August 5, 2004

BLACK SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler spoke to the San Antonio Express-News about the group's decision to embark on a reunion tour as part of this year's Ozzfest.

"I don't think Ozzy was sure what he was going to do this year," Butler explained. "It was hit or miss with him after his [all-terrain-vehicle] accident [last December].

"I was around his house and he was playing me his new musical thing he's been writing. The next day he phoned me up and asked about doing Ozzfest this year. I said I was fine with it. Then he phoned up [guitarist] Tony [Iommi] and [drummer] Bill [Ward]."

Regarding Ward's recent health problems, which caused him to be replaced by OZZY OSBOURNE drummer Mike Bordin for a number of SABBATH dates several years ago, Butler said, "[Bill] did the last tour with us, but he missed the beginning of (another) when he had a heart attack. He's been fine. He stopped smoking and has a healthier lifestyle, and he felt up to it. Me and Tony didn't want to go out as SABBATH with a different drummer. It can only be the original four."

Geezer also spoke about the group's recently released box set, "Black Box". For Butler, who is SABBATH's chief lyricist, the chance to package the ultimate "Black Box" was an opportunity to settle a score.

"The major thing I did was make sure the lyrics were properly written this time," he said. "The lyrics that have been printed on the albums in the past have never been right. There's always been loads of mistakes, so this time I had the opportunity of correcting everything."

Asked about SABBATH's glaring omission from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Butler said, "I've got no thoughts on it. It's not up to us. We can't vote ourselves in. I don't really think about it. We'd probably accept it, but I don't think we'd turn up there. It's just meaningless now. I think we've been nominated 10 times so it doesn't mean anything anymore.

"To me, I think it should be THE BEATLES, the STONES and ELVIS — and that's it. When everybody gets in, eventually it just makes it meaningless."

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