‘Humble and obedient’ Birmingham MPs call on Queen to give Brummie rock honors
Birmingham MPs and the Leader of the City Council have written to the Queen asking her to pay tribute to the Black Sabbath after their surprise performance at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.
In a letter to the Queen published today (Friday), Perry Barr MP Khalid Mahmood said: ”Despite all their global fame, they have retained close ties to Birmingham, as evidenced by their surprise performance at the of the Closing Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. “
“I appreciate that this request falls outside of the normal procedures for seeking royal honours. However, we believe this extraordinary occasion deserves extraordinary recognition from this extraordinary group of musicians.
“We therefore seek Your Majesty’s direct intervention and support in recognizing the great contribution of these fine and innovative musicians, who were created in Birmingham and who, once again, have not only entertained Birmingham, the Kingdom United and the whole of the Commonwealth, but perhaps the world.”
Co-signing the letter were Northfield MP Gary Sambrook (who had been misspelled Sandbrook), Edgbaston MP Preet Gill, Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell, Yardley MP Jess Phillips, Hodge Hill MP Liam Bryne, MP for Ladywood Shabeena Mahmood, Leader of Birmingham City Council Councilor Ian Ward and Deputy Leader Councilor Brigid Jones.
The letter ends thus: “We have the honor to be, Madam, the humble and obedient servants of Your Majesty.
At their pomp, Black Sabbath was anything but humble and obedient. Formed in 1968 in Aston by guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, the band rose to fame selling millions of records in the early 1970s.
When they took up residence in one of the world’s most expensive hotels in Beverley Hill, Los Angeles, they ignored the expensive wines and spirits on offer and imported barrels of Mild from Birmingham at great expense.
They also did more than just do drugs, their autobiographies revealed they snorted huge amounts of cocaine as they prepared for their fourth album.
The band first fired Ozzy Osbourne in 1979 and, to the surprise of many in the music industry, with the help of legendary music mogul Don Arden’s daughter, Sharon, Ozzy became a superstar.
He sold tens of millions of records in America under his new Prince of Darkness persona, but also became infamous for biting off the head of a bat on stage and being arrested for peeing outside the national monument. American The Alamo.
In 2002, Ozzy and Sharon, along with children Jack and Kelly, became world stars when MTV’s reality show The Osbournes became one of the biggest TV shows of the decade.
Ozzy should be able to count on the support of the future King of England and another Villa fan. The heir to the throne was visibly delighted when Ozzy took the stage at the Queen’s Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace in 2002.
Black Sabbath reformed to perform a series of tours and began to be applauded for their success and longevity.
They have a star on the Birmingham Walk of Stars and a special bench has been unveiled on Broad Street where fans can pose for selfies with the band. Ozzy was back in Birmingham in 2016 to unveil a brand new tram called Ozzy Osbourne which is still running on the Midlands Underground network.
Black Sabbath fan Kelly Hughes of Perry Barr would be ‘disgusted’ if the band accepted Queen’s honours.
She said: “I would like to think they would tell the government or the Queen to take any honor and push it.
“Tony Iommi single-handedly started heavy metal, Geezer is a geezer, Bill was a brilliant drummer and Ozzy Osbourne is the best ambassador Birmingham could have, so Black Sabbath doesn’t need a pat on the back from the establishment to prove anything. The Birmingham factories they spun out of in the 1960s and 1970s couldn’t be further from Buckingham Palace.”
She added: “As far as we know they may have been offered one before and turned it down like David Bowie, Keith Richards, MBEs and OBEs aren’t very rock n roll, are they? right? Another local boy, Benjamin Zephaniah, also turned them down.”
Poet and author Benjamin Zephaniah grew up on Broadway a few hundred yards from Ozzy Osbourne’s family home on Lodge Road, Aston, turned down an OBE from Tony Blair’s government because he was “anti-Empire”.