there was completely no response. Then we found out later we were auditioning for all the promoters and agents in America. We were wondering why the audience looked so weird to us with suits and short hair."
But they passed the audition with flying colours and went on to extend the tour and become a big hit among American rock crowds. Butler adds, "From there it spread like wildfire. We were only supposed to be in America for two weeks and it ended up like three months." The band's recollections feature on new DVD documentary "Paranoid".