Black Sabbath have canceled their appearance at Ozzfest Japan, originally scheduled for later this year. It had been rumored to be the group’s farewell show, but a rep for the band tells Rolling Stone that that is not the case. “Although there have been discussions about a Sabbath Farewell Tour, nothing has been confirmed,” she said. Meanwhile, guitarist Tony Iommi reports that contrary to online rumors, he is in fact in good health.
“I’m not sure how the rumor of my being unwell started as I was away on holiday,” wrote the guitarist, who revealed that he was battling lymphoma in early 2012, on Facebook. “Once you’ve had something like lymphoma, the fear that it will return never leaves. All I can say is that right now I’m fine and have regular blood tests.”
Although he does not address it directly in his statement, Iommi was addressing fans who had become concerned for him when the scheduled Sabbath concert was nixed, according to Sabbath’s rep.
The confusion about whether or not it was the group’s final show began when Sharon Osbourne released a video around the time that Black Sabbath were announced as Ozzfest Japan headliners, saying the gig would be “Black Sabbath’s farewell.” She did not specify in it whether it was to be the group’s final gig forever or just a goodbye to Japan.
According to the band’s Facebook page, Ozzy Osbourne “and friends” will be taking the performance slot at the fest, scheduled for late November. The singer previously embarked on an “Ozzy and Friends Tour” in 2012, shortly after Iommi revealed his cancer battle, to fill in for scheduled Black Sabbath concerts throughout Europe. Select dates featured appearances by Slash, former Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde and Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler.
The Sabbath show is not Ozzy’s only recent cancellation. The singer was set to perform in Mexico’s Riviera Maya next month for what he had dubbed “Ozzfiesta,” but he canceled it in order to get unspecified surgery, which requires “at least four weeks of recovery time,” according to a statement.
Osbourne has a handful of solo dates booked in Brazil and Argentina, beginning in late April. His next scheduled concert after that, according to his website, will take place in Mexico City on August 20th.
Meanwhile, Osbourne revealed last September that Black Sabbath would be working on a final album together in early 2015. “We’re going to do one more album, and a final tour,” he told Metal Hammer. He said he expected the band would work with producer Rick Rubin again, as they had done with their reunion 2013 LP 13.