Bill Ward on Black Sabbath Absence: Ozzy Osbourne ‘Needs to Look to Those Who Stopped Me From Coming Through’
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Black Sabbath are hitting the home stretch of their touring career, with an early 2017 date set for their final show. Currently still estranged from band is drummer Bill Ward, who exited reunion plans a few years back over issues with the contract presented. In the time since, there has been plenty stated by Ward and members of Black Sabbath about his absence, but some wondered if he might return at some point, even if it was for the final show. During a recent interview, Ozzy Osbourne revealed he was sad that Ward never “came through,” but added that any time he tried to reach out, he got yelled at. He concluded, “If something can be worked out, great,” but stated that Tommy Clufetos, who has been the band’s touring drummer in Ward’s absence, has been “doing a great job.”
Ward, who earlier this summer revealed that he was not playing on any of the remaining Black Sabbath shows, responded to Osbourne’s latest comments, wanting to share his side of the story. In his posting, he reveals that Ozzy hasn’t spoken to him directly since 2012 and added that the rocker needed to take a closer look at those around him if he wants to know why Ward hasn’t “come through.” He also revealed his own overture to see if there was a possibility to play with Sabbath and being told “no” by a band representative. You can read Ward’s full statement below:
Ozzy has never reached out since January 26/27 2012 when he called to see when I would be arriving in the UK to join rehearsals for the 13 CD. Since that last phone call, he has never reached out to me, and I have not reached out to him.
Ozzy I’m sad that Bill never came through. Ozzy needs to look to those who stopped me from coming through. The contract was impossible to sign; the group rhetoric of 2012, 2013 and throughout, was fault-finding, condemning and full of dishonest evaluations of me as a person, including my so-called health issues. Had I signed the contract, I suspect I wouldn’t have been labeled as having poor health or having all the other judgmental character references.
As a reminder, in September 2015, we asked a Sabbath representative if there could be an opening to play with the band again. Their representative answered “no.” It’s hard to come through when you receive a “no.”
I love all our Sabbath fans throughout the world, and to toss around ideas that I might play the Birmingham shows is both emotionally heartbreaking for me and spiteful. I think the Sabbath fans who have loved the original band have gone through enough in terms of disappointment and sadness. For me to play Birmingham only, would, I feel, be discriminating and elitist towards our other fans all over the world. I could never be discriminating or elitist to our fans. It’s been heartbreaking enough not to record and tour and it’ll be heartbreaking not to play to the Birmingham fans. Please know the prevailing circumstances are not by my design. This is not what I would have wanted or what I have chosen. Had any of you had to choose to sign a contract which undermined and devalued you, I think most of you with some dignity and self-respect would have walked away too. My absence at the current shows and the future Birmingham shows reflects an undeniable and unseen misadventure that my accusers won’t bear. It’s called selfishness and self-centeredness; dishonesty and disloyalty. These are the culprits of Sabbath’s original line-up’s demise.
Earlier this year, Ward revealed that he had founded a new band called Day of Errors. That has been the drummer’s primary focus for his musical pursuits.
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