Tony Iommi issues Cancer Update

My first news story of the year is one that talks about a not fun subject at all.  Tony Iommi’s cancer.

While I’ve been seeing a lot of posts and requests (and even DEMANDS, if you can believe that) for Tony to record, tour, basically do the same thing as he’s always done..   This update should do as a reminder to people that the days of mega touring are likely over for Tony & Black Sabbath.  That’s not to say they’ll never tour again, that’s not to say they won’t play live, but expecting super mega huge, play 150 gigs in 12 months kind of scenario is probably never happening again.

Tony Iommi has cancer.  Just because he got well, did the 13 tour and all that doesn’t mean he won’t still have to deal with it.   A lot of fan responses I’ve seen seem to gloss over this, that he’s “fine”.  Yes, he’s done quite well in recovering to the point that the 13 tour was a success, but as I’ve said before, I have a family member who has the same cancer, so I know what he’s going through.   I think the way to look at this is to take whatever happens as a great gift, not to EXPECT there to be another anything.  We should have more realistic demands on our “heroes”.  They’re not Gods, they’re just people like you and me, and Tony has cancer.   We have to remember that.

Having said all that, I’m looking forward to new material as much as any of you reading this.  Bring it on, Tony!  Just take a nap or three, eh?

More seriously, this all comes from an article on the Mirror today where Tony talks in detail about various things relative to his treatment.  How it affected the “13” recording, and whatnot.   There’s some funny stories in there, like the one about Ozzy and getting Tony some tea.  That made me chuckle.   But go ahead and read it.   I’m not going to bug you with selected quotes from the article, you can just read the article to get that.  But you really should read it.  And if you’re so inclined, pray for Tony.  He’s given us so much, we can at least do that for him.


  1. Well put, Joe. Pained me to read that, especially the part where he states that he’ll always have cancer and likely never get rid of it. Like you said, we need to cherish 13 and that tour, and be grateful for whatever else he can give us.

    Also, I ope he’s getting checked very frequently, because the sooner you detect cancer regrowth, the odds of survival are much higher.

    Tony, if you read this……….thank you. Your music and influence in rock/metal has played a huge part in my life.

    • If you check out Cancer Reserch U.K

      • Just check out Cancer Reserch U.K and look for the research of Cannabinoids.
        This kind of treatment needs to have the U.K ban lifted, just like spain, Denmark, several states in the U.S and numerous others.
        This Treatment has been found to be so successful that Carnegie, Morgan and Rockefeller’s corporations’ are set to loose Trillions of Dollars, should this Cheap & Reliable Natural CURE come to light in the public eye. Please look online for the Evidence. Its mindblowing !!!

  2. This is so sad. Tony has always been the No.1 guitar player on my list, and the fact that he’s left handed and I loved the sound he pulled out his guitar, made me buy an Iommi sort-of guitar replica abiut 25 years ago.
    I truly hopre he’ll get better. I still haven’t given up on the chance of seeing him live on stage with Ozzy and Geezer (Iwas lucky enpugh to see Ozzy on stage several times, but not with Black Sabbath..).

  3. Richard S says:

    So with you on this. If you are a fan what you’ll be wishing is for Tony the best. It’s his life we’re talking about here. His maximum enjoyment of all time left should be our wish. If it means more music great. If not – live long and well Tony. Thanks

  4. If he were to stand up today and say “that’s it, I can’t do any more”, he’s already given us so much it’s unbelievable. It seems clear though that “working” is something that he likes to do, to keep himself feeling (emotionally) alive…. hopefully he will focus on things he can do at home and such, and keeping himself as well as he can.

  5. I just appreciate any music that the guys give us, god bless Tony, Ozzy, Geezer, and Bill. I just hope that if there is a next album Bill and the rest can workout their differences and put out one last true Sabbath album.

  6. Jeff Downing says:

    Well said. We should just be glad for anything from here on.
    The implications of his cancer resonate even more as he is practically the embodiment of perseverance, tireless work ethic, etc….the Iron Man indeed.

    Even Iommi is merely mortal. Respect.
    It wlll be a sad sad day when he goes, and I hope it is not soon.

  7. Get well, Tony! We would love to hear some new material from you, but that’s not the priority, health is.

  8. Robert Cam says:

    Let us just keep on praying for Tony’s wholly healing. God bless Tony, Ozzy, Terry and Bill… God bless Sabbath…

    Positive thoughs and prayers….!!!

