Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath bassist/lyricist Geezer Butler has revealed that he penned a song about bandmate Tony Iommi's cancer following his diagnosis.

In a Revolver magazine interview, Butler says he started a lyric called “Hanging By a Thread.” He told Revolver: “It was very much about dying, about giving your last breath and passing your spirit on.” But the track didn't make it on the band's comeback album 13. “We never came up with the finished thing," says Butler.

Butler admitted that he feared the worst for Iommi, because former frontman Ronnie James Dio lost his battle with cancer in 2010. He added: “We didn’t know if [Tony] was going to recover from it, especially after seeing Ronnie go so fast. Ronnie went right in six months from being diagnosed to dying.”

Tony Iommi appears to be coping and recovering. Black Sabbath can end 2013 on a high. At the recent Classic Rock “Roll of Honour” awards they won the Album of the Year, Event of the Year and were given the Living Legend prize. 13, Black Sabbath’s first album with Butler, Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne all together since 1978, soared to #1 in the U.S.A, the U.K, Finland, Canada, Germany, Demark and other countries.

And Tony Iommi was this week awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by Coventry University. It was in recognition of his contribution to popular music, in particular his role as one of the founding fathers of heavy metal music and his status as one of the industry's most influential figures.

Iommi said: “It’s a great honor to receive the doctorate, which comes towards the end of a challenging but amazingly successful year for me.”