Birmingham heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne has shared the stage with some great guitarists throughout his long career, but Jeff Hibbard can lay claim as being one of the first.
Back in 1967 a group called 'The Approach' was formed in Aston, Birmingham where they practised in a church cellar. It's not clear who all the members were, but guitarist Jeff Hibbard will never forget the singer John Osbourne who was known by his friends as "Ozzy". Many hours were spent in the cold cellar rehearsing songs, but who would have guessed that the young vocalist belting out renditions of songs like 'Knock On Wood' and 'Midnight Hour' would in a few short years become the voice of Black Sabbath - the group that virtually invented the style of "Heavy Metal" music as we know it today.
Jeff still plays guitar and lives in Birmingham. As well as song writing, his other talents include writing poetry and painting. He has taken time to answer some questions I had asked him about those early days as guitarist for The Approach and has also contributed to the Black Sabbath page of the Brumbeat website. Although The Approach was relatively short-lived and did not make any records, they were certainly significant in Brumbeat history as being one of Ozzy Osbourne's first groups.
For an in-depth account of those early days and what it was like to have been a member of The Approach, you can check out Jeff's own website at: http://sites.google.com/site/ozzstory1/