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Geezer Butler recalls why Tony Iommi didn’t want to join Jethro Tull

Tony Iommi Jethro Tull

Classic Rock

Geezer Butler recalls why Tony Iommi didn’t want to join Jethro Tull

Black Sabbath became one of the greatest bands of all time and obviously, the group that created Heavy Metal music. But that could have been really different or never existed if Tony Iommi had decided to really join Jethro Tull and be their guitarist. In the early days of Sabbath (When they were still called Earth), when they still didn’t have an album, they were Tull’s opening act and one night after Ian Anderson saw Iommi play he invited the guitar player to join them.


Since at the time, the Heavy Metal had really nothing going, he decided to try but as his bandmate, the bassist and lyricist Geezer Butler recalled in an interview with Q104,3 (Transcribed by Ultimate Guitar), that he eventually left the group because Anderson was telling him exactly what he should play and nobody should do that according to the guitarist.

Geezer Butler recalls why Tony Iommi didn’t want to join Jethro Tull

“Yeah, he enticed Tony away. We were a blues band at the time, and we supported them in Birmingham. As Tony was doing his guitar solo, we saw Ian Anderson slowly come into the gig, stand right in front of Tony, and he was just like, mesmerized. “And we were thinking, ‘Oh no, this looks bad.’ Because we were doing nothing at the time. And afterwards Tony came, when we got in the van, going home, he says, ‘Ian Anderson has asked me to join Jethro Tull moving.’ ‘We’ve got nothing, you may as well go for it.'”

“I went down to London with him because he needed company. And after a week, he said, ‘I don’t want to join Jethro Tull.’ ‘Why? You’re getting proper wages, you’re gonna go to America at the end of the month. Why don’t you want to do it?’ Because Ian told me what to play, and nobody tells me what to play.’ And that was it. (Laughs),” Geezer Butler said.

Iommi was part of Jethro Tull only for a few weeks and even played with them in the famous Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. But as you know, he returned to Earth, they changed the name to Black Sabbath and finally in 1970, their groundbreaking self-titled album was released, changing the course of music forever.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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