Tony Iommi, long-time guitarist of Black Sabbath, has been diagnosed with lymphoma — a type of cancer that attacks the lymphocytes of the immune system. According to reports from Iommi and Black Sabbath, he is being consulted by doctors currently to determine the best course of treatment for the diagnosis.
The information has shocked fans of the iconic metal band, often cited as the founders of the metal genre, which comes not long after the band announced their reunion with the original line-up. It also comes 18 months after the loss of vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who was also battling cancer.
Black Sabbath initially announced the sad news of Iommi’s diagnosis to their fans directly via Facebook:
With the news that Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, his bandmates would like everyone to send positive vibes to the guitarist at this time. Iommi is currently working with his doctors to establish the best treatment plan. The Iron Man of Rock & Roll remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery
At the moment, it seems the band is still going ahead with their plans for recording their first studio album together in over three decades. Black Sabbath announced their reunion on November 11 last year, with original members Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward, Geezer Butler, and Iommi, during a news conference hosted by Henry Rollins.
There is no current information as to whether plans have changed for the band’s intentions to go out on a world tour. The plans for their recording, on the other hand, are continuing forward as production now moves from Los Angeles to the UK while Iommi undergoes treatment. The new album is being produced by Rick Rubin.
The update of Iommi being diagnosed with cancer prompted an outpouring of thoughts, well-wishes, and messages from fans across the world. The band made an official response via their Facebook page today:
Thank you to everyone who has sent words of support for Tony. The band is deeply grateful.
The statement also captured the attention of the mainstream media, with outlets such as CNN also reporting on the news.
Tony Iommi has been a hard-wearing fighter in all things over the years. Some fans might remember the story that he was involved in a factory accident in the early days of the band that severed two of his fingertips. He created thimble-like devices so he could continue to work on his guitar. That is determination, right there.
Additionally, throughout the entire history of Black Sabbath, Iommi has always been there – consistently sticking by his guns and working forward with the band through numerous line-ups. His vision for Sabbath never wavered, and is another indication of his fighting resolve.
Having said that, with the horrible news of his diagnosis, I’m hopeful his fighting determination continues, and that he beats the disease.
Black Sabbath was established in 1969, and is known for numerous songs responsible for inspiring and influencing the rise of heavy metal, including “Iron Man,” “War Pigs,” and “Paranoid” among many others. The new album produced by Rick Rubin is anticipated to be released in the latter half of 2012.