On the Sinister Majesty of Black Sabbath

When Black Sabbath first attempted to tour America in 1970, they had a Hell of a time. “We had to face the mayor of [every] town,” drummer Bill Ward once recalled. “We were banned all the time. They were afraid of us. They thought we were going to put a spell on you.”

Although Mick Jagger and Sammy Davis, Jr. had already publicly flirted with satanism, Black Sabbath — whose members all wore crosses to ward off evil — were much too scary for the United States. Their self-titled debut album sported a witchy woman on its cover,
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