BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi received the Gibson Les Paul Award at the 2015 Q Awards, which took place on October 19 in London, England.
Iommi, who has played a Gibson guitar for the duration of his career, was honored for his outstanding contribution to music, pop culture and as part of the 100th-anniversary celebrations of the birth of Les Paul guitars.
Asked by Q magazine what it has been like playing in SABBATH for so long, Iommi said (see video below): “I loved it. I’ve been with it since Day One, all these years… 48 years. And I’ve been the only member to stay there. People have come and gone, and now we’re all back. So, yeah, I’ve believed in this, and I’ve lived and breathed this… I love the guys. We love to get out and play. It’s great to play the stuff that we’re known for.”
Speaking about SABBATH’s future plans, Iommi said: “Next we’re gonna… We are gonna do a tour. We are touring. We start in January in America, which has been been great. I mean, we didn’t even put the tickets on sale, and the last show of that first leg was Madison Square Garden [in New York], and it sold out before it even went on sale. So we’ve put another one in, and that sold out. So it’s looking really good at the moment. But we are gonna do a world, and then that’s it.”
Iommi also talked about the possibility of another SABBATH studio album. He said: “I’d love to write. I wrote loads of stuff for another album, but we didn’t do one. But we have got some stuff that we recorded when we’d done the last album. So we have got plenty of stuff there.”
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.