Legendary heavy metal guitarist Tony Iommi (BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL) will be interviewed this Saturday, April 4 at 6 p.m. U.K. time on Planet Rock radio. Visit to tune in.

Andy Coleman of Birmingham Post recently conducted an interview with Tony Iommi. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

On HEAVEN & HELL singer Ronnie James Dio, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer last November:

"Ronnie's doing better, he's been responding well to treatment. He's very positive and has been in the studio in L.A. this week doing a bit of singing. He has to fly to Dallas (from his Los Angeles home) for chemotherapy every two weeks and has injections daily in his stomach."

"On the last week of our tour he was saying he'd got pains in his stomach. We just thought it was indigestion or something like that. It was a real shock when we heard what it was."

On the stem-cell treatment Iommi has received for an injured hand:

"The cartilage between the thumb joints of my right hand, my fret hand, was rubbing, bone to bone. They've cured that but the bone's been pushed back and I've been told I may need another operation to pull the bone up. I don't particularly want to go there because I have a friend, also a guitar player, who had that operation and it all went pear shaped which put me off a bit."

"I haven't taken any anti-inflammatories, which I had to before, all the time, and it's never going to be like it was but it's fine for playing."

On HEAVEN & HELL drummer Vinny Appice who had surgery on his right shoulder in late November:

"He's doing alright, he's doing all his exercises. I don't know if he's started playing yet but he soon will be. I had the same operation on my arm four or five years ago."

On future releases:

"We're mixing a live DVD of one of our shows from the last tour and Ronnie's been going into the studio to sing along with it just to loosen his voice up. He's not been able to do that for a while and he was worried. But he's sounding really good now and he's a lot happier.

"In his mind he has to keep on, he wants to get out and do it. He's a real professional."

On his autobiography, "Iron Man":

"I've been working on it for a long time. We've been so busy for the last couple of years it's been difficult finding the time to do it. But it's coming on and hopefully it will be out at the end of the year.

"I'm not going out to blast at everybody, that's for sure. That's for the next book!"

On BLACK SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne:

"Ozzy's still a great friend and I don't think we'll ever fall out. Whether we'll work together again is another thing. There are no plans but it's in the lap of the gods."

Read more from Birmingham Post.


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