On July 4th, Black Sabbath will wrap up their touring in support of last year’s 13 by headlining the Barclaycard British Summer Time Festival at Hyde Park, appearing with Soundgarden, Faith No More, Motorhead and Soulfly. But according to an interview with Tony Iommi, it could be their last show ever. Iommi, who has been undergoing treatment since being diagnosed with lymphoma in 2012, made the revelation in an interview with Metal Hammer:
“It could be the last ever Sabbath show,” the guitarist admits. “I don’t want it to be, but there’s nothing really planned touring-wise after that show, so for all we know that could be it really. To be honest I don’t want to be touring to this extent too much longer, because it makes me feel so bad… I’m at a stage now where I have no support, which means I have to see whether the cancer is coming back or if it’s still there or what,” he says. “I just don’t know. It’s a bit of a worry. After we finish this tour I’ll go in and have scan, so we’ll see what that shows up.”
It’d be unfortunate if Sabbath called it quits following the tour, especially since Ozzy had said he’d be up for another Sabbath album earlier this year. But considering that Iommi not only battled lymphoma to make 13, but also went on a worldwide tour in support of the album over the last year, with breaks to fly back home and get treatment, is more than many could have expected. And Iommi’s statement makes them quitting the road sound like a worst case scenario. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of impossibility that instead of doing full-fledged tours, the band could just make one-off appearances at festivals, like the Summer Time Festival, or Lollapalooza a few years back. And there really aren’t too many other bands that are touring 44 years after they formed, so maybe they do deserve a break.