Geezer Butler recalled the moment he had to be taken offstage and rushed to the hospital, where he nearly died as a result of stomach problems.

The incident took place in 1995, while he was touring clubs in the U.S. in support of the G/Z/R album Plastic Planet, after leaving Black Sabbath for the fourth time the previous year.

“Actually, it was good going back to clubs,” Butler told Kerrang! in a recent interview. “I hadn’t done it since Sabbath had first come to America, and we’d started out in the clubs, so it felt good. That started wearing off when I got some terrible stomach problems. I got this food poisoning, and it got so bad I nearly died.”

He said the incident happened in New York. "I was really sick, and I had a gig to do that night," he explained. "I was leaning up against the amps, and I think people just thought I was pissed off playing there. I started hallucinating at one point, and [guitarist] Pedro [Howse] just called an ambulance and rushed me to hospital. I was on a drip and everything. By the time I recovered, the tour had been scrapped, so that was that.”

Butler also talked about the song “Giving Up the Ghost,” which appeared on Plastic Planet and was seen by some as an attack on the direction Tony Iommi had taken Sabbath in recent years. (You can listen to the song below.)

“A lot of people thought it was a straight dig at Tony, but it wasn’t,” the bassist said. “It was about the whole Sabbath experience, including the management and everyone around us. It was also about me leaving the band and giving up on the whole thing. Giving up what I felt I’d built up in Sabbat, too. Giving up the ghost in every way, really.”

 

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