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From Black Sabbath to Broward courtrooms

He now makes his living as a South Florida attorney, but on Friday, David Spitz will take music fans back to his previous life, when he played bass in Black Sabbath.

Spitz, nicknamed "the Beast" as a teenager in upstate New York for his animalistic bass style, was a member of Black Sabbath from 1985 to 1987. He also performed with Great White, White Lion and Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain's McBrain Damage. On Friday, his cover band War Pigs will play Nectar Lounge at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.

"Being part of Black Sabbath meant being part of the band that basically created heavy metal," Spitz says, arguing that the band innovated the ideas of distorting sounds and "chunking" bass strings shortly after forming in 1968. Spitz's time with the band didn't coincide with Ozzy Osbourne's tenure as lead singer. Osbourne left Sabbath in 1979, and didn't rejoin the band until 1997.

Now, 27 years after touring with the band, Spitz, 56, works as a personal injury attorney based in Plantation.

"I had planned on it all along, but luck and timing kept me in music," Spitz says of his law career. He moved to South Florida to be near his mother, now 86, who lives in Boca Raton. His brother, former Anthrax lead guitarist Dan Spitz, lives in Lake Worth.

David Spitz graduated from Nova Southeastern University's law school in 1999. Noting that sidemen don't make big bucks, he says he took out federal loans to pay for his education.

"It's an old saying, but it's true. People always get down on lawyers, until they need one," he says. "Law is what makes our civilization and our country work. Without laws, we would be cavemen."

Spitz also cut his hair.

"But court is just a different stage," he says. "I don't pound on my desk, but I am performing."

Meanwhile, he has continued playing, with War Pigs and another band called Deepset.

"To me, music is like breathing or brushing your teeth," he says. "I'll just always be doing it."

Nsortal@SouthFlorida.com

War Pigs featuring David Spitz

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31

Where: Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 NW 40th St.

Cost: Free

Contact: SeminoleCoconutCreekCasino.com

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