    ….Never say die….!!!

  9. Another Ancient Warrior says:

    Along with Tone, another of my personal heroes is none other than President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Please pardon me, folks, for what will probably be an inexact analogy between these two fine men. Because of a devastating injury to his fretboard fingers, Tone was able to use this “crippling”, as a NEW tool, to overcome that self-same “crippling”, to CREATE a new sound, a new style, that NO ONE ELSE can duplicate, nor ought to. Like FDR, he all but FORBIDS–hmm, where have I heard that word before(??)(Laughs!!)–anyone to focus on that fact, as we listen to his works. And, through that overcoming, like FDR, he has accomplished things of GREATNESS, that no one else, ever will. Quite a curious GIFT, to share with the world. Incidentally and curiously, during his life, very few people were actually aware that he had been stricken permanently with Polio.

    Now, about that cancer, this Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, of his. It is now a COMPOUND “crippling”. Should you read this Tone, I know that by using this “tool” of immuno-supressive Cancer, as a new springboard, to expand your already Titanic Legacy to us, as you see fit, NOT as how WE see FIT. If, it’s “only just” as a new Faculty Member at Coventry U., that’s probably just as well, PERSONALLY touching your Student’s lives, and developing a personal RAPPORT, with your proteges there. They will be the ones, through THEIR accomplishments, to compound YOURS. I should think, at least, that that might be something for you to smile glowingly at. You have been NOT A “GOD” to me Tone; you are now more like an OLDER BROTHER to me, unknowingly teaching me how to deal with my own adversities, through your unflinching example. I love you SO MUCH, Tony, for that fact, as much as your sweetly SINGULAR AND MAJESTIC guitar playing. You do things in your life–as frightening for you, at times, as of late–that conquers your adversity, just like FDR did. Because of that man, if he hadn’t succeeded, most of us would either be LAMPSHADES, or speaking German, to put it bluntly. And, yet, on the other hand, I’m sure that a good rest, as much as anything, could do you well, if that’s the thing that could help you in your battle. It will then be up to the rest of us, to continue the Sabbath/Iommi Gospel, we’re ALL more than ready

  10. Tony,I love you. We love you. Friend for a life.

  11. Anthony Roof says:

    Please get well Tony. Much love and respect to you. I will keep you, your health, your cancer and the hopes of recovery, your family, your music and legacy, and Black Sabbath in general, in my thoughts, wishes, hopes and prayers. Thank you for being a hero to us all. Peace, best of luck and well wishes to you and your family, friends and band mates. God bless you, Tony Iommi. Godspeed & good luck. Take care. Peace.

  12. Anthony Roof says:

    Keep on “wishing well” for our “neon knight,” Mr. Tony Iommi, because if he were to “die young,” then we would all feel that “lonely is the word” and that would be “forbidden” because it is simply not his time – it’s not time for the “wizard” to go “into the void.” Let us not be “paranoid” because the “iron man” will recover and endure and be “born again” in this “age of reason.” His time is not now or for a long time to come, but when it does come, we will all meet up with him “after forever.” So until then, Tony, “never say die.” That’s right. “Oh don’t you ever, ever, ever, never say die again.” Love and respect Tony.

  13. The thing that blows my mind is just how incredibly good ’13’ (and the four additional tracks) is. Everybody still wants Bill? I’ll say it…he’s got a shit attitude. Tommy’s got a great attitude, played his guts out every night and is a very worthy successor to the Sabbath drum stool. ’13’ IS a ‘true’ Sabbath album and Tommy is a true Sabbath alum(nus). The last time I got a shock like that was when DP’s ‘Perfect Strangers’ was released (on vinyl). VERY MUCH appreciated guys, thanks for your hard work.

    This is a bit out of place but it just occurred to me. We should collect all former drummers for Black Sabbath (except Cozy obviously…and Bill, he may agree to the project but would back out at the last minute) for a BS tribute album and call it ‘The Sabbath Stools’. A bit tasteless, yes, but still I think a fine idea.

  14. Tony I have enjoyed your music since 1977 when I was seven thank you for making my spirit drift off by your wonderful guitar playing & style ill keep it short even though I haven’t met you I love ya

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