Ozzy Osbourne calls Tony Iommi “the greatest”

“I still don’t understand how he plays guitar.”

Image: Dave Etheridge-Barnes / Getty Images

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Ozzy Osbourne has praised fellow Black Sabbath band member Tony Iommi, saying that “he was always gonna be the greatest”.

“We were all part of the band, but he was the most irreplaceable one [out of all of us],” he said during an appearance in producer Rick Rubin’s Broken Record podcast. “And actually, to this day, I still don’t understand how he plays guitar, ‘cause he’s got no fingertips; he plays with plastic fingers.”

Osbourne described his admiration for Iommi, likening it more to intimidation. “He’s one of the few people who could walk into this room right now and I would fucking feel intimidated. He intimidates the fuck out of me – and he knows it,” he said.

“I mean, there is a man. When he got diagnosed with cancer [in 2012], he just dealt with it. That’s him,” Osbourne added. “I’m going [imitates crying], and he’s, like, ‘Whatever I have to do.’ He’s like that. He’s always been like that. Very calm.”

The Black Sabbath guitarist was initially diagnosed with early stage lymphoma back in 2012, which then went into remission in August 2016. Iommi has said that he is more conscious about the hours he keeps now, in an effort to remain in good health. “To me, it’s never gonna go away; it’s always gonna be there,” he told Loudwire. “But I do live [day] by day now, and just every day is a winner, really. And we’ll see. I hope it doesn’t come back, but you never know.”

Gibson also recently debuted a brand new artist collaboration with Iommi – the Tony Iommi SG Monkey LE. Each instrument has been signed by Iommi himself, and will ship with a replica of his silver cross necklace with a coffin case, a replica of his leather touring guitar strap and a 1960s replica case.

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