Black Sabbath (With Bill Ward and Minus Ozzy) Accept Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement Award
Black Sabbath may be between albums, but they're still winning awards. Three members of the original lineup were on hand to accept the Ivor Novello award for lifetime achievement, but which three may surprise you. Estranged drummer Bill Ward joined Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler at the ceremony. The Ivor Novello Awards annually celebrate the best in British songwriting.
Ward has been absent from Black Sabbath activities since bowing out of the band's reunion over a contract dispute in 2012. However, throughout the drama, Ward has maintained that he still has a lot of love for his fellow bandmates.
Most of the drama since his absence has been between Ward and Ozzy Osbourne, who did not join the other three members at the ceremony. The drummer recently made headlines by stating that before he would consider a return to Sabbath that he expected an apology by Osbourne over some of the harsh things the vocalist has stated about him publicly. But rather than an apology, Osbourne fired a few more shots back at Ward over his health and inability to play. Ward followed with an open letter to Osbourne and admits he's received some backlash from Ozzy fans over his decision not to participate in the band's reunion.
As for the Novello award, The BBC reports that the band accepted the award from Queen's Brian May on behalf of the band. Ward stated, "It's been a good 40 years. At least, I think it has." He went on to add, "It's been a fantastic journey so far and [I hope] it will continue to be." There was no word if Ward's appearance with his Sabbath bandmates was part of a softening in his stance concerning the reunion.
Iommi would also confirm to the BBC that the group would indeed embark on their "final tour" in 2016. "We've tried to cut down because of my treatments," said Iommi, who has managed to tour around his cancer treatments since the 13 album cycle. "We can't just keep going round like we used to."
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