Music News

Heaven and Hell

On his website, Heaven and Hell bassist Geezer Butler teases the group's tour with Alice Cooper and Queensrÿche by noting that "it's time to get the hair dye out" — and in a sprawling Backbeat Online Q&A (, he makes it clear that this comment was meant literally. Indeed, he's such a fan of Just for Men products that he jokingly suggests the company should sponsor concerts by his latest band, which commemorates a version of Black Sabbath assembled in the early '80s after Ozzy Osbourne went solo. The lineup of Butler, shrieker Ronnie James Dio, guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Vinny Appice (an occasional BS pounder who signed on after original skinsman Bill Ward said no to road work) was hardly the most memorable Sabbath incarnation. Still, the act's new CD, Radio City Music Hall Live!: 2007, finds the foursome making a compelling enough racket to compensate for Dio's cheesy "Hello New York!" between-song banter. Even with Ozzy temporarily out of the picture, Butler has a decent reason to dye another day.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts