Published Apr 10, 2015This week, news emerged that Black Sabbath had pulled out of Ozzfest in Japan and that Ozzy Osbourne would instead be performing a solo set. This led some to speculate that guitarist Tony Iommi's cancer had returned, but the six-stringer has spoken out to clarify that this isn't the case.
In a statement posted yesterday (April 9) on Facebook, Iommi explained that, not only are the rumours about his ill health untrue, he's actually on holiday at the moment. He wrote:
Thank you for all the enquiries about my health, very kind. I'm not sure how the rumour of my being unwell started as I was away on holiday! Once you've had something like lymphoma the fear that it will return never leaves, all I can say is that right now I'm fine and have regular blood tests.
The reason for fans' concern was, presumably, the column that Iommi penned earlier this year about living with cancer. In the piece, he explained that he didn't know whether his treatments had worked and said that his lymphoma would likely return. While he put a positive spin on the situation, he admitted, "Every day I feel around for lumps and bumps. Every time I get a pain in my stomach I think, 'Oh God, it's cancer.' It's horrible. I even dream about it."
For now, however, it seems that Iommi is doing fine. As far as we're aware, Black Sabbath are still planning a final album and a tour. That previously announced Ozzfest performance — which had rather ambiguously been referred to as the band's "farewell" — will not be part of it, however.
Iommi is 67. He revealed his cancer diagnosis back in 2012, but this hasn't stopped him from participating in Black Sabbath' reunion.