Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler Reveals 2015 Arrest Was for Punching a ‘Drunken Nazi Bloke’
Legendary Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler has opened up about his 2015 bar brawl arrest. According to Butler, he punched a “drunken Nazi bloke” in the face after he spewed some antisemitic beliefs to Butler.
Back in January 2015, we reported that Geezer had been arrested after a bar fight in Death Valley, Calif. The only information available at the time was that an individual had been struck and a bar window was broken. In a new interview with Classic Rock magazine, however, Butler shared his side of the story for the first time.
"My sister-in-law had just died, and I'd gone to Death Valley in California just to get away from it all,” Geezer says. “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."
Geezer continues, "I was absolutely legless at the time. 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."
According to Geezer, has hasn’t had a drink since the incident. Black Sabbath are currently touring around Europe before visiting North America and South America later this year. There's no word yet on where they'll finish their final tour.
Update: A man named Chase, who claims he was the man who Geezer branded a Nazi, has shared with Loudwire his account of what happened that night:
I had gotten off of work at the inn at furnace creek. I was the Sous Chef. I went down the hill to the bar and this old English guy just kept talking to me about my hand tattoos. This and that about how Ozzy has tattoos like that on his hand. I kept trying to blow the guy off until he went to the bathroom and the bartender asked if I knew who it was and he then showed me a picture of young Geezer. I was like fuck I’m a dick. I apologized to him and asked for a picture and got a couple and we were drinking and having a good time. Geezer proceeded to talk about how he was a born again and kept talking about how he’s Jewish and how he’s found god again and what not. He got drunk only annoying with how much he was talking about god and being Jewish. My friend and I went outside to smoke a cig and Geezer ended up following us outside. He grabbed at me and threw a punch and I moved out of the way. He then went for my friend Derek with the same move and my friend moved out of the way. A security guard came up behind Geezer and put his hand on Geezer's shoulder and Geezer swung around and drilled the security guard right in the mouth. He then punched the small corner panel out of a giant window. I dipped the fuck out at that point. About two hours later I was asleep in my room on property and woke up to the police banging on my door. They took me over to their SUV’s and questioned me and asked if the man in the SUV was the one who started the fights. I had to tell them yes. Almost lost my job because of it. I’m not a fucking nazi. Or whatever Geezer has told the press. If you knew me you’d laugh at the allegations that Geezer has stated in his interviews about the altercation.
His friend Derek, who is mentioned above, also offered Loudwire an account of what happened:
After I got off work at furnace creeks corkscrew. I had a few drinks with some friends like I often did. I walked into the bar and ordered a drink and went outside. My friend Chase came out a few minutes later telling us that Geezer was in the bar. He seemed excited and went back in to talk to him. I went in a little later and just said hi. I really couldn't understand a single word out of Geezer's mouth as he was clearly very intoxicated. So I basically just said hi nice to meet you and walked away. Chase stayed and talked to him a bit. About ten minutes later Chase and I were outside. Geezer came out of the door yelling something I still couldn't understand a word. He threw his beer at me covering me in beer and then proceeded to take three punches at me as I stepped back every time he didn't make contact with me but he did make contact with the security guard on duty that night. I don't know how the word Nazi came into this arrival at all. Being of Jewish decent myself it is hurtfully that some drunk trying to attack me would call me that.
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