February 28, 1948 – January 28, 2017
Geoff Nicholls was the longtime keyboardist for Black Sabbath. Although not nearly as recognized as core group since he primarily played off stage for some 25 years. Born in Birmingham, England, Nicholls helped form his first band of note, Quartz (initially called Bandy Legs) during the mid-’70s. Quartz, an influential band that helped usher in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, built a sizable enough following to sign with Jet Records in 1976. They released their debut album, the Tony Iommi-produced Quartz in 1977 and went on to tour with Black Sabbath after its release. In 1979, Nicholls left Quartz to play with Black Sabbath. Although unaccredited, his debut was on their Heaven and Hell album of 1980. He went on to play on every subsequent Sabbath album through 1995’s Forbidden. In later years Nicholls played with former Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin. Geoff Nicholls died of lung cancer on January 28, 2017. He was 68.