Black Sabbath reportedly was to play Coachella, but had to cancel
According to Billboard, the reunited Black Sabbath was one of the slated headliners for this year's double-weekend bash at Coachella Music and Arts Festival, but had to pull out before Monday's line-up announcement due to guitarist Tony Iommi's recent lymphoma diagnosis.
Earlier this week, the band's publicist sent out a statement asking for "everyone to send positive vibes to the guitarist at this time." Iommi, diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, "remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery," the statement continued, and is working with his doctors to figure out the best treatment plan.
The musician, 63, is collaborating with the three other original band members -- Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward -- on their first new album since 1978's "Never Say Die!" The album, announced in November, will be produced by Rick Rubin and is still on the schedule for a fall 2012 release through Vertigo/Universal. They had been working in Los Angeles, but due to Iommi's diagnosis, they've moved recording over to England.
Black Sabbath is also scheduled to kick off a world tour May 18 in Moscow, taking the band to countries it's never visited before, as well as stops planned at the Download Festival in England in early June and other festivals in Italy, France and Spain.
Responding to a request from Pop & Hiss, the band's publicist stated that "we have no information on Black Sabbath’s reported Coachella appearance," but, for now, "the previously announced Black Sabbath festival appearances and tour dates remain as scheduled."
The current headliners for Coachella include Radiohead, the Black Keys and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg -- any one of which might've been added or advanced up the lineup as last-minute replacements for the metal legends.
-- Margaret Wappler
Photo: Black Sabbath, from left, Bill Ward, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi, at a recent press conference. Credit: Lester Cohen