Artist News

Plans to build Black Sabbath bridge and bench in Birmingham unveiled

By | Published on Thursday 15 November 2018

Black Sabbath

A plan is afoot to pay tribute to Black Sabbath in their hometown of Birmingham with a bridge and a bench, plus the addition of one more band member to a nearby Hollywood-style walk of fame that honours local celebs.

According to The Birmingham Mail, the proposals are being put forward by the Westside Business Improvement District organisation in the city. The plans would see a new bridge named for the band built over the canal on Broad Street, with an accompanying metal bench constructed by craftsman in Birmingham’s Jewellery District nearby.

The original idea came from Egyptian architect Mohammed Osama, a lifelong fan of the band, and now friend of bassist Geezer Butler. He told the Birmingham Mail: “My vision is to reunite the four original members for the unveiling of the stars and ‘Metal Bench’ – the crowning jewel of the whole project. I mean just reunite them together at their hometown, no gigs or anything. Just the four of them being celebrated together at their hometown would be the best ending and closure I could possibly think of”.

The band already played a farewell concert in Birmingham last year. However, drummer Bill Ward was not involved in the show or the preceding tour, following a dispute over his contract. For many, including Osama, apparently, this left the whole thing feeling somewhat unfinished.

“For them on a personal level and for their fans all around the globe, the ‘Metal Bench’ aims to be a major tribute to the band and, at the same time, create a major tourist landmark on Broad Street”, Osama goes on.

With that in mind, he adds, “the bull statue at [Birmingham’s] Bullring [shopping centre] is one of the most photographed sculptures in England. We hope this new bench would rival that”. Which is a fine ambition, though, while I’m sure it’ll be a very nice bench, calling it a sculpture might be a step too far.

Broad Street already has a Black Sabbath themed tourist attraction, in the form of its Walk Of Stars. Ozzy Osbourne was the first person to receive one of those stars back in 2007, with Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi following. The final proposal for the project is that Ward receive his pavement star too. All four stars would then be relocated so that they were situated in front of the bench.

“If we get approval, all of the stars will be rearranged and the bridge itself will also be named after the band”, says Osama. “The band members and their managements have been in the loop as well”.

Birmingham City Council has not yet commented, although councillors are currently working on the city’s 2019 budget, so we may hear more news soon.