Sunday, September 6, 2015
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi says his cancer issues have brought about the need for the band’s newly-announced farewell world tour after five decades on the road.
“I can’t actually do this anymore,” Iommi tells the Birmingham Mail. “My body won’t take it much more.”
The 67-year old – who was diagnosed with blood cancer lymphoma in January of 2012 – continues to have regular checkups on the health issue.
“I have finished my courses of treatment,” he says. “Now it’s a case of keeping tabs on things. “I have the blood tests every six weeks, and then there’s a bigger check-up every now and then to make sure that all is still well. I have my next one in a couple of weeks, and hopefully everything will be fine.
“It’s horrible. I even dream about it. But that’s my life now. The surgeon told me he doesn’t expect the cancer to go away. There’s a 30 per cent chance that it could, but more than likely it will come back and it could be any time. I could be here another 10 years or just one year – I don’t know.”
Last week, Black Sabbath announced the first series of dates for their farewell world tour.
Billed as “The End”, three-quarters of the original lineup – Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler – will launch the group’s final live dates in Omaha, NE on January 20.
Original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward will once again sit out the tour over contractual issues with the band and personal issues with Osbourne over remarks in recent years.
“We’ve been doing this for getting on for 50 years now,” adds Iommi. “It’s about time we draw the line, don’t you think? It’s been great but it’s time to stop now. Don’t get me wrong, I still love gigging. It’s all the travelling and the exhaustion that goes with it that’s the problem. That side of things has a big impact on me.
“Yes, we may fly in luxury, stay in the very best hotels, ride in the most comfortable limos but there’s still a physical cost to touring. Even when we build in rest breaks – I have to have blood tests every six weeks – I find it tough going.”
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