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Nicholls' problem was solved with the formation of a group originally known as Bandylegs, made up of some of the top unsigned players in Birmingham, including Mick Hopkins and Malcolm Cope. A heavy metal outfit with impeccable credentials and an even better sound, they subsequently changed their name to Quartz and quickly came under the same management that handled fellow Brummie outfit Black Sabbath (who, by that time, had an international following). Quartz toured with Sabbath, and by 1979 Nicholls had joined the latter group as a full-fledged member, initially as a guitarist but quickly switching over to keyboards. He briefly switched to playing bass when band co-founder Geezer Butler left the lineup, but returned to the keyboard spot following Butler's return, and he subsequently worked on every one of their albums and tours for the next 25 years. Nicholls also contributed on the guitar as needed, but he generally managed to stay very much in the background, which is somewhat surprising considering his longevity with the band, and the fact that he was on every album from Heaven & Hell forward. He also played behind Sabbath vocalist Tony Martin and drummer Cozy Powell on their respective solo projects. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi