Geezer Butler said that he was using the so-called “devil horns” years before Ronnie James Dio adopted it his own.
Talking to ”Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”, the Black Sabbath bassist said:
“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,” referring to original Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne, whom Ronnie replaced. “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.”
Asked why he had never publicly revealed before that he was responsible for showing Dio the devil horns, Butler said:
“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.”