8476_artistGeoff Nicholls, Black Sabbath keyboardist from 1979 to 2004, passed away today, Saturday 28th January 2017, after suffering with lung cancer. He was 68-years-old.

Birmingham born Geoff also played in the NWOBHM band Quartz before joining Black Sabbath and in the late 1960s/early 1970s played lead guitar for the Birmingham band Johnny Neal And The Starliners.

Geoff was originally brought into Sabbath as a second guitarist when the band were going through huge changes after Ozzy left, He then switched to bass when Geezer Butler left briefly and then became the band’s keyboardist upon Geezer’s return.

His first appearance on a Black Sabbath album was on 1980s ‘Heaven And Hell’, the band’s first with Ronnie James Dio as frontman, He was credited as keyboardist on the next nine Sabbath releases, although he was not an official member until 1986.

Nicholls’ involvement with the band ended when Adam Wakeman, a member of Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band, was chosen to play keyboards during Sabbath’s 2004 and 2005 tours as part of Ozzfest and Scott Warren (Dio) handled keyboard duties on the 2007 Heaven and Hell tour.

Until his death, Geoff played keyboards with former Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin in his band Tony Martin’s Headless Cross, and had previously performed on both of Martin’s solo albums and their support tours.

He returned to a reunited Quartz and appeared on their 2016 comeback album ‘Fear No Evil’.

Geoff was in remission from cancer, but reportedly succumbed to the side effects of chemotherapy.