Geezer Butler Says He Played on Newly Unearthed Black Sabbath Song, “Slapback”
I can only imagine what it’s like for someone who’s performed hundreds (thousands?) of live shows to millions of people over the past four decades to hear a demo of an unreleased song they played on in 1979. It must be a total trip, like a temporary time portal to a long forgotten moment.
But that’s what happened this week when a previously unreleased Black Sabbath demo, for a song called “Slapback,” made its way online. The recording was published by the estate of live band member and frequent collaborator Geoff Nicholls, also the source of some 1979 rehearsal footage that surfaced earlier in the winter.
All of the recordings came from the writing sessions for what would end up becoming Heaven and Hell. But, unlike the rehearsal, which featured Nicholls on bass while Geezer Butler took a brief hiatus from the band to deal with a divorce, Geezer says he performed on “Slapback,” saying the song “didn’t make the grade” for the album.
On SiriusXM’s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” on Monday, March 8, Butler said of the newly unearthed song:
“Yeah, that was one of the songs that we did before I left. It’s probably the reason I did leave. [Laughs] It was just one of those songs that didn’t make the grade.”
Asked to confirm that he did indeed play bass on the track, not Nicholls, he replied:
“Yeah, that was right before I left. It was just a one-off thing. We just jammed it and didn’t think anything more of it. It didn’t really work.”
Butler added that it’s “incredible” these recordings are now seeing the light of the day, and that “it’s quite good quality as well.”
Have a spin on “Slapback” below if you missed it.
In other news, Butler now claims he invented the famous “metal horns” hand gesture and showed it to Ronnie James Dio, not the other way around.