Geezer Butler Shares Truth Behind Stonehenge Set

Geezer Butler Shares Truth Behind Stonehenge Set | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via The Howard Stern Show / Youtube

Sometimes reality can be stranger than fiction. For Geezer Butler, the bassist of the legendary band Black Sabbath, life imitated art in a bizarre stage set mishap involving Stonehenge. In his recently-released memoir, “Into The Void,” Butler candidly recounts the comically disastrous attempt to create a Stonehenge-themed stage that eerily resembles a famous scene from the mockumentary film “This Is Spinal Tap.” Geezer Butler sets the record straight in this hilarious yet cautionary tale.

A Preposterous Proposal

As Black Sabbath sought to regain their prominence in the metal scene, their notoriously combative manager, Don Arden, devised a peculiar plan to bring the band back into the spotlight. Inspired by the instrumental track “Stonehenge” on the band’s album, Arden insisted on a Stonehenge stage set, complete with a rising sun backdrop. Butler recalls being utterly flabbergasted by the idea, deeming it ridiculous from the start.

“As we rehearsed at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, the stones were set up on the floor and actually looked really expressive. But when we did our first gig of the tour in Norway, and put the stones on the stage, they were almost touching the ceiling. That’s when Don had another brainwave: ‘We’ll have a midget crawling on top of them, dressed as the baby devil on the album cover’… At our gig in Canada, this little bloke, who was dressed in a red leotard with long yellow fingernails and horns stuck to his head, was crawling across the top of the tallest stone and fell off. That was actually supposed to happen, but someone had removed the mattress, and the poor fella injured himself quite badly. That was the end of the devil baby.”

From Design Disaster to Comedy of Errors

The grand vision of the Stonehenge stage set descended into chaos when the designers mistakenly interpreted measurements, leading to props three times larger than intended. The first gig in Norway showcased the over-sized stones nearly touching the ceiling. In a desperate attempt to salvage the situation, Arden decided to add a midget, dressed as the baby devil from the album cover, crawling on top of the stones during performances. However, the plan backfired tragically when the safety measures were compromised, leading to the little devil’s unfortunate fall and injury. Butler humorously recalls how this eerie similarity with “This Is Spinal Tap” became a real-life mishap, and the devil baby was promptly retired from the act.

When Art Imitates Life and Vice Versa

“People often ask if I’ve seen the film… I always reply, ‘Seen it? I’ve lived it.’ I know Iron Maiden hated that film, thought it was an affront, but it’s one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen because it’s so accurate.”

Geezer Butler playfully reflects on the uncanny resemblance between Black Sabbath’s stage fiasco and the iconic scene from “This Is Spinal Tap.” He dismisses the film’s denial of drawing inspiration from their experiences, asserting that “I’ve lived it.” Butler finds humor in the film’s accuracy, despite other bands’ objections to its portrayal of the rock lifestyle. For Geezer, it remains one of the funniest films he’s ever seen, offering a whimsical glimpse into the chaotic world of rock ‘n’ roll