Former Black Sabbath keyboardist Geoff Nicholls died Saturday at the age of 68 after a lengthy battle with lung cancer.
“I'm so saddened to hear the loss of one of my dearest and closest friends Geoff Nicholls,” posted Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi. “He's been suffering for a while now with lung cancer and he lost his battle this morning. Geoff and I have always been very close and he has been a real true friend to me and supported me all the way for nearly 40 years. I will miss him dearly and he will live in my heart until we meet again. Rest In Peace my dear friend.”
“Very sad to hear of old friend and Sabbath keyboard player Geoff Nicholls passing,” says Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler. “RIP Geoff.”
Nicholls joined the Sabbath lineup as a touring member in 1979, appearing on 1980’s “Heaven And Hell” – alongside new vocalist Ronnie James Dio – and the group’s following nine albums before being replaced in 2004 by Ozzy Osbourne’s keyboardist, Adam Wakeman.
Until his death, Nicholls performed with former Sabbath singer Tony Martin's Headless Cross.
“Saddened to hear of the passing of Geoff Nicholls,” posted Martin, “keyboard player and friend from Sabbath. Safe journey mate.”
Nicholls was an original member of Birmingham, UK outfit Quartz from 1974-79; Iommi produced the group’s self-titled 1977 debut.
“Everyone in the band, and associated with the band, are struggling to find the words to express their feelings and sadness regarding the passing of their dear friend Geoff Nicholls earlier this morning at home,” wrote Quartz. “Geoff had been unwell for a long time battling cancer and had under gone extensive radio and chemotherapy plus other trial treatment but all sadly to no avail in the end.
"In this darkest and lowest moment of time Geoff's lyrics and music speak volumes to us and for us and through these his memory will live on forever. Our deepest sympathies,thoughts and prayers go out to Gloria and her family as they try come to terms with their loss. RIP Geoff.”
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