The Unlikely Connection between Black Sabbath and Quentin Tarantino

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath is a rock band that gave birth to heavy metal music thanks to Tony Iommi’s persistence in playing the guitar despite losing his fingers in a factory accident. The band achieved massive success, but most people don’t know that the band was not initially called Black Sabbath; it kept changing its name until it settled on Black Sabbath. The reason for the change resulted in an unlikely connection between Black Sabbath and Quentin Tarantino. As lovers of horror films, the rock band members and the filmmakers are intertwined by one horror film titled “Black Sabbath,” so let’s tell you more about this connection.

Black Sabbath Gets Its Name

Grunge described the events leading up to the band getting its current name. According to the article, four friends, namely Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward, and Geezer Butler, were ready to create their band. Without much creativity back then, the only name they could come up with for the band was The Polka Tulk Blues Band.

Osbourne suggested it after spotting his mother’s talcum powder in the bathroom. They later changed it to Earth Blues Company after figuring that the moniker sounded like pizza eatery’s birthday singers. Still, Earth Blues Company was quite a mouthful, so they went for Earth, which they had to change after realizing another band already was going by that name. Luckily, they did not search for long because Butler’s psychic visions helped them settle on a new name. According to Loudersound, Butler had always had psychic visions as a child. He revealed the dreams were mainly because of what he read. Since the Bible’s teachings were drummed into his head at school, he was curious about the astral plane and Satan; thus, orbs appeared to him.

One night in 1969, Osbourne spotted a weird creature on the foot of his bed. It was a scary experience that stuck to his head, so he shared it with his bandmates. They also were fascinated; so much that when Osbourne decided to write lyrics for the next song, he wrote “what’s this thing that stands before me,” as the opening lyrics, which most have said sounds like a horror film. By then, they had watched the 1963 film “Black Sabbath,” which inspired the song’s title. Without a name to their band, the four band members also chose to name the band Black Sabbath, which they reasoned would also help to set them apart from the other bands. Butler later explained that they needed to attract some mystery to them, and there was no better way than going with the moniker. Therefore without the film, Black Sabbath would probably not be where they are today.

Quentin Tarantino is Inspired

The rock band members are not the only people to be inspired by the horror film. According to Far Out Magazine, it inspired Tarantino and Roger Avary to write the script for “Pulp Fiction.” The movie, “Black Sabbath” was divided into three stories that Boris Karloff introduced; the first is “The Telephone,” the second is “The Wurdalak,” and the third is “The Drop of Water.” It was released originally in Italian but then changed to have English version to make it more appealing to the American audience. Unfortunately, it didn’t achieve the success the producers anticipated. Despite the failure, Tarantino marveled at the work of Mario Bava, the film’s director, and was determined to create a similar movie in the crime genre. He also wanted his film “Pulp Fiction” to be split into three as Bava’s, with each story being directed by different people. However, the success that Tarantino hoped for did not come easy. According to Vanity Fair, Danny DeVito, who had a first-look deal with TriStar, and Mike Medavoy, former TriStar chairman, loved the script. However, TriStar did not want to be involved in making the movie.

While all the major studios passed, Miramax took a chance at the upcoming film director. Harvey Weinstein read the first few pages of the 159-page script and loved the first scene. He was, however, disappointed when the main character died in the middle of the script. Still, Richard Gladstein, the then Vice President of Production at Miramax, encouraged him to read on, and by the time he was through, Weinstein was sure that “Pulp Fiction” was going to be a hit. It ended up grossing $213 million at the box office and earning Tarantino an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Unfortunately, his plan to split it into three stories seemed not to bear fruits. According to IndieWire, Tarantino wanted to have a follow-up prequel titled “Double V Vega.” He even had detailed out the premise which would occur in Amsterdam. His plans never went beyond that, and since the main characters are now much older, “Pulp Fiction” prequel has been ruled out. Still, Tarantino has to thank “Black Sabbath” for instilling in him the idea of a film that became the first independent movie to gross over $200 million.

Connection Goes beyond the Creative Inspiration

Besides their connection to the “Black Sabbath” film, the rock band and the film director are connected in other ways, such as their desperate attempts to succeed. According to BBC, Iommi and Butler had to work in factories. On the other hand, Ward delivered coal while Osbourne turned to burglary after working in a car factory and slaughterhouse. The only thing the four teenagers used as a creative outlet was music to forget their rough life. Their need to blow off steam resulted in a band that pioneered heavy metal. Tarantino did not have it easy either. He had dropped out of school, and his only comfort was in movies since he worked in a video store. The films gave him ideas to start writing scripts for his own films, which never attracted any production houses. The feedback he received was that the scripts were too violent, vulgar, or vile, but he never stopped looking for ways to be a filmmaker. His efforts finally paid off when he decided to recycle stories of movies he had watched; hence “Pulp Fiction” came to be.

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