Tony Iommi Discusses Retiring From Touring Because It Impacted His Health

In a recent interview with SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, the Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi shared some personal health updates and spoke about his retirement from touring due to health issues.

Iommi had to take things slow ever since he was diagnosed with lymphoma. Though he received many treatments, the guitarist still keeps an eye on his health. Mentioning the diagnosis, the guitarist described the reason why he had to stop the major tours:

“Well, [the doctors] 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. That’s why, really, I had to stop these major tours, because they were long tours and late-night tours.”

According to him, going on shows day after day wasn’t good for his health. He said:

“By the time you’d finished playing, especially when we were in the States, and we’d have a base, say, in New York, for 10 days, and we’d have our own plane and fly out to different places and come back. And by the time we get back to the hotel, it’s three o’clock in the morning. And these late nights were affecting me a bit.”

The guitarist further explained what his doctors said to him that would prevent him from touring:

“And 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. But, yeah, I loved it — 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.”

Though Iommi prioritizes his own health, he has also expressed concern for the health of Ozzy Osbourne. The rocker earlier revealed that he declined the offer for Black Sabbath to play at this year’s Power Trip Festival due to Osbourne constantly being ‘in and out of’ hospitals. He told:

“It’s hard, because Ozzy’s been going through a lot of stuff lately. He’s in hospital and out of hospital, and he’s really been fighting it; he really wants to get out there. But in my mind, it’s very difficult to sort of say yes. I’ve gotta think of the people in the band as well. I’ve gotta think of Ozzy, if he’s gonna be all right to do a show and whatever. So I wasn’t that comfortable with it.”

Although the band will not be playing, Ozzy Osbourne will be performing at the festival.

After his diagnosis, Iommi wasn’t able to tour for long periods of time. After his final show with Sabbath in 2017, the guitarist was on stage for one more time last year, reuniting with Osbourne to play for the closing of the Commonwealth Games.