Geoff Nicholls, Black Sabbath Keyboardist, Dead at 68
Mon, 30 Jan 2017 10:49:21
Black Sabbath's longtime keyboardist, Geoff Nicholls, died on Saturday following a battle with lung cancer. He was 68.
Nicolls performed with the heavy metal legends for 25 years, and is considered as key to the sound developed by the band. "I'm so saddened to hear the loss of one of my dearest and closest friends Geoff Nicholls," Sabbath guitarist, Tony lommi wrote on Facebook on Saturday. "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."
Nicholls' previous band, Quartz — that he played with until 1975 — also confirmed Nicholls' death on Facebook. "Everyone in the band, and associated with the band, are struggling to find the words to express their feelings and sadness regarding the passing of their dear friend Geoff Nicholls earlier this morning at home," Quartz wrote.
"Geoff had been unwell for a long time battling cancer and had under gone extensive radio and chemotherapy plus other trial treatment but all sadly to no avail in the end. In this darkest and lowest moment of time Geoff's lyrics and music speak volumes to us and for us and through these his memory will live on forever."
Nicholls first appeared on Black Sabbath's 1980 LP Heaven and Hell — where he famously crafted the iconic bassline for that classic title track. He remained with the band through nine studio albums, one live album, a number of world tours and a steady flow of lineup changes.
In 1985, Nicholls became an "official" member of Black Sabbath. He held the title intermittently until 1996, when Osbourne rejoined the band. Nicholls' tenure with Black Sabbath ended in 2004 when keyboardist Adam Wakeman, a member of Osbourne's touring unit, was hired to replace him.
Fans of Black Sabbath will forever feel the impact of Nicholl’s influence on the band, and he will be sorely missed.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff