Geezer Butler Says Last Black Sabbath Show ‘Just Felt Right’
Black Sabbath’s final show wasn’t as bad as bassist Geezer Butler believed it was going to be, he said in a new interview. The band performed the last concert of its The End world tour in its hometown of Birmingham, U.K, in February. Since then, Butler has had time to reflect on the conflict of emotions he felt on the night.
“I felt relief that it was all over, that it was done with, that we’d done a good show, and quite sad in a way to think that we’d never do it again,” he told Billboard. “It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, actually. It just felt right. We’ve been around for 49 years now, and it’s time to call it a day.”
He admitted to applying a business-as-usual attitude as a defense mechanism. “If you think about it too much, then it might be a bit too emotional," he noted. "The whole thing felt like a special tour. It felt like each night had to be our best show ever, because it would be the last time anyone would ever see us. So I think we put in, psychologically, extra effort every night. I think Ozzy [Osbourne] was the best that he’s been in a long time, and I think the band was probably the best that it was in a long time.”
Butler confirmed that guitarist Tony Iommi’s cancer issues had been a significant factor in the decision to bring things to an end. “If it was up to me, I would have toured for the next five years, because I love touring and travelling," he said. "But because of Tony’s illness, he just couldn’t travel much more. It wasn’t the gigs; it was the traveling that really got to him, and the different hotels every night and the stuff like that. He just couldn’t cope after being treated for his cancer, and we all sympathize with him and were just grateful that we could have done the last tour together.”
Butler, meanwhile, is “enjoying the retirement” before going back to work. “I’m not in a hurry to do anything,” he said. “I’m traveling a lot, seeing the places we only stayed for one night and going back and spending some time there. We’ve recently moved house this year and I’m going to be building my home studio, but it’s taken me ages. Next year I’ll see if I can get back into music."
Black Sabbath's The End concert movie will be released on Friday.