Bill Ward is out of 2012 Live Shows

Bill Ward just issued a lengthy statement on his situation with Black Sabbath.   The short of it is that he’s not playing the three announced live dates.  No mention was made about the new album, but if he’s not playing any of the live dates, I can’t imagine he’s working with them on the studio material, either.   It’s a shame this all has to come about, but for those of you holding out hope that Bill would have shown up Saturday night in Birmingham as a surprise, that’s not happening.   Below, read the full statement by Bill on the matter.

I do have a personal thought on the matter.  If this really is what is going to happen, and there honestly is no hope of reconciliation, what Bill needs to do is this.  Get bloody “Beyond Aston” out the door.  Go out on his own fucking tour with the bands he plays on Rock 50.  WardFest 2012!  Make it happen!

Here is Bill’s full statement:

Dear Sabbath Fans and Fellow Musicians,

I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued. At this time I have to inform you that I won’t be playing with Black Sabbath at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012.

It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news. I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I’m very, very sorry that it’s fallen to this. This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality.

To express my thoughts about you, the Sabbath fans, I’m going to speak to you all through an experience my brother James had recently. My brother Jimmy lives in the U.K. When speaking with him a couple of days ago, he told me that an acquaintance had stopped him on the street and confronted him, “is your brother playing Birmingham? What’s going on? I waited in line with my son and paid x amount for the concert tickets.”

The man’s son is a young drummer. He’s going to see Sabbath, and he wants to see Bill Ward play drums. Upon hearing this news, I felt horrible. I couldn’t help feeling some resentment towards the failure to reach an agreement, the failure to remember where we came from, the failure to be as brothers, as we once were. To be clear, I’m not blaming the other guys or finding any faults with them. I would think it can’t be easy for them either, but this situation is just really sad. It’s sad that it’s come to this. “This” will surely leave a mark and be unwelcome to the memory. Hopefully “this” will heal and pass in time.

My heart sank when Jimmy told me about this young boy. I know this boy is going to be disappointed, and I don’t know how to amend it, other than to put my arms around the boy and tell him I love him. Sabbath fans have a voice and a face, to me you’re human, you have families and despair. You have ferocity and emotions and graciousness, and at this moment as far as I’m concerned you are also that young boy in England. I don’t know how to amend my part in these failings other than to put my arms around you and say I love you and let you know I’m very, very sorry.

Throughout this process, which began over a year ago, I have had to stand up for myself time and time again. I have had to stand up for myself and in doing so realize 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 doing it.

Earlier in April 2012, I’d been asked to participate “minimally” in the Download festival. I believe I’d been offered no more than three songs to play while another drummer presumably played the rest of the show with Black Sabbath. I was not willing to participate in that offer. I was not prepared to watch another drummer play a Sabbath set, while I was to play only three songs.

I found out about the Birmingham gig on Monday, April 30 through the Internet ad. I was taken aback somewhat by the date, and the fact it was Birmingham. Knowing the “signable” contract negotiations were at best in shreds, I was upset by the idea that the band was going to play Birmingham and play it assumedly without me. I had no prior knowledge of the date and location, and I felt totally excluded. We contacted the representative for Black Sabbath to see if something could be worked out. In the meantime my drum crew and I, along with our US endorsers, finished all the necessary planning for a swift departure to the UK. There wasn’t a whole lot to complete; we’d all been on standby more or less since mid-January 2012. The remaining work in the UK was confirmed done by our European and UK endorsers and we were good to go by Friday, May 4 2012. There were two stress points: firstly, getting an agreement in place, and secondly, getting to England in a timely manner. Jetlag time was taken into account as well as drum practice, a drum practice room in the heart of Birmingham, accommodation, and travel arrangements were all in place to meet with any band rehearsals that may have transpired before the Birmingham show. So far everything that had been arranged was on my dime, but we didn’t move ahead without a realistic confirmation.

