Geezer Butler, a founding member of Black Sabbath, recently spoke with Metal Edge about the time Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan joined Sabbath. Butler stated that Gillan didn’t put much effort into Black Sabbath records since he was working on a secret Deep Purple project. Back in the day, Ian Gillan found himself in an unusual predicament. He joined Black Sabbath in 1983 after Deep Purple dissolved and released the album ‘Born Again.’ However, this venture was not as successful as it could have been, owing to Ian’s continued devotion to Deep Purple. Despite being with Black Sabbath, his energy and focus were directed toward a possible Deep Purple reunion. Geezer Butler recently discussed the ‘Born Again’ album and tour in a recent interview. He said that the tour was not very successful, owing in part to Ian Gillan’s failure to memorize the lyrics to the old Sabbath songs. Instead of giving it his best, Gillan appeared to be holding back, possibly anticipating something else, such as a Deep Purple reunion.
Geezer Butler remembered: “I have to say, I liked the majority of the songs on the ‘Born Again’ album.” I didn’t like a lot of the lyrics, but there was some decent things on there. And I recently listened to it a couple of years ago, and I had forgotten how fantastic of an album it was after not hearing it for a while. The problem was that, once again, when we went on tour with Ian [Gillan], we discovered that he hadn’t bothered to learn any of the words to the old Sabbath songs. That was ridiculous to me. I mean, if you’re going on tour with us, give it your all, or maybe get a monitor. But, once again, it was clear that Ian wasn’t fully committed, and then, in the middle of the American tour, he finally revealed to us that Deep Purple was reuniting, which screwed us.” Rock & roll history is full of twists and turns, as fresh truths emerge every day. Ian Gillan’s half-hearted attempt with Black Sabbath was a clear indication that his sympathies were elsewhere. He rejoined with Deep Purple shortly after quitting Black Sabbath, confirming Geezer Butler’s fears. In the end, Gillan’s heart was to Deep Purple, and he chose to focus his efforts there – a decision that will go down in rock history.