Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Black Sabbath Keyboardist Geoff Nicholls Dies at 68
Most people when they think of Black Sabbath think of them as a guitar driven band and would never really associate keyboards with their sound. In most cases they have the right idea, but what some people might not know is that in 1979 they actually did get a keyboardist Geoff Nicholls who stuck with them through various line-up changes until 2004 when Ozzy Osbourne brought in the keyboardist from his solo band Adam Wakeman. Sadly however, Nicholls passed away on the 28th due to lung cancer.
Many messages about Nicholls have been pouring in over the past few days to mourn his death and remember and celebrate his life including from most of the original line-up of Black Sabbath.
Guitarist Tony Iommi made the longest statement about Nicholls on his Facebook, saying:
“I’m 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. Rest In Peace my dear friend.”
Bassist Geezer Butler made a Facebook post expressing his thoughts, saying:
"Very sad to hear of old friend and Sabbath keyboard player Geoff Nicholls passing. RIP Geoff."
Even the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne took a moment to pay his respects through a tweet, saying:
"Geoff Nicholls was a great friend of mine for a long time. He will be greatly missed. I'm very saddened at the news."
It is definitely a sad occasion for metal fans. Nicholls did some of the coolest keyboard work I've ever heard, especially in songs like: Die Young, E5150, Stonehenge, The Dark, Sphinx (The Guardian), etc. He was definitely a skilled and quite frankly under rated and valued musician. Personally I think he should have been a more visible/official member considering how much he contributed during his time in the band. Regardless, I hope he rests in peace and that his friends and loved ones manage to find their own peace.