BLACK SABBATH Guitarist Issues Update On His Cancer Batttle

BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi, who is currently receiving treatment in England for the early stages of lymphoma, with which he was diagnosed late last year, has issued the following update:

"A little update on how it's all going:

"Well, I've had the last dose of chemotherapy, so hopefully my body will start to get back to normal soon. The steroids were the [worst]. I've now got three weeks of radiotherapy coming up which I'm told can be very tiring, so we'll see.

"A big thanks to [fellow SABBATH members] Ozzy [Osbourne] and Geezer [Butler] for coming over to England; it was a big incentive for me. We managed to work most days and have some great new tracks.

"And, importantly, thanks again for your kind messages. Hope to be seeing you soon."

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphocytes, a type of cell that forms part of the immune system.

BLACK SABBATH will play one U.S. date sometime this summer, according to a VH1 Radio Network interview with Sharon Osbourne, wife and manager of SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne. Sharon revealed, "They're gonna be doing one show in America this summer but I can't say yet because we can't announce it, the promoters have to, but they are doing one show in August here together." The news follows the cancellation of all SABBATH tour dates abroad except for a headlining slot at the U.K.'s Download Festival in June, due to Iommi's battle with lymphoma.

As for whether original SABBATH drummer Bill Ward will participate in the U.S. show, Sharon said, "We don't know yet, we really don't know. It's up to Bill. The door is open for him to join us, so it's up to him."

Meanwhile, Ozzy, Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler are in London continuing to record their first album together in 33 years, although without Ward it is not the original SABBATH reunion announced last November.

Sharon said about the recording sessions, "It's going good. They're doing really well in the studio. Gosh, they must've written 15 new songs already and it's going great."

She also denied that she was responsible for Ward's current absence from the project, saying, "Everybody's got their own manager, so we have an independent group of people that have come in to manage the project, and I don't, and I get the blame because Bill doesn't want to play with the band; he doesn't like his deal and I get the blame. It's like, 'All right, I'm a big girl, I can take it.'"

Ward has been sitting out the sessions due to being offered what he called "an unsignable contract" in an open letter to SABBATH fans.

Ward posted an update on February 17 in which he said he "remains hopeful" for a positive outcome to the situation.

The rest of SABBATH's scheduled European summer gigs will be replaced by "Ozzy And Friends", at which the singer will be joined by Butler, former Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde and other special guests, including Slash on selected dates.

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