Communications between the representative and my lawyer continued through the weekend of May 5 finalizing on Wednesday, May 9. The offer we received on May 9 was, “come to the UK, play for free and see how the first show goes.” I was tempted. Playing for free would not have been a problem for me, but “seeing how the first show goes” left an element of risk which could have affected Download. My ideal thought was to play in full the Birmingham show, in full Download, and in full Lollapalooza.

I had notified the representative that May 10 was my cutoff day in order to have good lead-in time for England. On the night of May 9 I asked for a brief letter to be sent to the representative asking to find out if we were at an end. On the morning of Thursday, May 10, I received a reply in the affirmative. After consulting with my advisors and crew a decision was made to let go and stop.

I can’t prioritize the Sabbath fans making one show more important than the other. I can’t do that. All of you are important. It’s all the gigs or none at all. I can’t come to Birmingham and “see what happens” knowing there is a risk of not being able to play Download or Lollapalooza. Again, for me, it’s all or nothing. I had to say “no” to Birmingham on the principle of wanting to play all the shows. Saying no to Birmingham is very difficult for me. My family grew up in Birmingham. Black Sabbath grew up in Birmingham. It’s still my hometown and I resent having to arrive at such a difficult choice.

Although the statement was made that, “the door is always open” for me, as explained above, walking through that door is not always as easy as it sounds. There are many complicated issues and unseen and unspoken agendas on hand. I can assure you, my criteria for a “signable” contract is based in mindful principles, respectability, and acknowledgement of my history within the band.

I hold no malice or resentment towards the other band members. I love them; I’m tolerant of them; I’m frustrated with them, as they may be with me. My fight has never been with them. I’ll love them forever. In my opinion, nobody wins this time; the band doesn’t win; the fans for an original lineup don’t win. Nobody wins, nobody. Even the ones who thought they did.

I didn’t want to make this decision, but I have to be honest and transparent. This is the statement I didn’t want to write; it’s the last thing I wanted to do. But, I have written it, and now it can go into the universe.

Since Spring of 2011, I’ve waited patiently and hopefully for a signable contract, you know the rest. I stand for the boy in the U.K., for the coming drum student, for all the drummers, who write their parts out and get stiffed on the publishing, I stand with the Sabbath fans chanting “Bill Ward” and asking “why?” and I stand with Tony and Geezer and Ozzy.

On a final note, even though I’m at an end with the upcoming announced concerts, I will remain with an open mind and a position of willingness to negotiate “signable” terms with Sabbath’s representatives in the future.

Stay strong.
Stay safe.

With all my heart and strength, I love you,
Bill Ward

Following on a separate page is a thank you message to some very extraordinary people.

Comments

  1. No Bill Ward… No Black Sabbath… Maybe Mr. Ward could hire the same lawyers that Ozzy had when that version of Black Sabbath had to become Heaven & Hell. Here is a quote from Ozzy (2009)…

    “Tony, I am so sorry it’s had to get to this point by me having to take this action against you. I don’t have the right to speak for Geezer and Bill, but I feel that morally and ethically the trademark should be owned by the four of us equally. I hope that by me taking this first step that it will ultimately end up that way. We’ve all worked too hard and long in our careers to allow you to sell merchandise that features all our faces, old Black Sabbath album covers and band logos, and then you tell us that you own the copyright. We’re all in our 60′s now. The Black Sabbath legacy should live on long after we have all gone. Please do the right thing.”

    Yes, Ozzy, Tony, Geezer should have done the right thing here as well…Black Sabbath is heading into the toilet again… NOT looking forward to the new album…

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/ozzy-osbourne-releases-statement-on-black-sabbath-suit-20090529#ixzz1v3PC415C

    • You’re confusing two different issues.

      Heaven and Hell was named such in 2007. The 2009 matter you cite had to do with Osbourne wanting a bigger share of the Merchandising sold with the name Black Sabbath.

