This Saturday (March 14) at the Blue Note in Harrison, Ohio sees the return of Supertzar: An Evening of Black Sabbath, a tribute to the Hard Rock pioneers that features some veteran local musicians and a very special guest — legendary drummer Vinny Appice, a former member of Black Sabbath who appeared on the band's classic Ronnie James Dio-era album Mob Rules.
Appice was also the founding drummer of Dio, the band Ronnie James and he formed after leaving Black Sabbath in 1982. Prior to that, he'd worked with Rick Derringer and, when he was only 16, John Lennon. Over the years, Appice has worked on numerous projects with some of the biggest names in Rock, including with Sabbath/Dio offshoots Heaven and Hell and Last in Line, as well as Kill Devil Hill, a band he co-founded with former Pantera bassist Rex Brown.
The "Supertzar: An Evening of Black Sabbath" shows are the brainchild of veteran Cincinnati musician Mike Carr, aka the one-man Rock show One Man Electrical Band.
Carr, who has been a consistent presence on the local club front for 16 years, has fostered a working relationship with Appice over the past several years. Initially, Carr contacted Appice to see if he'd be interested in recording a song with him, an original OMEB tune called "Dark Things."
"About 4 years ago I had an idea that I wanted to see if I could find anyone 'famous' to record a song with me," Carr says. "My first thought was Vinny Appice as Black Sabbath was the main reason I picked up a guitar. I shot Vinny an email on his website and he asked to hear the song. He responded positively and named his price."
The sessions (produced by Sefi Carmel in London at Soundtrack Creation Studios) worked out so well, Carr — along with his bassist/partner in the project, Steve Stratton — ended up doing a few more tracks with Appice, including a cover of the Ozzy-era Sabbath song "Symptom of the Universe" and another original, "Sign of the Times."
While working with Appice, Carr and Stratton revisited an idea they had previously about doing a Black Sabbath tribute show.
"Supertzar was an idea that I approached Steve about a few years before," Carr says. "He was interested but initially there wasn't much interest from the clubs. So I was surprised when Bogart's approached me about doing Supertzar. I floated the idea to Bogart's about bringing Vinny here first and they were on board. So I sent him an email expecting to get shot down… He responded by asking me to send him live videos of me playing. About a day later he responded with a price. Bogart's agreed and the rest is history."
This Saturday, Appice, Carr and Stratton — as well as Aaron Thomas (who will handle the Dio-era vocals) and special guest Chris Walz — will present the third Supertzar show. The first two events left such an impression, Supertzar placed second in last year's Best of Cincinnati poll in the Best Local Band (Covers) category.
Doors for Saturday's show open at 6 p.m. Judas Priest tribute Rapid Fire and Russell Jinkens XL will also perform. Tickets are $15-$25 in advance via cincyticket.com. Special "meet and greet" tickets are also available.
"Even if I weren't involved," Carr says, "it's really cool that a drummer who has played with John Lennon, Black Sabbath and Ronnie James Dio is coming here to play with local musicians."
While Appice is in town, he'll also be hosting a "Masterclass" session at the School of Rock in Mason. The drummer will talk about his experiences in music and jam with students from the School. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 day of show. (School of Rock students can get tickets for $5.) The session begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13.