Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi said in a new interview with the Birmingham Mail that singer Ozzy Osbourne was responsible for getting Iommi to deal with his cancer. Iommi, who has been undergoing treatment for a form of lymphoma since being diagnosed in January 2012, explained, "Ozzy was the one who kept on at me to go to the doctors because he was concerned about me. He has been very supportive since I was diagnosed. All the guys have been great. Even now, when we arrive at the studio, they ask how I'm feeling, if I'm up to it, making sure I'm okay."
- The legendary guitarist told us a while back than even when the original Sabbath members were apart or had some business issues between them, they were always okay with each other on a personal level: "We've always been talking. We've always been in touch with each other. There might be a lawsuit in the thing between us, but we still talk to each other like nothing's happened, you know."
- Iommi had to rally himself to fight back against the disease, saying, "Cancer meant death to me. I started writing myself off. I would lie awake at night, thinking about selling this, getting rid of that, and preparing everything: who should speak at my funeral and where I'd want to be buried. But I also kept thinking 'I'm not ready to go yet. I've got too much to do, and I like being here.'"
- Iommi says his treatments leave him "sick and tired" for about a week after each one, adding, "It takes around 10 days to recover from each round - but if that's what it takes I have to accept it."
- He admitted that working on a new Sabbath album with Ozzy and bassist Geezer Butler has distracted him from his illness, saying, "The album and tour have given me something to get my teeth into. It's not a case of taking your mind off the lymphoma -- there's this little doubt: 'What if this pops back?'"
- The new Sabbath album, 13, is due out June 11th and is the first to feature Ozzy, Iommi and Butler in 35 years.
- Ozzy himself confessed earlier this week that he relapsed into drug and alcohol abuse for the past year and a half, but has been sober for the past 44 days.
- While he dispelled rumors that he and wife Sharon were divorcing, she is apparently living apart from him for now. Sources have told TMZ that Sharon will not come home until Ozzy's been sober for at least a few months.
WHAT DO YOU THINK??
- Isn't it strange how Ozzy could be this drug-and-alcohol abusing madman while at the same time showing concern for his bandmate's health and working on what is, by all accounts, a great new Sabbath album?
- Do you think it's better for Iommi to keep working and touring, or would it be in his best interests to retire and look after his health?
INTERNET COMMENTS at Classic Rock -- agree or not?
monkeyman wrote: "Long live Tony Iommi! The one and only. The father of it all! "
KillerDilla wrote: "Long live the IRON MAN. Can't wait to hear the new album."
destructivesounds wrote: "I hope he's not taking advice from one or two docs. With his money, he should be talking to docs all over the world. If he's willing to work, he should be in pretty good shape."
RedZombie wrote: "Wish him all the health in the world, glad he's still doing great. New album is gonna be ultimate."
Tony Iommi On Black Sabbath Members Keeping In Touch
Read more at Blabbermouth, Loudwire, Ultimate Classic Rock, Classic Rock and Noisecreep
Check out another interview about "the road" at Blabbermouth