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Geezer Butler

Geezer Butler, on stage with Heaven and Hell in 2007.
Background information
Birth name Terence Michael Joseph Butler
Born 17 July 1949 (1949-07-17) (age 60)
Aston, Birmingham, England
Genres Heavy metal
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Bass
Years active 1966-present
Labels Sanctuary, TVT
Associated acts Black Sabbath, GZR, Ozzy Osbourne, Heaven and Hell
Notable instruments
Fender Precision Bass, Rickenbacker 4003

Terence Michael Joseph "Geezer" Butler (born 17 July 1949, Aston, Birmingham, England) is the English founding bassist for the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He is currently involved in Heaven and Hell.



Butler formed his first band, Rare Breed, with old friend John "Ozzy" Osbourne in the autumn of 1967. Separated for a time, Osbourne and Butler reunited in the blues foursome, Polka Tulk, along with guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward. They renamed their band Earth, but after finding a band in the small-time English circuit with the same name, soon adopted Black Sabbath in early 1969.[1]

Butler played rhythm guitar in his pre-Sabbath days, including with Rare Breed, but when Sabbath was formed, Iommi made it clear that he wouldn't want to play with another guitarist, so Butler moved to bass.[2]

Butler is noted as being one of the first bassists to use a Wah-wah pedal on his bass, as showcased at the beginning of "N.I.B." which inspired many later bassists. He was also one of the first bassists to down-tune (from the standard EADG to the lower C#F#BE), in order to match Iommi who had started tuning his guitar to C# (one and a half steps down).[2]

While Ozzy Osbourne was the frontman of the band, Butler wrote almost all of the band's lyrics, drawing heavily upon his fascination with religion, science-fiction, fantasy and horror, and musings on the darker side of human nature that posed a constant threat of global annihilation.[1]

During the latter half of the 1970s, Black Sabbath's popularity dwindled, although the group continued on in the early 1980s with ex-Rainbow frontman Ronnie James Dio and then with ex-Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan. Butler quit the band in the middle of 1984, forming the Geezer Butler Band. In 1988 he joined Ozzy Osbourne to take part in the No Rest For The Wicked World Tour. Butler re-joined Black Sabbath in 1991 for the reunion of the "Mob Rules" lineup, but again quit the group after the Cross Purposes tour of 1994.[1]

In 1995 Butler joined with Osbourne to play on the Ozzmosis album.[3] After recording Ozzmosis, he formed G/Z/R, issuing Plastic Planet in 1995.[4] His next solo album, Black Science, followed in 1997. Butler returned to Sabbath one more time for the 1997 edition of Ozzfest, and has remained with the band since. In 2005 he released Ohmwork, his third solo album. In October 2006 it was announced that Butler, along with Tony Iommi, would be reforming the Dehumanizer-era Black Sabbath lineup with Vinny Appice and Ronnie James Dio, under the name Heaven and Hell to differentiate between the reunited touring band fronted by Osbourne, and the current Sabbath lineup.[5]

Butler is currently endorsed by Lakland basses and plays Joe Osborn and Bob Glaub signature basses.[6] For amplification Butler plays Ampeg SVT-2PRO heads and SVT-810E 8x10 cabinets.[2]


Black Sabbath
Ozzy Osbourne
Heaven and Hell
Non-Album Compilations


External links

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