Ozzy Osbourne compares Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi to Iron Man

Singer pays tribute to the way his bandmate has dealt with cancer

Ozzy Osbourne has paid tribute to the way bandmate Tony Iommi has dealt with his cancer treatment.

The Black Sabbath singer said he marvelled at the way the band’s guitarist kept going despite the effects of chemotherapy for the lymphoma he was diagnosed with in 2012.

Speaking to the Toronto Star, he said: “Believe me, I know from first-hand with my wife that treatment for cancer is not like doing a line of coke and going to a disco. It knocks the crap out of you, you know?

“We all moved to his studio in England, and we all stayed in a hotel for a while to accommodate him, and he would come down to the studio every day. I’d go, ‘Tony, you’re sure you’re OK to do this, man? Are you ready?’ And he goes, ‘No, I’ll do it,’ and he came down. He came up with the goods. I thought, ‘My God, man, he is Iron Man’.”

He also commented on returning to Black Sabbath after initially parting ways with the band in 1979. Their most-recent album ’13’, their first since reforming in 2011, went to Number One in both the UK and the US upon release. Osbourne said: “We’re all like, ‘This is great, but why now?’ When I used to do the Ozzfest, bands would come up to me and go, ‘We’re not worthy’ and I’m like, ‘What are they talking about?’ Because we just played.”

He added: “It’s as much a surprise to us as anybody else. I mean, we’re all like 45 years up the road and we get our first Number One in America, and it’s like wow, you know, maybe we are a bit too laid back.”

Osbourne also spoke about original Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, who was initially included in the reunion but was later left out due to, according to the band, not being in good enough shape to perform. He added: “I still love him a lot, we all do. It’d be great to have him back, but we felt if we pulled the plug on this one, people would have gone, ‘Oh, it’s never going to happen’. Because we tried, and we were speaking about it for a long time.”