Tony Iommi On Health: “I’m Up And Down”
via Tony Iommi / Youtube
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi shared an update on his health.
During an appearance on the June 22 episode of SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, the 75-year-old musician who was diagnosed with early-stage lymphoma in late 2011, stated:
“I’m up and down. I go for my checks. In fact, I was there the day before yesterday, just getting different checks again. It’s like any old person [laughs] — you have problems. But, no, all in all, it’s been pretty good.
“As far as the cancer side of it, it’s been — dare I say — good. I get other ailments like your hands ache and feet and things like that. But apart from that, it’s good. And I think doing what I’m doing keeps me up. I don’t sit at home just sitting on the couch; I’m out and about doing stuff. And it’s good — it keeps you motivated; it keeps you moving.”
Talking about his cancer battle, the rocker said:
“Well, they keep it under control. They check the immune system all the time to make sure you keep it up. I have [vitamin] B12 shots and just try and eat a bit better and try and look after your health a bit more.”
Iommi mentioned that he had to stop touring as the late nights on the road are affecting his health. He added:
“My oncologist said, ‘You know, you shouldn’t really be flying as much and doing this amount of work.’ So that’s sort of why it came to the end of me touring for 18 months.”
He also noted:
“I love touring; I love playing; I love seeing the audience. And I still wanna get out and play, but I won’t be able to do major tours like that. As I said before, maybe a week or two or whatever, but it’s hard to do that because you’ve got the crews that work — you have top-notch crews, and you can’t expect them to just do two weeks. They wanna get out and do a U.S. tour. But I will be going out, I suppose, doing something along the line. I’ve been asked to do various things, and we’ll see what happens.”
Iommi revealed his cancer diagnosis in early 2012, shortly after Black Sabbath announced a reunion tour and album. He underwent treatment throughout the recording of 13. It was the first album in 35 years to feature Iommi, singer Ozzy Osbourne, and bassist Geezer Butler all playing together.
After 49 years of their career, Black Sabbath had their farewell tour The End in 2017 and in that same year, Iommi successfully underwent an operation to remove a noncancerous lump from his throat.
In a 2013 interview with Guitar World, Iommi spoke about his battle with lymphoma. When he was told about his cancer he said:
“My whole life changed. And they’re so casual about it! They say, ‘The good news is that your prostate is really good. But the lump, we found lymphoma in it.’ Lymphoma, what’s that? Well, I knew what it was, but I wanted to hear them say it: cancer. Once I heard that, it was awful. I thought, God, of all the times.”