LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi on Tuesday denied a report that the veteran British rock band was getting back together in its four man original line-up.
British paper The Birmingham Mail had reported that Iommi, singer Ozzy Osbourne, bass player Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward had begun rehearsing for a tour and a new studio album for release next year.
It quoted Iommi, 63, as saying the original foursome, which dates back to 1969, was looking forward to performing together again.
But in a statement on his official website on Tuesday, Iommi said he was just speculating and described the report as "absolute nonsense."
Iommi said the journalist had taken "a conversation we had back in June and made it sound like we spoke yesterday about a Black Sabbath reunion.
"At the time I was supporting the Home of Metal exhibition and was merely speculating, shooting the breeze, on something all of us get asked constantly, "Are you getting back together?"
"Thanks to the Internet it's gone round the world as some sort of "official" statement on my part, absolute nonsense," Iommi said, apologizing to his three bandmates.
Osbourne was fired from the band in 1979, leading to a revolving line-up for a number of years. The original members got back together for the 1998 album "Reunion" but split again afterward.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte