Today marks the birthdays of two men that are, in no small part, responsible for the creation of both heavy metal and punk rock. Both are considered titans in the world of heavy rock. One is still with us and one, sadly, passed away a couple years ago.
The two men I’m talking about are Geezer Butler, original bass player and chief lyricist for what is largely considered to be the first “heavy metal” band, Black Sabbath and Ron Asheton, guitarist of the legendary Stooges, the band credited with creating the attitude, aesthetic and sound that would become known as “punk rock.” Separated by only a year these two men represent a musical generation who were brought up on the peace and love of 60s rock, but who opted for a darker and more aggressive style. They are proof that a new rock and roll revolution was under way on both sides of the Atlantic and the sound that these two men helped form would provide the groundwork for two genres that would dominate the 70s and 80s and continue to influence fans of heavy music for decades to come.
Geezer Butler was born in Birmingham, England on July 17, 1949 and formed his first band Rare Breed as a teenager with his friend John “Ozzy” Osbourne in the autumn of 1967. Eventually they incorporated local guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward to form the blues band Polka Tulk, who eventually changed their name to Earth and then to Black Sabbath in 1969 when it was discovered that another band called Earth was already playing gigs in their small English touring circuit. Black Sabbath’s debut LP was released on Friday, February 13, 1970 and reached number 8 on the UK album charts, signalling a successful run of releases that would have Sabbath packing arenas throughout the 70s and into the 1980s.Music >