Tony Iommi recently shared via social media that his longtime manager, Ernest Chapman, has sadly passed away. The two have worked together since the late ’80s and here’s what Iommi said about the passing of his manager.
Ernest Chapman was not only the Black Sabbath guitarist’s manager, he was also a lawyer as well as Ralph Baker’s business partner according to Blabbermouth. Iommi posted this on social media about his manager of over 30 years who passed away on Jan. 15, 2022:
I’m sorry to hear that my long-term manager, and Ralph’s business partner, Ernest Chapman passed away this morning. A very successful lawyer as well as a manager, he was a rock for me in a difficult time in my career. Despite being from completely different backgrounds we really bonded. He will be sadly missed and my condolences to his wife Christie and the family.
The two met through Phil Banfield in 1987 after Iommi reached out looking for help because of issues he was having with his taxes. Chapman also managed Jeff Beck, guitarist for the Yardbirds, the Jeff Beck Group, and more. In Iommi’s autobiography, “Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath” he recalled his first encounter with Ernest Chapman, “I met up with him and the first thing Ernest said was: ‘You don’t do drugs, do you?’ I said: ‘No, No!’ ‘I don’t want anything to do with anybody doing drugs.’ ‘Oh. No, I don’t do them!’ Lying through my teeth. A really good start to the relationship.'”
The music industry is rife with stories of managers taking advantage of musicians, but it seems like Ernest Chapman kept true to his name and was well, earnest. Iommi also added in his autobiography, “I was amazed at how straight he was. We started talking about stuff and I said: ‘What about commissions?’ We had nothing signed and he just said: ‘Don’t worry about anything like that. When we’ve sorted it out, I’ll take a percentage. What do you need now?’ There was nothing in it for him except grief, but I think he liked a bit of a challenge.”
Rockers We Lost in 2021
R.I.P. to the rockers who died in 2021.