First, happy birthday to Tony Iommi, born on February 19, 1948 in Birmingham, England.

A couple of weeks ago Tony decided that it was totally uncool for scalpers to exist and decided to take some action.

As reported at

Tony Iommi and Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood have backed a campaign to change UK laws over secondary ticket sales.

What used to be a few people outside venues selling tickets at marked-up prices has morphed into 'botnets', which buy up to tens of thousands of tickets seconds after they’ve gone on sale, so genuine fans are unable to buy at regular prices.

Tony is offering whatever support he can by sharing links to help end the practice in the UK.

In the meantime, Tony told Guitar Player about his being called the inventor of heavy metal: "I think it was the dramatics of it all. I used to listen to the old classical stuff with the dynamics in the music, and I wanted that sort of dynamics in what we were doing-something that was really dramatic and big. And that's what I tried to achieve guitar-wise.

I wanted to make this big, powerful thing come over you-like what happens when you go and see a horror film. I wanted to create a huge sound that was really horrific in some ways."

As far as his well-deserved reputation as a dark riff-master, he says this:

"What I generally do is go into my studio for an hour or I might go in for ten minutes and just start playing some riffs and put them down. So I might do that for a few days and then I'll start listening to them with a more critical ear…. What makes a great riff, for me, is tension, drama and dynamics, but also you'll get some up-tempo stuff where you've got to create a different dynamic.

With the heavier, slower stuff, it's pretty easy for me to put in the dynamics. But sometimes the up-tempo stuff is a little bit more challenging."

Happy birthday, Lord of Riffs!