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Geezer Butler Weighs In On Black Sabbath Reunion and Bill Ward's Contract Issues

Photo of Black Sabbath

Band Photo: Black Sabbath (?)

While Black Sabbath officially had no comment on Bill Ward's latest update, bassist Geezer Butler has broken the silence and posted an update on his own blog (paragraph breaks added for readability):

I feel sad to see the Sabbath reunion becoming a bit of a soap opera on the internet. It has been a very tough year for us as a band, having announced our reunion plans, only for Tony to be diagnosed with lymphoma, leaving us no choice but to postpone the proposed Sabbath tour, and then for Bill to go public on his site about an un-signable contract. None of us knew how Tony was going to respond to his intensive chemo therapy, and radiotherapy. Ozzy and myself flew to England to be with Tony, and on his “good” days, we’d meet at his home studio and put ideas together for the upcoming album, all sitting down together, no drummer involved, just 3 of us quietly putting together ideas. We thought that when we had enough songs together for a full band rehearsal, we’d move back to L.A and put the whole thing together with Bill.

Unfortunately, to our surprise, Bill issued a statement on his site saying he’d been offered an un-signable contract. He hadn’t told any one of us he was having contractual problems, and frankly those things are worked out between our representatives, and never between the four of us let alone in public. We had the idea of keeping just one show in this year, hoping that Tony would be well enough for that show, and that things with Bill would be sorted. As you may expect, a one off show at Donnington Festival (Download) costs an absolute fortune to stage, involving over 50 people, transport, air fares, hotels, meals, agents, promotors, accountants, lawyers etc, so none of us, expected to make much money from it- it was a one off Sabbath show for the fans, before we go into recording the new album. Apparently, this wasn’t acceptable to Bill’s representatives, they wanted an amount that was so unrealistic that it seemed to have been a joke. So we resigned ourselves to doing Download without Bill, hoping he’d change his mind and at least make a guest appearance.

We started rehearsals a few weeks ago with Tommy Cluefetos, the drummer who will be on the Ozzy and Friends Tour. Brilliant drummer and good bloke. It was decided we’d better do a warm up show, to break the ice since we haven’t played together live. The O2 Academy was available in Birmingham, where we were rehearsing, so we decided on that, and to make a donation to Help For Heroes Charity, since we’d be ironing out any glitches we may have. Then Bill put out a further statement saying he’d been ready to play the Birmingham show , but he was expected to have to do it “for free”- well, I think that’s basically how you raise money from gigs for charity – you play them “for free”.

All I am saying is that there are two sides to everything. I do hope to play with Bill again some day. For whatever reason; it wasn’t meant to be this time. Bill’s made his decision, and I have to respect that. Hopefully this painful year will be worth the wait for the new Sabbath album and end in joy and happiness for all.
Stay frosty,
Geezer

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15 Comments on "Geezer Butler Weighs In On Black Sabbath Reunion"

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Anonymous Reader
1. fuckusharon writes:

how can u have a new sabbath album without a complete sabbath line-up

# May 19, 2012 @ 12:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. fuckusharon writes:

its all bills fault but at the same time on the website hes cut out of pictures...gimme a break

# May 19, 2012 @ 12:54 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

3. deathbringer writes:

Personally, I think this update sheds some light on the situation and makes it much more clear how playing a couple of low paying or free shows could be problematic when one of your members is overseas and would bear considerable cost just to make the trip. It sounds like more logistics than anyone's fault in particular. But I think there probably could be more effort to for Bill and the band to meet halfway (and said goodwill could have been shot down with Bill's public statements).

# May 19, 2012 @ 1:01 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

4. hellrat writes:

Fvck all them guys...bunch of prima donna fvcking bullsh!t

so, the 'mighty' sabbath are a bunch of goddamned pvssies that turn everything into a fvcking circus eh...crusty old farts acting like junior varsity cheerleaders.

Soft and pasty fvcks, strap on your frikken toolbelts, play the goddamned shows you promised you would, AND SHUT THE FVCK UP

I have no patience for grown men that act like snivelling fvcking cvnts...I don't give a flying fvck who they think they are

NP---Fall of Sipledom---The Gathering

# May 19, 2012 @ 1:29 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. Chribbe writes:

I'm never gonna listen to Sabbath with Osbourne again. Such a greedy low life. A matter of fact is that Sabbath was far better with Dio and Martin anyway.

