By Zachary Swickey
While Coachella announced their nothing-to-scoff-at lineup chock full of stellar acts, one huge reunion was originally supposed to be headlining one of the nights as well: Black Sabbath (who would’ve been the perfect closing act on Sunday, the Sabbath).
Unnamed sources have revealed to Billboard that the recently reunited metal legends, who are fronted by the iconic Ozzy Osbourne, were forced to pull out of the festival at the last minute due to guitarist Tony Iommi’s recent lymphoma diagnosis. It’s anyone’s guess as to which act was made the new, last-minute headliner. (Although, our money is on the Black Keys; other headliners Dr. Dre and Snoop are too legendary and Radiohead is … well, Radiohead).
As recently reported, 63-year-old Iommi is working with doctors to figure out the best plan of action for treatment. In a serious case of bad timing, Sabbath had just announced their reunion in November. All original members – Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Iommi and Bill Ward – will be conducting a massive world tour in addition to a new studio album being helmed by producing legend Rick Rubin (Slayer, Beastie Boys, Adele). The effort will be Sabbath's first release with Osbourne since 1978 with a fall release being eyed through Vertigo/Universal.
Black Sabbath’s headlining slot at the Download Festival this June in England is still on with no mentioning of cancellation from the band or their management (for now).
Disregarding this newfound knowledge, it’s still impressive that Coachella managed to snag so many acts willing to participate in two consecutive weekends (April 13-15, April 20-22) at the usual stomping grounds in Indio, California.