BLACK SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne has commented on last month’s announcement that his SABBATH bandmate, guitarist Tony Iommi, was diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma. Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphocytes, a type of cell that forms part of the immune system. According to a statement issued by his publicist, the 63-year-old metal legend is currently working with his doctors to establish the best treatment plan and remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery.
“He needs more and more support, man,” Ozzy said in an interview that will be broadcast later today on Ozzy’s Boneyard, the new classic hard rock and metal music channel on SiriusXM Radio. “He doesn’t have a brother, he doesn’t have a sister — it’s just him and his wife and the members of BLACK SABBATH. So any encouragement, any support [is appreciated]. He’s gonna beat it. What it’s down to is determination and believe me, this guy’s got more determination than anybody I’ve ever met. It’s gonna be fine. It’s just one of those trials in life that happen. When the bombshell [hit] about Tony‘s cancer problem, I came to England [where Tony‘s doctors were treating him]. It would’ve been pretty bad if I would’ve stayed in L.A. When [producer] Rick Rubin found out [about Tony‘s cancer diagnosis], he said, ‘I will accommodate wherever they are.’ Which was very cool of him, actually. . . He’s gonna beat it. He’s got so much support, not only from each one of us in the band, but the fan base; it’s unbelievable. It’s one of them problems you have in life. . . He ain’t gonna die, I’m telling you. I told him if he dies, I’m gonna kill him.”
A short audio clip of Ozzy talking about Iommi‘s cancer battle can be streamed at this location (courtesy of Metal Injection).
Ozzy‘s one-on-one conversation with SiriusXM host Jose Mangin will aired on Wednesday, February 8 at 7:00 p.m. ET on Ozzy’s Boneyard, channel 38.
SABBATH‘s new album, which is being produced by Rick Rubin, is set for release this fall. SABBATH is scheduled to embark on a world tour this summer, although Iommi‘s illness could affect those plans.
Iommi‘s bandmate in SABBATH and HEAVEN & HELL, legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio, died of stomach cancer in May 2010 at the age of 67.
SABBATH drummer Bill Ward announced last week that he will not participate in the reunited band’s new album and tour unless he is given a fair contract. The other three members of the group responded by saying that they “have no choice but to continue recording without [Bill].”