The sad news this week that Tony Iommi is suffering from cancer has stunned a music world eagerly looking forward to Black Sabbath's first album in 33 years. The group - including Ozzy Osbourne - had been in Los Angeles recording with legendary producer Rick Rubin when the announcement was made; in a Facebook statement they said "His bandmates would like everyone to send positive vibes to the guitarist at this time. Iommi is currently working with his 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."
Now tributes and sympathies have been pouring in for the much-loved Birmingham-bred rock guitarist. Former 'Sabbath manager Jim Simpson told local paper the Birmingham Mail "The last time I saw Tony was in the summer and he looked very healthy. He has always been doggedly determined. He was always very serious and I don't think he'd do anything without giving it a lot of thought. I'm sure Tony will apply the same dogged determination to beating this." Names from the world of rock and metal were quick to pass on their wishes too, with Metal Hammer reporting that a number took to Twitter, including Slash, Anthrax's Frank Bello and Glenn Hughes formerly of Deep Purple and previous Iommi collaborator.
Iommi has been diagnosed with early stage lymphoma aged 63.