Geezer Butler has called time on BLACK SABBATH, declaring “it’s over.” Dismissing long-discussed fan chatter about a possible final SABBATH gig at Birmingham’s Villa Park, the bassist is the second member of the Birmingham quartet to apparently confirm the end of the band.
Butler made his comments while speaking to Eonmusic about the recent reissue of his solo catalog (“Plastic Planet”, “Black Science” and “Ohmwork”), which is available now via BMG.
Geezer‘s revelation brings to a close five decades of the metal titans, whose “Paranoid” album recently received a 50th-anniversary “super deluxe” reissue. Formed in Birmingham in 1968 by Butler, guitarist Tony Iommi, frontman Ozzy Osbourne, and drummer Bill Ward, the outfit went on to sell over 70 million albums, and are regarded as true originators of the heavy metal genre. The band played its final tour in 2017.
In the chat with Eonmusic, when asked about the possibility of a final show at his beloved Villa Park, Butler was emphatic: “There will definitely be no more SABBATH. It’s done.”
Geezer‘s comments appear to be in line with those of Ozzy, who told Rolling Stone in September that, unlike Tony, he had no interest in playing any more BLACK SABBATH shows. “It’s done,” he said. “The only thing I do regret is not doing the last farewell show in Birmingham with Bill Ward. I felt really bad about that. It would have been so nice. I don’t know what the circumstances behind it were, but it would have been nice.
“I’ve talked to [Tony] a few times, but I don’t have any of the slightest interest in [doing another gig],” Ozzy continued. “Maybe Tony‘s getting bored now.”
Speaking about the final SABBATH run of dates, which concluded with a show at Birmingham’s Genting Arena on February 4, 2017, Geezer told Eonmusic: “I had a great time on the final tour, especially knowing it was the end. I seemed to put a lot of extra effort in, knowing that people wouldn’t see us again.”
He did add, however, that he would have been up for extending the run. “I would have liked to do more dates, but Tony‘s cancer treatment meant we had to shorten the tour,” he said.
Read the full interview on Eonmusic.
This past May, Iommi told SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” that he would open to the possibility of playing a one-off gig with SABBATH at some point in the not-too-distant future. “I think that it would be good, if we could do that,” he said. “The hard thing is, certainly with SABBATH, because it’s such a big thing, you can’t just do an occasional show, because of the crew, and you have the whole setup. It would have to be a year or an 18-month tour… I’m not opposed to doing anything; I just would do it in a different way.”
Back in June 2019, Butler told Classic Rock magazine that he wouldn’t rule out a one-off SABBATH reunion. “If it came up, I wouldn’t say never,” the bassist said. “I can’t imagine it ever happening, but then I said that about the SABBATH tour, and it happened, so who am I to know?”
SABBATH wrote and recorded its 2013 reunion album, “13”, and toured it all over the world while Iommi was going through treatment for his illness, with the guitarist having to fly back to England every six weeks.
The original lineup of SABBATH came together in 1969 with Iommi, Osbourne, Butler and Ward. That lineup recorded and toured through 1978, and periodically reformed through the ’90s and 2000s for live work.
They regrouped again in late 2011 for a new album and tour, although Ward dropped out after a few months over financial issues. SABBATH used Ozzy‘s regular touring drummer Tommy Clufetos since then for live work. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE‘s Brad Wilk laid down the drum tracks on “13”, which came out in June 2013.