Very sorry to hear that Black Sabbath keyboardist, Geoff Nicholls, died Saturday following a battle with lung cancer. Geoff played with Black Sabbath for 25 years, he was 68.
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi wrote, "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."
Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler wrote, "Very sad to hear of old friend and Sabbath keyboard player Geoff Nicholls passing. RIP Geoff."
Before Black Sabbath, Nicholls played in the band Quartz, whose self-titled debut album was produced by Tony Iommi. Quartz released the following statement, "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."
Nicholls first joined Black Sabbath in 1979 just before the recording of their finest album (in my personal opinion), the classic, "Heaven and Hell", which featured Ronnie James Dio on vocals. He is credited with crafting the bassline for the title track. Nicholls became an official member in 1985, playing on nine albums. It was only until Ozzy Osbourne rejoined the band that they parted ways.