It appears as if the greatest news to hit heavy metal in years was too good to be true: The Black Sabbath camp has cancelled nearly their entire 2012 tour due to guitarist Tony Iommi’s ongoing battle with lymphoma, according to an issued press release. The band has announced that they’ll now only be performing at Download this summer.
“Sabbath have had to put some plans on hold due to Tony Iommi’s battle with lymphoma,” says a statement on the band’s Facebook. “At this time, Black Sabbath will perform only one show of this summer’s previously scheduled European tour. It will take place Sunday, June 10 at the U.K.’s Download Festival.
As consolation to the promoters and fans, Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne will now perform the majority of the previously scheduled dates (both festival performances and the headlining shows) billed as Ozzy & Friends. These “first ever” Ozzy & Friends shows will feature appearances by “special guest” musicians including Geezer butler (who will join Ozzy for a special Black Sabbath set) and longtime former Ozzy band member Zakk Wylde, as well as ex-GNR guitarist Slash.
As Tony Iommi continues to make progress in treatment, Black Sabbath are reportedly continuing to write and record music in the U.K. for their upcoming album, their first with the current lineup in over 33 years. More information as it develops.
OZZY AND FRIENDS tour dates:
5/23 Helsinki, Finland Hartwall Arena
5/25 Stockholm, Sweden Stadium
5/27 Jelling, Denmark Jelling Festival
5/29 Bergen, Norway Bergen Calling Festival
5/31 Oslo, Norway Spektrum
6/2 Malmo, Sweden Malmo Stadium
6/4 Dortmund, Germany Westfalenhalle
6/6 Prague, Czech Rep O2 Arena
6/15 Vitoria, Spain Azkena Rock Festival
6/17 Clisson, France Hellfest
6/22 Dessel, Belgium Graspop Metal Meeting
6/24 Milan, Italy Gods of Metal Festival
6/26 Vienna, Austria Stadthalle
6/28 Belgrade, Serbia USCE Park
7/1 Athens, Greece Rockwave Festival