Geezer Butler Finally Explains His Bar Brawl Arrest
I’d largely forgotten about Geezer Butler’s bar brawl in January of 2015, swallowed up by other high-drama Black Sabbath storylines such as the public spat between the band and (now ex-) drummer Bill Ward, Sabbath’s “The End” farewell tour and Ozzy’s split with Sharon, subsequent disappearance and treatment for sex addiction.
But the Internet never forgets, and when TeamRock.com asked Butler about the incident in a recent interview he finally spilled the beans on what happened:
“My sister-in-law had just died, and I’d gone to Death Valley in California just to get away from it all. Not just that, everything — Christmas, New Year’s, everything like that. I went down to the gift shop in the hotel, and there was this nice Western bar there. I thought, ‘I may as well have one before I go to bed.’ It was the strongest beer I’ve ever had in my life.
“The next thing I know, this guy started mouthing off about something. He was, like, some drunken Nazi bloke. He recognized me, and because I was in the music business, he started going on about Jews and everything — Jews this, Jews that. My missus is Jewish and I’d just had enough, and me hand sort of met his chin. I whacked him one.”
The bar owners called the Inyo County police, who arrived shortly after midnight and reported a broken window and one person struck during the altercation.
“I was absolutely legless at the time,” said Geezer. “I don’t know what happened, but one minute I was in this bar, and the next thing I was being arrested. I woke up jail. That was bad enough, but waking up with a hangover was horrible. I was totally ashamed. I should have just walked away. But when you get pissed out of your brains, you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Well that certainly seems like a justifiable cause, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, the bassist said he felt great shame afterward for even getting involved, and asserted that he hasn’t touched booze since.
Elsewhere in the interview Butler talks about the death of Lemmy — who he dubs the “depiction of the heavy metal rock star” — the spate of high-profile deaths that have shaken the rock community lately, and his own mortality. Read it here.