In a new candid interview with Revolver Magazine, Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler has opened up about his reaction to guitarist Tony Iommi’s lymphoma diagnosis in 2012.
Butler revealed that the news hit him hard and inspired him to write a song, tentatively titled ‘Hanging by a Thread’: “It was very much about dying, about giving your last breath and passing your spirit on. But the track didn’t make it on (the band’s comeback album) ’13’. We never came up with the finished thing.”
He explained the experience of watching former Black Sabbath frontman Ronnie James Dio die from cancer in 2010 made him fear the worst for Iommi: “We didn’t know if he (Iommi) was going to recover from it, especially after seeing Ronnie go so fast. Ronnie went right in six months from being diagnosed to dying.”
Meanwhile, Iommi may now be referred to as Dr. Tony Iommi after being awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts in recognition of his contribution to music. A video of the event can be seen below.
Iommi received the honor during a ceremony at Coventry University on November 19. The guitarist was awarded with the title in acknowledgement of his widespread musical influence on the world as the guitarist and co-founding member of Black Sabbath.
The Jordanian Princess, Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali and artist George Shaw were also awarded honorary doctorates at the ceremony for their respective contributions.