Geezer Butler sent his longtime friend and BLACK SABBATH bandmate Ozzy Osbourne a get-well gift following the news that the singer had canceled all of his tour dates for 2019.
"I had just gotten back from hiking through the desert in Utah when I saw the news that Ozzy had cancelled a whole year of touring. I didn't know what it was all about, so I sent him a get-well thing," Geezer told Kerrang! magazine. "[Ozzy's wife and manager] Sharon said she passed it on to Ozzy and he was very thankful that I'd been thinking of him and was wishing him better. I really hope he starts feeling better soon… I think the fact we're all still alive, just about, is pretty impressive.
"We haven't really seen much of each other since the SABBATH tour finished, only because the farewell tour ended and most of us have been enjoying some time off. Well, I thought I'd retire and love every day of not having to do anything — it was great for the first year — but then I started getting really bored, to be honest.
"I was stuck in my studio writing by myself with no kind of direction and no-one to bounce my ideas with, bored stiff. Then [former GUNS N' ROSES drummer] Matt Sorum got in touch asking if I would be interested in starting a new band with [Billy Idol guitarist] Steve Stevens, who is an incredible guitarist, and I said, 'Yeah!'"
Butler, Sorum and Stevens have since announced the formation of DEADLAND RITUAL, which has a number of shows scheduled for this spring and summer. Completing the band's lineup is singer Franky Perez.
Last week, Ozzy postponed all his 2019 tour dates, both in North America and Europe, as he recovers from an injury sustained while dealing with his recent bout of pneumonia. The BLACK SABBATH frontman fell at his Los Angeles home, aggravating years-old injuries from his 2003 ATV accident that required surgery last month. Ozzy will remain under doctor's care in Los Angeles as he recovers.