Legendary Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler is being honoured in Birmingham, England, on Feb. 3, an important date in the group’s history. It marks Black Sabbath’s first ever gig, which occurred in the city 50 years ago. It will also mark nearly one year since the band’s final show, which also took place in Birmingham.
Butler will be recognized on the city’s Broad Street Walk of Stars during the half-time of the Aston Villa versus Burton Albion soccer match, according to the Birmingham Mail. Aston Villa is Butler’s favourite soccer club.
Bandmates Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi received the Walk of Stars honour in 2007 and 2008, respectively. The Walk of Stars is similar to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and honours famous local citizens and their contribution to entertainment, sports, business, and literature.
Butler and Black Sabbath burst onto the scene in the late ‘60s, and the bassist is known for his riff-driven style and for being one of the first to use pedals such as the wah-wah. He was also the band’s primary lyricist and is one of the most influential bassists in heavy metal history.
It’s unknown whether Osbourne and Iommi will attend the ceremony honouring Butler, who is known for his charitable work. He is also a vegan. “Hopefully there will be a good showing from the rock fraternity,” said Walk of Stars chairman Jasper Carrott.
If Butler’s bandmates do make an appearance, it will be the first time Black Sabbath has convened since they performed in their final concert together during The End Tour last year. Iommi was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2012, which was the main reason why the group decided to stop touring.
Butler recently commented that he believes Black Sabbath won’t perform together again. “I think [Ozzy Osbourne] is going out on his farewell tour, so that will be him touring for the next two or three years. So, I don’t think there will be any chance of doing any one-offs or anything like that—which I’m fine with. We went out on a high, and it’s best not to drag it out,” he told Full Metal Jackie.