Black Sabbath ex-keyboardist Geoff Nicholls dies
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Prior to Sabbath, Nicholls performed withband . Quartz's 1977 début album was produced by , founding guitarist of Black Sabbath.
Iommi broke the news of Nicholls's death to fans, writing he was "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."
Hailing from England, the origin of both bands Quartz and Sabbath, Nicholls appeared on numerous Sabbath albums starting with in 1980. Nicholls was caught up in turmoil within the band, with Heaven and Hell released shortly after the firing of frontman and his replacement with , who died in 2010.,
Nicholls was not always considered a full band member; despite achieving this status in 1986 whenwas released, he often played offstage or from the side during concerts. In 1992 he was demoted when Sabbath reunited with Dio to release and he was again demoted when Osbourne rejoined in 1997. In 2004 Osbourne's solo band keyboardist, , joined the band leaving Nicholls without a role.
Nicholls thereafter joined another ex-Sabbath musician,, and performed in Martin's band . Headless Cross was named after . "Saddened to hear of the passing of Geoff Nicholls", Martin said, adding "Safe journey, mate."
Osbourne said Nicholls "was a great friend of mine for a long time. He will be greatly missed. I'm very saddened at the news." Sabbath bassistsaid he was "Very sad to hear of old friend and Sabbath keyboard player Geoff Nicholls passing."
Nicholls further appears on two Tony Martin solo albums, and played in 1960s band. He played occasional at Black Sabbath live shows.
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- Dave Lifton. "Black Sabbath Keyboardist Geoff Nicholls Dies" — , January 28, 2017
- Andrew Flanagan. "Geoff Nicholls, Longtime Keyboardist For Black Sabbath, Dies Aged 68" — , January 28, 2017