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Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler got fired from first job for being drunk all the time

Geezer Butler
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Long before Geezer Butler was bassist and main lyricist with Black Sabbath, he was an apprentice accountant – and it’s hardly a surprise to learn that he hated it.

The 15-year-old Terry Butler hadn’t even formed Rare Breed, his first band that also featured Ozzy Osbourne, when he was told his services were no longer required as a result of drinking on the job.

Butler told the Eddie Trunk Podcast: “I left school when I was 15 and I apprenticed to be an accountant for three years. And I was absolutely awful at it. I hated it. I hated going to work from 9 until 5 every day. I just couldn’t do it.”

Eventually he resorted to alcohol to get him through the day. “I used to get drunk and smashed out of me brains just to go to work, I hated it that much,” he admitted. “So I used to go to the pub until three in the afternoon, then turn up at the office at four in the afternoon, smashed out of me brains, and take black bombers to get me through.”

It was never going to last. “Eventually, the guy who ran the factory, the office, called me into his office and said, ‘Butler, you're fired.’”

Around a year later his music career kicked off, with Sabbath forming by the time he was 19 – and that’s when his limited accountancy experience paid off, for a while at least. “It was the only time that we never got ripped off! It’s true. I used to get the £20 a night that we used to get, and spend it on petrol. And then if we had any money left we’d go down to the chip shop.”

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.