Public dispute continues between Bill Ward and Black Sabbath
Heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath have recently embarked on their farewell tour aptly called “The End” and which will take them reportedly into 2017. However, Black Sabbath‘s line-up continues to be without original drummer Bill Ward whose spot is currently filled by Tommy Clufetos.
Ever since singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler got back together as Black Sabbath and recorded and released a new studio album entitled 13 — which was their first album together in 35 years — public salvos have been exchanged between Ward and the rest of the original band members. Prior to embarking on the tour in support of 13, Osbourne opined that Ward was quite overweight and unable to handle the drumming for Black Sabbath over a lengthy tour. Ward categorically denied those assertions. Ward also took issue with an “unacceptable” contract that had been apparently offered to him by the Black Sabbath camp.
A week ago, Osbourne and Butler were interviewed by Radio.com which reported the following about Ward‘s participation during Black Sabbath‘s “The End” tour:
“But with this being the last tour, is there any shot at a resolution with Ward? Perhaps he could join them for a few songs at their final concert September 16 in Phoenix? “It’s been mentioned to him,” Butler confirms. “But he doesn’t want to do it. He wants to do the whole tour or nothing. We’d love him to come on at the very last gig and be part of the whole thing, but he didn’t want to do that. And I understand: I wouldn’t want to be asked to come out just for the last gig. It’s a shame, but that’s the way it is.”
Ozzy adds, “If he’s there, he’s welcome [to play]. But I don’t really want to talk too much about Bill Ward! Because every time I do, he starts getting pissed off at me! Things are quiet between us right now, you know?”
Butler: “It’s a shame that Bill won’t be a part of it, but whatever happened, happened. It’s great that at least the three of us can end it on a high note and be friends together.” But he adds, “I still get on with Bill, I saw him last year at some award show. We got on great, we had a laugh together. It’s not personal, as Bill would say, it’s business.””
Ward responded via a message posted on his Facebook account less than two days ago where he stated:
“I must respond once again to inaccurate statements made by Geezer. I never received an offer to play the final show of The End tour with Black Sabbath. When the tour was confirmed, my management reached out to the Black Sabbath management to inquire as to whether or not they would like to discuss my participation in the tour. We were told there was no interest. That is last conversation we had with them regarding the tour.
I will say that I wouldn’t want to play only one gig when I am completely capable of touring. I would not validate their untrue statements about my health by playing only one gig. Also, I wouldn’t want to show up for only some of our fans and not for all our fans when I could have played multiple shows.
The public dispute between Ward and the remaining original Black Sabbath members therefore continues with no signs that it will stop anytime soon. It’s fair to say that most hope that all four original band members will be able to play together live at least one more time before Black Sabbath are no longer.