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Django Reinhardt – if it hadn’t been for Django, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi Would not have gone professional

Posted by The MindMusicMentor on December 21, 2009

Django Reinhardt-


If it hadn’t have been for Jazz Legend Django, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi would not have gone professional!

Imagine, no Tony Iommi.. no pioneer of heavy metal guitar riffs .. no Godfather of Modern Heavy Metal… and that could have all too easily been the case…
In 1969 the day before he was due to go professional, Tony Iommi had a freak accident –believing the doctors that told him he would no longer be able to play Guitar, it was Tony’s manager

that handed him an album by Jazz Legend Django Reinhardt; Tony was completely blown away by Django’s playing. And here’s why…

Only 2 fingers … and the fire accident

What made Django’s playing even more remarkable was that he had been in a fire in a caravan, which caused his third (ring) and little fingers to wither away – and as a result he came up with
a flowing style of lead playing while only using two fingers!

With Jazz violin player Stephane Grappelli, Django co-founded the Hot Club Du Paris quintette group – called by critics one of the most original music groups in Jazz!
Here’s the video to “Minor Swing”, one of the Hot Clubs most famous instrumentals.. this is a modern tribute from the 2008 Django Reinhardt festival… just remember when Django played the lead, he would have only used two fingers…








More about the Fire accident

The fire incident happened when Django was only 18, he had come back from a concert he had played, and knocked over the candle as he was retiring for bed – while he was pulled out alive, he had second and third degree burns to half his body – his third and fourth fingers were partially paralysed.
The doctors (like with Tony Iommi in 1969) tried to persuade Django to give up guitar – not only that but they wanted to amputate his foot!

Django refused on both counts

And one year later, at age 19 he was able to walk again with the use of a cane – and also with a lot of patience and practice developed a new guitar technique where he could play all the solos with two fingers.
His other two fingers, though paralysed – he found he could still use for some chord work.

Many modern Rock and Blues players were influenced by Django Reinhardt – Jimi Hendrix called his second group “Band of Gypsys” in honour of Django’s romany background.

Here’s Django’s version of the classic Sweet Georgia Brown :-

Django playing and documentary


The only footage found of Django actually playing in a documentary
Here’s the Video to the first part which lasts 10 minutes – showing Django Reinhardt the man who influenced many and left the whole world a legacy of Jazz Musical poetry, as well as influencing Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, the GodFather of Modern Heavy Metal to keep playing after everyone told him he couldn’t!

Til Next Time…




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