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Mojo Magazine (December 1994): Ian Gillan, you briefly joined Black Sabbath in 1983, tell us about the infamous Born Again tour that provided such valuable inspiration for Spinal Tap?
Ian Gillan: We were up at a company called LSD (Light and Sound Design) in Birmingham, and the lighting engineer asked if anyone had any ideas for a stage set. Geezer Butler suggested Stonehenge. "How do you envisage it, Geezer?" asked the engineer. "Life size, of course," replied Geezer. So they built a life-size Stonehenge. We hired the Birmingham NEC to rehearse in and they couldn't get these bloody things in there. We opened in Montreal and Don Arden had hired Maple Leaf ice hockey stadium for a week, so they shipped the set over there and could still only get a few of those damn stones up, one each side of the stage, one behind the drums and two cross-pieces. The album was called Born Again and had the most vile cover I've ever seen, a new-born baby painted red with yellow finger nails and two little yellow horns sticking out of his head.
Now, I've not been able to remember a single word of any of the Sabbath songs, I don't know why but they won't go into my head. So I did myself a prompt book and wrote out the first lines of each song. I don't normally use monitors but I had two wedges put at the front of the stage just to hide my book, and I'd practices turning the pages with my foot at home in the kitchen. No problem. On the last day of the rehearsal we're wondering what this dwarf is doing hanging around backstage. When we do the dress rehearsal the dwarf emerges in a red leotard, long yellow finger nails and little yellow horns. He's going to be the baby.
Then we hear this horrendous screaming sound — they've recorded a baby's scream and flanged it—and suddenly; we see this dwarf crawling across the top of Stonehenge, then he stands up as the baby's scream fades away and falls backwards off this 30 foot fibreglass replica of Stonehenge onto a big pile of mattresses. Then dong, dong — bells start toiling and all the roadies come across the front of the stage in monk's cowls, at which point War Pigs starts up. By now we can see the kids are either in stitches or wincing in horror.
After spending 40 grand a day to achieve all this, someone had economised by not actually trying out the dry ice in the afternoon run through. So as I stride confidently towards my prompt book, not even knowing the first word of the song, I'm suddenly shocked to see a chest-high cloud of dry ice is berating me to the front of the stage. So there I am after this big opening, kneeling down, swatting the air and trying to read me line, popping my head above this cloud every now and then. Someone shouted "It's Ronnie Dio!"

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