Classic Rock All Stars concert - Moscow. Geoff Nicholls of Black Sabbath during the Classic Rock All Stars gig at the Izvestia Hall in Moscow. URN:15690679

After a long fight with lung cancer, the former keyboardist of Black Sabbath, Geoffrey James Nicholls (born on February 28th in 1948),  died at the age of 68 on January 28th.

Although, Nicholls was not always credited as a full member of Black Sabbath, however he had been a significant member since 1980 when ‘Heaven And Hell‘ was released, and remained in the band for nine studio albums. On the live shows of Black Sabbath his position was mainly side-stage and backstage. In 2004, he was replaced by Adam Wakeman. Before joining Black Sabbath, Nicholls played in the NWOBHM band Quartz for five years, whose debut album was produced by Tony Iommi. He also played keyboards for the solo albums of Tony Martin.

Via their official facebook accounts the band Quartz and Tony Iommi expressed their sadness about the death of a good friend and music companion.

Quartz: “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. 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.”

Iommi: “I’m so saddened to hear the loss of one of my dearest and closest friends Geoff Nicholls. 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.”

Mary Kalaitzidou