# May 19, 2012 @ 2:46 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
spiral_architect's avatar

Member

6. spiral_architect writes:

BLAH BLAH BLAH GEEZER BUTLER........GIVE BILL WARD ONE QUARTER OF WHATEVER THE BAND MAKES. IF THE BAND IS MAKING TWENTY DOLLARS FROM THE SHOWS, GIVE BILL WARD FIVE DOLLARS. SIMPLE AS THAT......

# May 19, 2012 @ 4:35 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. ATX writes:

Uh, I'm sure Bill has enough money to never have to get paid to play a f***ing show again. How the f*** is it costly for a millionaire to travel to England? And anyone who thinks Bill isn't well off is a f***ing moron........

I believe Bill is the Greedy one, when he's refusing to play a charity gig for free. Metallica status right there.......

# May 19, 2012 @ 5:52 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
8. ATX writes:

Oh and Chribble, you're just talking out of your ass, Tony Martin era Sabbath better than Ozzy era.......

# May 19, 2012 @ 5:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
DixieSkumLord666's avatar

Member

9. DixieSkumLord666 writes:

when the black sabbath reunion interwebz circus started i thought it was kind of funny but at this point its just sad. I wish geezer, ozzy and bill would put the money and ego bullsh** aside for tony's sake...the poor guy is suffering and probably just wants to play some awesome shows before he heads off to the metal afterlife...i hope the sab's realize all the money in the world won't salve the pain of f***ing up their last chance to rock the world the way they did 40 years ago. I blame sharon for a lot of this and she's been on my sh** list since the 2005 Ozzfest when she had Iron Maiden pelted with eggs. I just really want to see the founding fathers of heavy metal live.

# May 20, 2012 @ 12:52 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

Member

10. BrianMN writes:

I won't be buying the album as it will probably be crap.
I do have to take isssue with "Stay Frosty".
GOD, WOULD YOU SHUT UP!!!!
I thought Metallica fan boys were annoying but Van Halen ones take the fvcking cake.
Stay frosty...ahhh...hur, hur, hur.
It was old back in '86 when Hicks said it in the movie "Aliens".
Once again...just so we're absolutely fvcking CLEAR...
SHUT THE FVCK UP!!!!
It's not clever.
It's not witty.
It's just stupid.

# May 20, 2012 @ 12:56 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
11. modern rock wankery writes:

If they excluded Bill from the initial writing process, that alone is pretty telling of the dynamic going on. Both parties have mentioned contracts in their statements yet it just about miscommunication?
It's always 100% about the business and money...always.
If anyone claims contractual problems or getting screwed over when Sharon Osbourne is involved, I think we can safely assume its probably all true.
The only other possibility is that this is just more long drawn out drama to boost ticket sales later and keep TMZ interested and camped outside her house.

# May 20, 2012 @ 7:23 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
12. Unhappy Sabb Fan writes:

Very Very Sad to hear that Bill won't be there doing the reunion ... The man has integrity by Standing by what he believes ...
Let's Hope these " Unsigable" contract differences ( what ever they maybe ) can be cleared up ASAP.
Without Bill their would have been No Black Sabbath ! Just as it would have been if Geezer, Tony & Ozzy were Not in the Original Line-up ...
These Four of guys playing music together is when the real Magic happens !
It's not a reunion without Bill !

# May 24, 2012 @ 7:24 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
ZMA's avatar

Member

13. ZMA writes:

I didn't read the comments but from what I saw seems everyone is p***ed. I myself am p***ed, but I gotta say I got respect for Geezer in how he said all this. He's a good dude, and I'm sort of ok with Tommy doin' drums. But not completely ok.
At the same time I'm torn, because I hate Ward for doing this when he should know this could be the last chance.

# May 24, 2012 @ 5:11 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
b12's avatar

Member

14. b12 writes:

who the f*** cares about this dumbass sh**...rammstein is better

# May 25, 2012 @ 12:47 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrunoHockalugie's avatar

Member

15. BrunoHockalugie writes:

I find it hard to believe that they were completely blindsided by Bill's unhappiness with the contract. To feign surprise and sit there like they had no clue that Mr Ward was unhappy is very farfetched. I saw the original line-up in 1999 and 2004 but more importantly saw Heaven and Hell three times. After seeing H & H, Priest and Motorhead a few years ago after eating magic mushrooms the whole Ozzy teleprompter fronted band without Bill Ward would probably just make me a sad panda. However, those original Sabbath albums are untouchable.

# May 25, 2012 @ 9:33 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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