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Geezer Butler on What He’d Change About His Time in Black Sabbath

Geezer Butler, much like Ozzy Osbourne, has expressed similar regret about his time in Black Sabbath. In a recent interview with Full Metal Jackie on her weekend radio show, Butler shared that the absence of drummer Bill Ward on the band’s final tour is something he wished hadn’t happened.

“We were all sad about it, that he couldn’t really do it,” said Butler. “But yeah, I’d love Bill to have been on the last album and tour.”

Butler was a guest on the show to discuss his “Into the Void” memoir. During the chat, he spoke about seeing some of rock’s biggest names before they hit it big and which fellow musicians he knew were destined for stardom. He also spoke about how time has impacted his views on religion and why the ’60s were such an interesting time for forming a worldview. Additionally, Butler offered insight into how his parents reacted once his career in music started to take off.

Geezer also reflected on Black Sabbath’s Tony Martin era and the one album he recorded with the singer, sharing how he views music these days.

The discussion touched on many significant topics. One interesting point was about whether Butler knew certain musicians were destined to be stars before they actually rose to fame. He mentioned that he used to see Band of Joy, whose singer was Robert Plant, perform locally. “You could tell from the first time I seen him, he was going to be massive,” Butler remarked. He also noted that John Bonham, who was in a local band as well, was bound for greater things.

Taking on the role of lyricist in Black Sabbath, Butler channeled his disillusionment with organized religion into some classic hits. Reflecting on whether his views have softened with age, Butler said, “I’m not as religious as I used to be, so that’s definitely changed. I think I’m a bit more conservative than I used to be as I get older.”

Butler discussed the vibrant and transformative ’60s era, describing it as an incredible time to be a teenager. “All the music was changing everywhere. There were all these new ideas, a counter-culture movement, backlash against organized religion, and the Vietnam War was raging,” he said.

Commenting on his transition from a potential career in accounting to music, Butler said his parents were initially skeptical. “I didn’t really give up accounting, I was fired from it because I could never turn up on time. All I wanted to do was be a musician,” he explained. Butler pretended to go to work daily until he could show his parents the first album. “This is what I’ve done,” he told them, making them realize that his dreams were coming true.

Geezer shared that he also regrets that Bill Ward wasn’t part of the final album and tour. “I think Bill was a very proud person and he didn’t want to come along and just do three or four songs. He insisted on doing the whole set and the whole album,” said Butler. He explained that the band was concerned about Ward’s health and couldn’t risk booking a worldwide tour that might get canceled.

Regarding the recent box set collection celebrating the Tony Martin years of the band, Butler mentioned that Tony often gets overlooked but had a massive impact. “Tony Martin’s a great singer and he was good to work with. There were no bigger egos or anything. He got down to it when he needed to,” Butler shared. He recalled that a significant portion of the album “Cross Purposes” was written by him.

Reflecting on his career, Butler mentioned that the most rewarding album and touring cycle was the first album’s success and the subsequent “Paranoid” album, which allowed the band to tour the United States for the first time. “It was just an amazing, incredible time,” he said.

When asked about his current activities and what keeps music interesting for him, Butler said he enjoys experimenting in his home studio. “Just seeing what I can come up with. It could be anything, just to please me,” he explained. For now, it’s more of a hobby than a professional pursuit.

There are no immediate plans for new music, but Butler remains open to the possibility. “If I come out with something that I think is absolutely marvelous and everybody should hear it, then I’ll call certain people up and try and do something with it,” he stated.

Thanks to Geezer Butler. His “Into the Void” memoir is available now. Stay up to date with Geezer Butler through his website, Facebook, X, Instagram, and Spotify. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie’s weekend radio show here.

Source: Full Metal Jackie