Former Black Sabbath keyboardist Geoff Nicholls has passed away this morning, after a battle with lung cancer. He was 68 years old.
The news were confirmed by Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, who wrote this about his former bandmate:
“I’m so saddened to hear the loss of one of my dearest and closest friends Geoff Nicholls. He’s been suffering for a while now with lung cancer and he lost his battle this morning. Geoff and I have always been very close and he has been a real true friend to me and supported me all the way for nearly 40 years. I will miss him dearly and he will live in my heart until we meet again. Rest in peace, my dear friend.”
Also bassist Geezer Butler added this: “Very sad to hear of old friend and Black Sabbath keyboard player Geoff Nicholls passing. RIP Geoff.”
Nicholls, who played keyboards on all of Black Sabbath albums between 1980 and 1995 and toured with them, was reportedly in remission from cancer at the time of his death but succumbed to the side effects of chemotherapy.
Geoff Nicholls first appearance was on a Black Sabbath album was on 1980’s “Heaven And Hell”. His main role with Black Sabbth was on the keyboardist, He also played some rhythm guitar at concerts. He was not always being credited as a full member of the band. Geoff Nicholls rarely appeared on stage during shows and would instead, play on the side of the stage or backstage.
He’s involvement with the band ended when Adam Wakeman member of Ozzy Osbourne‘s solo band, was chosen to play keyboards during 2004 and 2005 tours as part of Ozzfest.
He also had role of playeing as keyboards with former singer Tony Martin of Black Sabbath, in his band Tony Martine’s Headless Cross, and also performed on both of Martin‘s solo albums.
Before joining Black Sabbath, the famous keyboardist was a member of the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) with band Quartz, whose debut album recorede in 1977 was produced by Iommi. In the late 60s and early 70s. Geoff had played lead guitar for the Birmingham band Johnny Neal and the Starliners.