Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler Says Bill Ward Turned Down Playing Band’s Final Show [Update]
Update: Bill Ward has responded to Geezer Butler's comments about his turning down an opportunity to play Black Sabbath's final show. His comments, posted on his Facebook page, read as follows:
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.
Black Sabbath's "The End" final tour is underway, but fans are unrelenting in their desire to see original drummer Bill Ward up onstage with the metal masters. Ward was deemed unfit to perform by Black Sabbath, but according to bassist Geezer Butler, Sabbath offered to let Ward play the band's final show.
As of this posting, Black Sabbath's last show scheduled is Sept. 16 in Phoenix, Ariz., but the trek will reportedly continue into 2017. Tommy Clufetos, who is also the drummer for Ozzy Osbourne's solo band, is manning the kit while Sabbath bid farewell to fans. But did Bill Ward have the opportunity to join in, at least for a few songs?
“It’s been mentioned to him,” Butler tells Radio.com. “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 … 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.”
Ozzy Osbourne 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?”
Shortly after Black Sabbath announced a reunion on Nov. 11, 2011, Bill Ward stepped out citing unfair contract negotiations. The other members of Sabbath have gone on record to say Ward was in poor physical condition and was unable to remember his parts.
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