‘David Lee Roth Was Copying Ozzy Osbourne,’ Geezer Butler Recalls What Makes Him Angry About Van Halen
Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler opened up about the time when Van Halen was the opening act during their tour for the album, ‘Never Say Die!‘ in the upcoming interview book ‘Eruption: The Eddie Van Halen Story,’ and apparently, Butler was bothered by the fact that lead vocalist David Lee Roth was copying frontman Ozzy Osbourne.
As many of you know, ‘Never Say Die!‘ is the eighth studio album of Black Sabbath, released on September 28, 1978. While the album was certified Gold in the U.S on 7 November 1997 and mostly received mixed reviews and was criticized because of its unbalanced sound, it was the tour that brought the album into the spotlight.
Black Sabbath’s ‘Never Say Die! Tour’ opened on 16 May 1978 with Van Halen as their opening act, and it was revealed by lead vocalist Ozzy Osbourne’s personal assistant David Tangye that the relationship between the two bands started shaky at the beginning mainly because of the similarity of style which was misinterpreted by the members of Black Sabbath.
While the uneasy relationship was soon turned into getting along very well together fortunately for the fans, the Black Sabbath bassist opened up about that time during a recent interview and stated that despite having Van Halen as an opening act was brilliant, they started to copy Black Sabbath at some point which was very bothering to Butler.
Furthermore, Geezer Butler gave examples for the annoying incident by revealing that lead vocalist of Van Halen, David Lee Roth started acting just like Ozzy Osbourne while bassist Michael Anthony happened to be on stage with a wah pedal which was an obvious ‘inspiration from Butler himself who was the only bass player to use a wah pedal.
Here is what Geezer Butler said:
“Van Halen went down incredibly well. The only thing that pissed me off was that at the beginning of the tour they seemed like a really raw band, but as the tour went on, they were sorta ripping us off.
Eddie’s guitar solos were getting longer, David Lee Roth was copying everything that Ozzy would do, and the bass player even started using a wah pedal – at a time when I was the only bass player that had ever used a wah pedal.
By the time we went on stage, people were like, ‘Oh, I’ve already seen all this.‘ It was like we were our own tribute act.”
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