GEEZER BUTLER: RONNIE JAMES DIO ‘Was The Most Honest Bloke I’ve Ever Worked With’

Jon Liebman of For Bass Players Only recently conducted an interview with legendary BLACK SABBATH/HEAVEN HELL bassist Geezer Butler. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

For Bass Players Only: You were quite young when BLACK SABBATH was launched. How did the band’s success compare to whatever you might have been expecting?

Geezer: I was 18 when we first got together, in June 1968. I used to dream about being successful. I sort of knew it was my destiny to be in a band, but none of us ever thought we’d have the success and longevity that we have enjoyed — and endured! At that time, if you were over 25, you were considered too old to rock ‘n’ roll, so we thought if we were still around after five years, we’d have accomplished our mission.

For Bass Players Only: What can you tell our readers about Ronnie James Dio?

Geezer: Ronnie was the most honest bloke I’ve ever worked with. He’d tell you exactly what was on his mind, no holds barred, whether good or bad. It led to quite a bit of arguing, but you always knew where you stood. As a friend, there was none better. He’d go out of his way for you, and often did. He always made me feel welcome and we had some great times together. Ronnie genuinely loved his fans and would stay for hours after each gig, talking to them. He’d often have a drink at the hotel bar or nearby pub with his fans. I miss him greatly. It was one of the saddest periods of my life watching him succumb to that horrible disease, but he put up a brave fight until the end. He passed with lots of the people he loved, and who loved him, by his bedside.

For Bass Players Only: There’s all kinds of talk, especially lately, about the prospect of a BLACK SABBATH reunion. What’s up?

Geezer: No idea.

For Bass Players Only: What else lies ahead for you and your career? What can we look forward to seeing and hearing from Geezer Butler?

Geezer: I have been writing songs for a possible GZR album and slowly compiling memoirs — what I can recall of them. I’m hoping to have the book out in 2012, but it is very slow going. An album, maybe in 2012, is also a possibility.

Read the entire interview from For Bass Players Only.