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BLACK SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler says he has been speaking with Ozzy Osbourne and is also behind the idea of a final concert featuring band’s original drummer Bill Ward

While making an appearance on the May 28 episode of SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”, BLACK SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler was asked his opinion on Ozzy Osbourne‘s recent comment that he would like to play one final SABBATH concert with the band’s original drummer Bill Ward. Geezer replied (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Of course there’s an interest [on my part to do it], but there’s a big ‘but’ — you’d have to speak to Bill about it. Everybody wants to do it [but I don’t know if he is] capable [of pulling it off].”

Geezer also touched on whether he thinks Bill would be able to play either a concert or on a new SABBATH recording project, saying: “I don’t think so. Maybe, I don’t know. I mean, the way technical things happen these days, maybe a couple of songs, but who knows? There wouldn’t be any traveling involved. We wouldn’t be actually all in the studio at the same time together. So it could be done that way — maybe.”

Referring once again to Ozzy‘s comments on his desire to play one final SABBATH show in the band’s hometown of Birmingham, United Kingdom, Geezer said: “Ozzy was hoping to finish it all off next year back in Aston, at the Aston Villa [football stadium in Aston, Birmingham]. I’m definitely up for it, to finish the whole thing off.”

When asked if there has been any discussion between the original BLACK SABBATH band members about actually putting on a final show, Geezer said: “Me and Ozzy have agreed, but I’m not sure about anybody else.”

Butler went on to reveal that he has been in touch with Osbourne “every day practically”. He added: “There was a lot of miscommunication [before]. He didn’t think I was asking about his health ’cause I know he’s been going through a lot of health problems, and I was sending all these messages to him and they weren’t being passed on to him.

“So he thought I was just ignoring him. And then the weird way I had to go through SABBATH‘s accountant to tell Ozzy I’d sent him all these things. ‘Cause he did this thing in Rolling Stone saying that I hadn’t been in touch with him about his health. So I went through the accountant, and he got in touch with Ozzy and said, ‘He’s just been sending you stuff. He wants to talk to you.’ And we’ve been fine since that.”

When asked if he is in contact with Ward, Butler replied: “He’s not on e-mail and I hate the phone. So, I send e-mails to his wife, who passes it on to Bill.”

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Geezer added that he would definitely be interested in reuniting SABBATH‘s original lineup for one final performance, even if it was for just a short set. “I’d love to do it. I’d absolutely love to do it,” he said.

When asked if he misses playing live, Geezer said: “With [the SABBATH guys], yeah.” He went on to say that he still practices his playing regularly. “It’s like part of me daily exercise. I don’t get down to the gym. I just go up to my studio.”

BLACK SABBATH‘s  Tony Iommi also addressed Ozzy Osbourne’s recent desire for a final reunion concert with original drummer Bill Ward during an interview on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” on May 22nd.

Tony said: “It’s a funny old thing, really. I mean, God, we’ll be 90 by the time we do that. [Laughs] It’d be a nice idea, but you’re gonna get everybody going, ‘Oh, they’re doing it for the money. They’re doing it for this, they’re doing it for that, they’re doing it…’ Well, it wouldn’t be. I mean, it’d be something that’d be a nice thing to actually do, but whether it happens will be another thing. But we’ll see. I mean, who knows?”

When asked if he misses performing live, Tony said: “It’s great to see the audience. I love to play live. But I have been playing. You obviously know about the BLACK SABBATH ballet. And it was great for me to go on at the end — I was playing on the end of the show, which was really good to get out and play live again.

“And then I did a gig with Johnny Depp when he came over [with HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES]; I played on one of their shows, which was great. It’s really good to be able to do that. But, yeah, for me, I’ve always loved playing live. But I have to look at it realistically at my age. I can’t go out and do a two-year tour like we were doing before. And to put something together like the original SABBATH or this or that or the other, you’ve gotta do it a long time because of the cost of everything. But it would be nice, yes, to do a one-off, if that ever happens, yeah.”

Ozzy recently discussed the making of BLACK SABBATH‘s momentous final album, “13,” on the new web series, “The Madhouse Chronicles”, which he hosts with musician Billy Morrison, where the final concert idea with Ward was brought up.

Released in 2013, the “13” LP marked a historic reunion for BLACK SABBATH‘s core lineup of Ozzy, guitarist  Tony Iommi, and bassist Geezer Butler – their first studio album together in a staggering 35 years! However, original drummer Bill Ward was not a part of it’s creation, leaving many fans feeling somewhat unfulfilled.

Ozzy said of the album’s creative sessions: “[Producer] Rick Rubin, I had met him a long time ago, before he did the album. And he would say, ‘Listen, if you ever get back together again, you’ve gotta let me produce the album.’ … And when we reformed to do that [1997] tour, we recorded the live album, [1998’s] ‘Reunion’. He actually walks into the studio and he goes — we’d had two [studio] bonus tracks [that were included on the album] — he says, ‘I like that track, but I don’t like that track,’ and fucking walked out . And then, as time went on, [Ozzy‘s wife and manager] Sharon goes to me, ‘Rick Rubin wants you to do an album with him.’”

Discussing how “13” came out, Ozzy said: “The only criticism I have about the album — not criticism; the thing we all found hard to do, none of us had that much input. So it was kind of like going straight back to the beginning when we had [early SABBATH producer] Rodger Bain and we didn’t know about double tracking and all that. If you have a producer, you don’t produce it yourself. Because Tony would basically produce all the albums after a certain time. He must have had to swallow his pride and all that.”

He continued: “One of the tracks was a fucking jam. [They would] just say, ‘Just fucking play and get warmed up before.’ And it was recorded. And it ended up on the fucking album.”

Also discussed was the absence of original drummer Bill Ward, who, due to contractual disagreements, didn’t return to the fold. The hunt for a replacement took some interesting turns, with producer Rick Rubin suggesting CREAM‘s Ginger Baker (rejected by Iommi as “bloody hell?”) and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE‘s Brad Wilk eventually taking the throne, and doing his best to recreate Ward‘s signature groove.

Addressing Ward‘s absence from “13”Ozzy said: “I can’t remember why Bill didn’t do it. I’ve gotta be truthful. It wasn’t really BLACK SABBATH because Bill wasn’t there. I mean, if you had Ginger Baker playing with THE BEATLES, it wouldn’t be THE BEATLES.”

Ozzy also discussed BLACK SABBATH‘s final show of “The End” tour, which took place in February 2017 in the band’s original hometown of Birmingham, England. When asked if he was glad it was done at that moment, Osbourne said: “Yeah, but I was sad that Bill wasn’t there. I mean, I mean, Tommy [Clufetos], my drummer [for my solo band], did a great job [stepping in for Bill], but he ain’t  Bill Ward.”

Pressed about whether he is happy with the arc of the legend of BLACK SABBATHOzzy said: “No. Because it wasn’t BLACK SABBATH that finished it. It’s unfinished. If they wanted to do one more gig with Bill, I would jump at the chance. Do you know what would be cool? If we went to a club or something unannounced and we just got up and did it. We started up in a club.”

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