Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, the man who created some of rock’s most enduring riffs with his band Black Sabbath, is battling cancer. According to a statement released by the band’s publicist, Iommi has been diagnosed with the “early stages of lymphoma.”
“His bandmates would like everyone to send positive vibes to the guitarist at this time,” the statement continues. “Iommi is currently working with doctors to establish the best treatment plan. The ‘Iron Man’ of Rock and Roll remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery.”
Black Sabbath’s original lineup — with Ozzy Osbourne back behind the mic — is in the midst of recording their first album of new material since 1978, according to Rolling Stone. They’re pressing ahead, but Iommi’s illness forced the band to relocate from Los Angeles to England where he’s undergoing treatment.
The band is also planning to kick off a world tour in Moscow on May 18. No word yet on whether those plans will be affected.
In 2010 Ronnie James Dio, who filled in as frontman after Osbourne was booted from the band, died from stomach cancer.