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Home / News / Ex-AC/DC bassist Mark Evans recalls past tensions between the band and Black Sabbath

Ex-AC/DC bassist Mark Evans recalls past tensions between the band and Black Sabbath


Former AC/DC bassist Mark Evans has spoken in a new interview of past tensions between the Aussie rock legends and Black Sabbath.

The musician — who was played bass on hits such as ‘T.N.T.’, ‘High Voltage’, ‘Dirty Deeds Done Cheap’ and ‘Let There Be Rock’ during his stint with the band from 1975 to 1977 — featured on the latest episode of Let There Be Talk on January 17. During the episode, he dished the dirt on the ancient feud and other topics.

Evans — who is currently the bassist for Australian classic rock band Rose Tattoo — discussed the infamous blow-up between the late AC/DC guitarist, Malcolm Young, and Black Sabbath’s bassist Geezer Butler, acknowledging the tensions between the two bands in the mid-1970s.

“Malcolm got into a stink with Geezer Butler for some reason… he ended up knocking out Geezer Butler,” Evans recalled.

“I don’t know why but he knocked him, he KO’d him… there was a story that someone had a gun or someone had a knife. And the next morning, when we were going out of town, Mal said, ‘I’ve got to stop at the hotel and go in there.’

“Malcolm ended up clocking Geezer, went to the hotel, he would come outside – it’s not looking good – and we got kicked off the tour… [because] of it. And then there was much gnashing of teeth.”

Evans’ recollections echo those of his former bandmate, Angus Young, who in December 2020, recalled the same event when his brother Malcolm grappled with Butler.

As reported by Ultimate Guitar, Young said during an appearance on Talk Is Jericho: “The thing with Geezer Butler, I think they were drinking one night and I think Geezer had some knife or something, and he flashed it at Malcolm.

“Malcolm took it off – there’s a trick of getting knives away from people, so Malcolm immediately did that and he said, ‘What are you gonna do now?’

“So it was just the case of that. Malcolm, he woke up the next day, felt bad about it, because we were touring with them, and he thought, ‘I better go and say sorry about the night before.’

“And he went there be bumped into Ozzy [Osbourne], and Ozzy was [saying], ‘What are you doing here?’

“And Mal said, ‘I had a bit of a run with Geezer and his knife…’ And Ozzy said, ‘Him and that fucking knife; don’t apologise to him, Mal, tell him to fuck off!’”

In an interview with Classic Rock in 2016, Butler himself addressed the incident, alleging he didn’t pull a knife.

“I always had flick-knives when I was growing up,” he said, “because everybody used to go around stabbing each other in Aston [Birmingham, England]… I was just flicking it when Malcolm Young came up to me and started slagging Sabbath.

“We were having a drink together and I was just playing about with the knife… I was having a drink, flicking my knife – like you do – and he [Malcolm Young] came over and said: ‘you must think you’re big, having a flick-knife?’ I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ And that was it. Nobody got hurt.”

In November 2020, AC/DC released their 17th studio album, ‘Power Up’, which was quick to reach number one in several charts and was the fastest-selling album of 2020 at the time of its release.

Though he was sacked from the band on his 21st birthday following the spat between Young and Butler, Evans emphatically said in his interview that he harbours no resentment toward the band or their success.

“I like a philosophical attitude,” he said. “Some people could get bent out of shape by something like that, that happened, but I look back and I’ve just nothing to put but good memories. A lot of love and respect for the band.”

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