Black Sabbath guitar icon Tony Iommi has addressed why fellow Sabbath alum Geezer Butler, the legendary metal band's bass player, didn't perform alongside he and Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne when they closed out England's Commonwealth Games on Aug. 8.
Joining Iommi and Osbourne onstage were a familiar pair of musicians, though — drummer Tommy Clufetos, who played live with Sabbath from in 2012 and has been in Osbourne's solo band since 2009, and bassist Adam Wakeman, who's played live keyboards for Sabbath and Ozzy. So where was Butler?
"I don't think he wanted to come over as he hadn't been well with COVID," Iommi revealed to Birmingham Live last week (Aug. 12).
Further, Butler had "been on holiday to Kenya and to Italy and had had an accident on a boat, cracking or breaking a rib about three weeks ago," the Black Sabbath guitarist explained, "so he was not quite in fine fettle to come over to play."
Iommi added, "It's a shame because we'd talked for a long time about the possibility of playing at the Commonwealth Games."
Otherwise expressing his satisfaction with the performance overall, Iommi marveled, "I never thought that Ozzy would be able to come and perform at the Commonwealth Games because of his operation. And then when he said he was coming over we were asked to keep it all a secret so that nobody would know."
In June, Osbourne reportedly was "on the road to recovery" after neck and spine surgery. The singer himself shared a recuperative message. His injuries stemmed from a 2003 ATV accident that required previous surgery. Osbourne recently shared an interview where he touched on his health hurdles, including contacting COVID-19 earlier this year.
Last month, Osbourne released the new Iommi-assisted song, "Degradation Rules." It's the second single from Ozzy's forthcoming solo album, Patient Number 9.
Ozzy Osbourne + Tony Iommi, "Paranoid" (Live) – Aug. 8, 2022
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