This is a very interesting video of Black Sabbath that popped up on YouTube yesterday. It comes from German TV, but it’s cut together in such a way that it’s hard to tell what the original presentation was supposed to be. What is very clear is that the TV show presenting the footage is stridently annoyed at the high fees that rock bands are charging for their gigs, explicitly blaming the venue managers in defense of the penniless “youths” who have to pay the high concert ticket prices.
The video artlessly mashes together two performances, the first apparently a show Sabbath played at the Rock Circus in Frankfurt on June 21, 1970 (according to the annoying on-screen text, they were paid 4,000 Deutschmarks, roughly $1,100 in 1970 dollars). According to the text, the average fee for a Black Sabbath show, after starting the year “namenlos” (nameless, anonymous), was 7,000DM, or nearly $2,000. The text also points out that British and American groups received 50% more when playing in Europe. In that footage we can see a big chunk of “War Pigs” being played with its original lyrics, from when the song was still called “Walpurgis.” According to Wikipedia, Paranoid was recorded from June 16 to 21, 1970, the last day of which, you’ll notice, is the same day as the date given for the Frankfurt gig, so something is amiss there. If Ozzy was still using the old lyrics, then perhaps this was recorded earlier than that, and possibly this footage isn’t from a German gig at all. It’s a bit of a puzzle.
In the second clip, Sabbath plays “Iron Man” at a concert in which they are amusingly seen inside a boxing ring. Over that footage, we see the average fees that various bands receive (“GINGER BAKER’S AIRFORCE, 25.000.-” for a show on the island of Fehmarn, off the coast of Germany, etc.). That show is pretty clearly piping in the studio track for the audio.
Whatever this ridiculous TV show was, it bears some resemblance to this German video of the Welsh prog band Man, which also dates from 1970. I suspect it was the same show, and the videos got separated somehow. If you wait until the 9:55 mark of that video, you’ll see that the typeface is the same, in that portion of the video at least, and the spoken text is full of lighthearted witticisms like “Are we such good consumers, are we so jaded that we don’t notice who is trying to make money here?” etc etc.