BLACK SABBATH’s Tony Iommi explains Geezer Butler’s absence from Commonwealth Games performance
BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi has explained why the band’s bassist, Geezer Butler, didn’t perform at the closing ceremony of this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
On August 8, a semi-BLACK SABBATH reunion happened when Iommi and singer Ozzy Osbourne performed in their hometown of Birmingham, England to play the band’s classic song “Paranoid“. The pair were joined by Adam Wakeman, who played bass and keyboards, and drummer Tommy Clufetos.
Speaking to BirminghamLive about Butler’s absence from the performance, Iommi said: “I don’t think he wanted to come over as he hadn’t been well with Covid. He’d been on holiday to Kenya and to Italy and had had an accident on a boat, cracking or breaking a rib about three weeks ago, so he was not quite in fine fettle to come over to play. It’s a shame because we’d talked for a long time about the possibility of playing at the Commonwealth Games.”
Three years ago, Ozzy Osbourne had said that he was open to the possibility of a BLACK SABBATH reunion at the Commonwealth Games, telling ITV that it “would be fantastic” to play at the the opening ceremony for the 2022 Games. “With BLACK SABBATH or on my own,” he said at the time.
Sharon Osbourne spoke about her husband’s appearance at the Games on Talk TV, saying: “They asked us six months ago, and Ozzy couldn’t possibly have done it till after his last operation. They saw Ozzy was at Comic-Con and they said, ‘All right. Come on. Get him over.’ And we were, like, ‘All right.’ And literally it was six days from their phone call to getting him there. It was just incredible.”
Tony said about Ozzy’s appearance at the event: “I never thought that Ozzy would be able to come and perform at the Commonwealth Games because of his operation. And then when he said he was coming over we were asked to keep it all a secret so that nobody would know.”
You can watch the performance below.