Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler Claims He Was Using The Devil Horns Hand Gesture Years Before Ronnie James Dio

During a recent appearance on SiriusXM’s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk,” Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler claimed that he used the devil horns hand gesture years before his late bandmate Ronnie James Dio. The bassist says he has photos of himself using the symbol in 1971 and that he “always used to do it in the breakdown in the song ‘Black Sabbath’.”

Butler said the following:

“I’ve been doing that sign since — I’ve got pictures of me doing it since 1971. And I always used to do it in the breakdown in the song ‘Black Sabbath’ — just before it goes into the fast part at the end, I’d do that sign to the audience. And on the first couple of ‘Heaven And Hell’ tour shows, Ronnie was saying, ‘When I’m going on stage, everybody is doing the peace sign to me, and that’s an Ozzy thing. I feel like I should be doing something back to them.’ He says, ‘What’s that sign that you do in ‘Black Sabbath’?’ And I showed him the devil horns sign. And he started doing it from there and made it famous.”

He continued when aked why he never publicly took credit for the devil horns before:

“I didn’t really think much of it. As I say, I’ve got pictures of me doing it in 1971. And it was just an alternative to Ozzy’s peace signs, I was doing it. And if you look at the ‘Yellow Submarine’ album cover [from THE BEATLES], John Lennon’s cartoon character is doing it, in 1966 or whatever it was. So it’s an old sign. I was just doing it ’cause [English occultist] Aleister Crowley used to do it.”

Butler also claimed that Dio took other things from him:

“There’s a lot of things that he nicked off me that he claimed that he was the originator. But he made it famous, so I didn’t care. The [DIO] album title ‘Sacred Heart’; that’s where I used to go to school. And he called one of his songs ‘One Foot In The Grave’. I jokingly said, ‘We should call the album ‘One Foot In The Grave’.’ And then when he left [SABBATH], he called one of his songs that. He was very naughty about things like that. And when I did an autograph, I’d write ‘Magic’. So Ronnie started writing ‘Magic’ as well. In fact, he called his [DIO] album ‘Magica’. He was very naughty about things like that.”

He added the following when asked if he ever confronted Dio:

“Nah. Only about the devil horn sign.”

UPDATE: Butler has since clarified his comments on Twitter:

[via Blabbermouth]

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