BLACK SABBATH's TONY IOMMI Presented With Prehistoric Fossil Named After Him In Birmingham
July 6, 2023, 8 months ago
It was a case of rock meets rock as legendary Black Sabbath guitarist, Tony Iommi, was presented with a life-sized sculpture of a prehistoric fossil named after him.
Palaeontologist and heavy metal fan Mats Eriksson had previously discovered the 469 million-year-old fossil of an eel-like marine vertebrate in Russia – and had no hesitation in naming the new species Drepanoistodus Iommii after his rock hero.
And Eriksson was invited to Velvet Music Rooms on Broad Street, Birmingham, from his home in Sweden to present Tony with a life-sized model of the fossil, specially made for the occasion by sculptor Esben Horn.
Iommi said: “When I first heard about this, it was a real shock to hear that a fossil’s been named after me! I’ve had a bit of abuse from my friends about it who’ve enjoyed calling me an old fossil, but I think it’s great, a real honour. This has to be the weirdest thing that’s ever been named after me but I’m really proud of it and I wanted to thank Mats and his team in person for being such brilliant fans.”
Eriksson, who has been a fan of Black Sabbath since he was a boy, said he was thrilled by his team’s discovery of the fossil, and it was great to combine his love affairs of nature and music.
Speaking after the presentation this week, Iommi added: “It was great to meet Mats and Esben today and receive an amazing replica of the Iommi fossil."
Mike Olley, general manager of Westside BID, arranged the presentation for the rock star, who features prominently in the nearby Black Sabbath heavy metal bench, which has become a major tourist attraction in the city.
Olley said: “I’m delighted we were able to set up a meeting between Tony, Mats and Esben, and present Tony with the model of the fossil named after him. Tony is one of Birmingham’s greatest rock heroes and this is a fantastic gesture by Mats, and Esben, to honour him in this way. He is now officially an old fossil!”
Pictured from left: Mats Eriksson, Tony Iommi and Esben Horn