BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi will receive the Gibson Les Paul Award at the 2015 Q Awards, set to take place today (Monday, October 19).
Iommi, who hass played a Gibson guitar for the duration of his career, is being honored for his outstanding contribution to music, pop culture and as part of the 100th-anniversary celebrations of the birth of Les Paul guitars.
In a statement, Tony said: “I’m very honored to receive the Les Paul Award. So many thanks to Q magazine and Gibson. I have a long history with the guitar maker.”
Q magazine editor Matt Mason added: “Tony is one of those rare guitar players in that he truly defines a genre and a sound.
“His influence is huge but, equally, there is a real finesse in his playing that often gets overlooked. It harks back to his early love of Django Reinhardt — the legendary gypsy-jazz guitarist — who was a formative influence on Tony.
“As with all great musicians, Tony hears the world in a totally unique way, and that is what the Gibson Les Paul celebrates.”
Iommi said in a recent interview that BLACK SABBATH’s upcoming farewell tour, which will begin in January 2016, is truly its last because he is not physically capable of doing it any longer. Speaking with the Birmingham Mail, Iommi explained, “I can’t actually do this anymore. My body won’t take it much more.”
Iommi, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2012 and was treated all through SABBATH’s extensive 2013 world tour, admitted that he was worried the rigors of the road could bring the disease back. He revealed: “I don’t want that creeping back again, and all the traveling involved in SABBATH tours increasingly takes its toll. That’s why we’re going out on one last tour, to say our farewells. And then it very definitely is the end. We won’t be doing it again.”
The legendary guitarist continued: “Don’t get me wrong, I still love gigging. It’s all the traveling and the exhaustion that goes with it that’s the problem. That side of things has a big impact on me… I love being up there onstage, playing with SABBATH. What I don’t love is all the other stuff necessary to enable that to happen.”
Iommi was also hospitalized recently with back problems, and he still requires blood tests every six weeks to monitor his lymphoma.
The tour kicks off on January 20 in Omaha and will encompass about a year, including breaks.
On the possibility of a new album to follow up 2013’s reunion set “13”, Iommi said: “I’ve been busy writing songs ever since the ’13’ sessions. At that point, we thought there might be another SABBATH album. But that’s up in the air now so I don’t know when or where they might appear. The tracks are ready, though.”