(Classic Rock) The Birmingham pub where Black Sabbath began has been sold to developers - and the landlady has been ordered to get out by next Monday. The Crown played host to the fledgling outfit when they were still known as Earth, and long before they became one of the biggest bands on the planet.
Plans to turn it into a permanent museum while still operating as a cafe, pub and club had been discussed for some time. But now owners Admiral Taverns have sold the premises to a Japanese firm - and licensee Collen Andrews, who took over nine months ago, has been given her marching orders.
Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has spoken of his regret at the sale, saying: "The Crown was hugely important to the Black Sabbath story," he says. "It was where we cut our musical teeth as a blues band."
Iommi continues, "The Crown is also one of the grand old buildings of Birmingham. It may have seen better days, but I would have thought it was important for the city to preserve the heritage that is all too quickly disappearing from our streets.
"It is a matter of concern, too, that music pubs are getting thin on the ground. Back in the 60s and 70s these were the places where today's big groups started out. Where are the opportunities for new bands to get their act together?"
Jim Simpson, Sabbath's first manager, says: "The Crown was the birthplace of the band, where Ozzy Osbourne faced a crowd for the first time." more.