Artist News

Black Sabbath respond to Ward’s latest statement ahead of homecoming show

By | Published on Monday 21 May 2012

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath issued a short response late last week to the latest statement from the band’s original drummer Bill Ward, who, as much previously reported, is not now taking part in the metal band’s latest reunion because, he says, he wasn’t offered favourable terms to participate.

As previously reported, it was originally announced that all four founder members of Black Sabbath would reunite in 2012, to perform and record a new album, the first new long player involving all four original members in 33 years. Those plans were set to go ahead, albeit with live dates stripped back, even once it became apparent guitarist Tony Iommi was battling cancer. But then, pretty late in the day, Ward withdrew from the reunion, saying he was being treated unfairly in contract negotiations.

As the first reunion show – an intimate gig (by Black Sabbath’s standards) at the Birmingham Academy – approached, Ward said in a statement last week: “I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I’m very, very sorry that it’s fallen to this … I have had to stand up for myself and in doing so realise my actions indirectly, although unintentionally, are upsetting and hurting a lot of you. I know in my heart I couldn’t have done these concerts by agreeing the terms suggested. I made a solemn vow after the last European and Ozzfest concerts that I would never again enter into what was, in my opinion, a totally unsatisfactory contract. I have to stand for something, and as painful as it is, I’m oing it”.

Responding to that latest statement, the rest of the band – ie Ozzy Osbourne, Iommi and Geezer Butler – said in a statement: “We have decided not to make any detailed comment on Bill’s latest statement. There are two sides to every story. We have been working hard at rehearsals making excellent progress after Tony’s treatments and we have engaged a substitute drummer for the forthcoming shows”.

Tommy Clufetos, drummer in Osbourne’s band, filled in at the homecoming reunion show in Birmingham this weekend, after which Butler said: “Thank you, thank you, thank you Birmingham. Best fans ever – you brought out the best in us. It was a privilege playing for you tonight. Tony was a hero – you were the best medicine he has had. Proud to be a Brummie”.

Although the show seemingly “brought out the best in us”, Thrash Hits has noted that photos on the nostalgia heavy home page of the Black Sabbath website have been cropped or positioned so to remove Ward, and in doing so presenting the original line up as trio, which seems rather petty.