GEEZER BUTLER Says BLACK SABBATH Reunion With OZZY Won't Happen Before 2012

December 8, 2010

AOL's Noisecreep recently conducted an interview with legendary heavy metal bassist Geezer Butler (HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Noisecreep: The show [for HEAVEN & HELL's "Neon Nights" DVD] was filmed on July 30, 2009. How long after that did Ronnie [James Dio] become ill?

Geezer: He started really going downhill in September, towards the end of the U.S. part of the tour. The U.S. tour was supposed to have two parts. We did the first four weeks, then Tony [Iommi, guitar] had something happen to his hand and he had to have an operation immediately. So we had to postpone the second part of the tour so Tony could have his hand looked at. And Ronnie's stomach problems got worse and worse. He was going to do a DIO tour in Europe and he was rehearsing for that, but his stomach kept getting worse. Then he went to the doctor and the doctor didn't say anything about it at first. He just gave him some constipation medicine and said he was severely constipated. And then he went to a specialist and they told him it was stomach cancer.

Noisecreep: Had Ronnie been exhibiting signs of stomach cancer?

Geezer: He'd been having stomach aches, but everyone gets flu or food poisoning when you're on tour. You're in front of 10,000 people, and 2,000 might have the flu. There are all these germs around, so you always get something when you're on tour. And Ronnie was getting these stomach pains. One night he'd be alright and the next night he'd be doubled up in pain. The last week of the American tour he was in agony. I'll always remember he came out for the very last gig and we said, "Look, Ronnie, if you're that ill, we'll just blow the gig." And he said, "No, I'm not gonna blow the gig." And he was literally doubled up in pain. And he just made himself go on. He totally refused to cancel the show. So he went on and we thought, "Oh, God, what's gonna happen?" None of us ever thought cancer, we just thought it was a severe stomach bug. And then at this time last year, just after Halloween he went in and got the report it was cancer. It was just one of those things you don't expect to happen.

Noisecreep: There have been reports about another BLACK SABBATH tour with Ozzy Osbourne. Is that going to happen in 2011?

Geezer: I have no idea what's happening with that. It's not going to happen next year. Ozzy's on tour with his own band for the next year or whatever. The idea of doing another SABBATH tour always comes up. It's just something that's always talked about and there if we want to do it. It's sort of really early days, though. I'm sure Ozzy will say yes and no every week for the next year while he's on tour. It's one thing to want to do something like that just before you go out to tour a record. You say, "Oh yeah, I'm gonna tour for the next five years." And then six weeks into it, you can't wait to get home. So we'll just see how he feels when he finishes his Ozzy Osbourne tour.

Noisecreep: Will there be any posthumous HEAVEN & HELL releases featuring Ronnie?

Geezer: No. There is no more stuff. That's it. We've never had leftover material ever. That's how we got back together when they wanted to put out [a greatest hits record of BLACK SABBATH's] Dio years. They wanted some extra tracks to put on it, and we didn't have any because whatever we do we put out. That's why we got together to do the three extra tracks on the compilation. And it went so well, we went from there and toured and did another album. We were having a great time. We never imagined that we wouldn't have the chance to do more.

Read the entire interview from Noisecreep.

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