BLACK SABBATH - Geezer On Being Geezers
by Martin Popoff

"I think the surprise is that we're still alive," quips Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, when asked what surprises we might see out of a Sabbath set as the band momentously hit Ozzfest for the second time in three years. The legendary inventors of heavy metal will be rehearsing for four or five days in New Jersey ("a central shipping point," says Bill Ward, also in conversation with BW&BK - see cover story with Geezer and Bill in BW&BK #81), and then a bit more in Hartford, Connecticut before their first show July 10th in that town.

"Not hard at all this time," says Geezer about the paperwork involved in getting Sabbath back together. "It was like so off the cuff. I mean, it was about a month ago I was asked if I wanted to do it. Totally unexpectedly; I was preparing to go into the studio to do my own album, soon, and it just came right out of the blue. And I said, yeah, I'll do it. And then Tony and Bill came on board."

As has been reported, Bill Ward was a temporary stand-out in terms of closing the circle on the original line-up. Likely band pressure pushed the deal back onto the front burner and into consummation. "Well, they asked me if I would play with... you know, what drummer," says Geezer. "And I said if it's Sabbath, obviously Bill Ward. I think Tony felt the same, that it had to be with Bill or nobody. I'm not sure what the problem is with Ozzy and Bill, but I think they've sorted it out now. I mean, if it's going to be Sabbath, it's got to be the original Sabbath."

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