GEEZER BUTLER Downplays Chances Of Potential BLACK SABBATH Reunion: “It’s Up To Everyone’s Health, But I Can’t See It Happening”

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In a recent interview with BraveWords, legendary Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, opened up about the paperback release of his autobiography, “Into The Void: From Birth To Black Sabbath – And Beyond.” Among the topics discussed was the absence of original drummer Bill Ward from the band’s last studio and touring activities, and the much-debated possibility of a final reunion show featuring all the original members of Black Sabbath.

Before delving into future prospects, it’s essential to revisit some past events. Notably, drummer Bill Ward did not participate in the band’s final tour and was replaced by Tommy Clufetos, a move that left some fans disheartened. He also did not play in the band’s final studio album, “13”.

Reflecting on his early days, Butler reminisced about his pre-Black Sabbath years playing rhythm guitar in The Rare Breed. When Tony Iommi insisted on having only one guitarist, Butler switched to bass, which fostered a close bond with Ward: Bill was the first drummer that I ever played bass with. Bill was the greatest person that you could possibly learn bass to and he inspired my bass playing. The thing with Bill is he was a jazz drummer. His heroes were Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa. Those kind of people. So he was an out-and-out jazz person, and he brought a whole new swing to rock drumming. So it was great for me because I was able to do all these jazz scales now. So it really helped me when I first picked up the base.”

Addressing long-standing rumors regarding Ward’s health and performance capabilities, and his absence from Black Sabbath‘s final tour, Butler said he remains clueless about the reasons behind Ward‘s dismissal during the recording sessions for the album “13″ with producer Rick Rubin and expressed his undying love for Ward‘s drumming on Sabbath‘s essential albums.

“I didn’t think it was his plan. I was surprised when I came back from holiday when we were doing the “13” album – the writing part of it. We all had a break from writing. Me and my wife went to Hawaii and when we came back we found out that Bill had been fired. And we were like ‘Why, what’s going on?’ To this day we still don’t have the answer to who fired Bill and why. There’s been rumours about his health and that kind of thing. I was listening to the “13” stuff we did with Bill on that album and I loved it. It really did sound like the old Sabbath. Like the first three albums, the drumming on it. I love that kind of thing. Maybe it was the producer…I don’t know.”

Butler further explained that Ward was offered the chance to join the tour for a few songs, but Ward declined, insisting on full participation. “So we offered Bill to come on the tour and do two or three songs, and he said ‘No it’s either the whole thing or nothing.’ We just couldn’t have a world tour going on and have cancellations if something happened to Bill. So we had to get another drummer that we knew would be there every night and didn’t have any health problems. I’m not saying that Bill would’ve had health problems, but we just couldn’t risk it. And he wasn’t willing to do two or three songs just to see how it went.”

When asked about the elephant in the room: the potential for a final show to bring closure to Black Sabbath‘s storied career, Butler revealed: Ozzy has been texting me about doing one final show with Bill and that’s it, but it’s just not going to happen. But I always said that the original Black Sabbath would never get back together. So you say these things hoping if a miracle happens, that would be great to do it. But it’s up to everyone’s health, but I can’t see it happening. I’d love it to happen, even if it was one final song with the original four of us, with Bill on the drums. Even if it’s just one song.”

Butler also remarked that he would prefer any potential reunion to occur in their hometown of Birmingham, though he emphasizes it could never be a tour: “I’d love it too, but it certainly could never be a tour. It would only be one or two shows.”

“Into The Void: From Birth To Black Sabbath – And Beyond”

In “Into The Void: From Birth To Black Sabbath-And Beyond,” now in trade paperback, Geezer Butler tells his side of the story – and the story of his life before and after the band’s rise to fame and notoriety. With honesty, Butler writes of his childhood in Luftwaffe-battered Birmingham, England, as one of seven in a working-class Irish Catholic family, and his disillusionment with organized religion and class systems in his late teens, which would influence the lyrics and artistic themes that made Black Sabbath a sensation.

From his awakening to the power of music—and his bold decision to change his career path from accountant to bassist – Butler takes readers behind the scenes of Black Sabbath’s roots, rise, and struggles.


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