Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi Chopped Fingers And Plastic Fingertips

 FACT: An Accident at a Sheet “METAL” Factory created the Heavy Metal Sound

Frank Anthony “Tony” Iommi is an English guitarist and songwriter best known as the founding member of pioneering heavy metal band Black SabbathIommi is widely recognised as one of the most important and influential guitarists in rock music and for pioneering the mammoth riffs of heavy metal.


What most people don’t know is that after an industrial accident at the age of 17 on his last day of work in a sheet METAL factory, he lost the tips of the middle and ring finger of his right hand.  Iommi considered abandoning music, but his boss encouraged him to reconsider by playing a record by jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, who earned wide acclaim despite limited use of his fretting hand following an injury.

Tony Iommi Fingers Injury Plastic

After attempting to learn to play right-handed, Iommi strung his guitars with extra-light strings (using banjo strings, which were a lighter gauge than even the lightest guitar-strings of the time) and wore plastic covers over the two damaged fingers.  He down-tuned his strings to ease playing and bending. The changes led to a very unique style and sound that would be the essence of Black Sabbath and the birth of Heavy Metal.


He made the plastic covers himself, by melting plastic liquid-soap bottles into a ball and then using a soldering iron to make holes into this ball, putting his fingers in while the plastic was still soft enough to be shaped. He then trimmed and sanded away the excess plastic to leave himself with two thimbles, which he then covered with leather, to provide better grip on the strings.

Tony Iommi Black Sabbath Fingertips Accident Plastic

Here’s the story straight from Tony

The birth of Heavy Metal started by accident.

Black Sabbath Debut Album Cover Photo Location


  1. jason doe says:

    tony is a legend in my book and an integral badass of badasses , he is a monument for ALL musicians to look up to for his integrity and motivation to keep his passion for music alive

  2. Ryan Popovic says:

    Iommi is such an inspiration for me as a musician and as businessman. Something that 99 out of 100 people would consider a career ending accident; Iommi just puts lighter strings on his guitar, tunes them down to make them easier to play, and as a result basically creates a whole new genre of music. Talk about turning your weaknesses into a strength.

    No excuses. I love it.

Copyright © feelnumb