    • bill… Please invite the young drummer to your home in ct. your drumming.. and black sabbath has influenced me deeply… i used to have a pair of sticks that your neighbor gave to a friend of mine to give to me.. they burned in my home fire.. sorry..
      im sure you can arrange somthing with the young drummer… send him a pair of sticks.. maybe an old cymbol.. or drum head….. … If it were me.. id buy him a new kit… ill bet he needs one…..

      sincerely.
      Don Baltronis.

  2. Vinny Pavia says:

    I have been a fan since i was 12yrs old in 1970
    There is always some bullshit.
    First big dissappointment was Sabbath cancelling show in 71 or 72 at Capitol Theater in
    Port Chester NY at last minute when we were waiting on line!
    I am 54 yrs old now and still havent gotten over that.
    The good we saw Humble Pie and Yes
    First time I finally saw them was at Nassau Colliseum NY
    They came out an hour and a half late after we were just blown away by Lynyrd Skynyrd
    Yes I have seen Sabs many times never seems to be without a hitch
    If they complete this album without Bill what the fuck good is it.
    Thank You once again Black Sabbath for sticking it up our asses
    We Were excited about new album
    Still LoveYou Guys
    Very surprised that such good friends act like this
    What about fans? Its later than you think boys
    How much fucking money does one need?
    Bill is a mans man i dont blame him at all
    The others should remember who the fuck put them on top

  3. Eric Dunn says:

    My Love for Black Sabbath runs very deep
    I Love you too Bill
    Good job Bill, I know sticking to your guns can be very difficult
    Geez, oz, Tone, what the fuck is going on?
    I love the song It’s alright
    ..and it is as it is..and to the universe it goes..

  4. Once I found out that Bill will not be at Lollapalooza, I sold my tickets. If Bill Ward is not playing on the new “Sabbath” album, I will not be buying it. I am nearly 40 years old and have been waiting most of my adult life for Sabbath to get back together and release another album. Without Bill, it isn’t Black Sabbath. If you have a can of soda pop that says Shasta cola on the can, the person drinking it can call it Pepsi all he wants. But it is in fact, not the real thing. Beyond that, I am disappointed that Tony, Geezer and Ozzy, well at least Tony and Geezer have let this happen to Bill and Black Sabbath. It is truely a shame!

  5. SO SAD………I LOOK FORWARD TO YOU NEXT MASTERPIECE MR WARD.
    ODAAT
    MARK

  6. guys please………….sabbath was the second band i ever saw back in i think 73 or 74 i was/am so excited about the reunion and album and now this?? if bills not in i probably won’t even buy it. have you guys forgotten where you came from? i know it complicated but work it out please, i speak for the masses.
    no one can duplicate the original four sound period. i wait and hope……tommy

  7. Really,for those who have spent money on tickets,travel,etc.,a lawsuit should be launched against the 3/4 Sabbath for misrepresentation-if not ouright false advertising.I feel terribly for those who have shelled out big bucks for this,just to find out they aren’t getting what they paid for.In a perfect world NOBODY would show up for these gigs-and rightly so,in my opinion.So,so sad…

  8. As much as I’l love to see and listen to Bill, I think this is beginning to look pathetic. Stop crying Bill! And for f*ck’s sake stop “stand with Tony and Geezer and Ozzy.” It is their representatives not giving you a fair deal. It’s not like if those things are out of Tony’s and Ozzy’s control. They could easily solve this if they wanted to.
    I’m sorry Bill won’t take part of the new Sabbath material, but I respect his position to not participate under unacceptable terms.
    I find it a bit harder to respect his puppy dog behaviour, being on the “red alert” 24/7 to take a plane to the UK, when obviously the band isn’t very eager to see him on board. They’ve obviously already settled things with another drummer.

    • ….which makes it another band.Period.I also don’t quite get this “puppy dog behavior” label.How so? If I was Bill and was offered 3 WHOLE SONGS to play with a band of which I was a founding member and then what,shuffle off backstage to listen to another drummer(and I don’t give a fuck who it is,he will be LESS THAN) play the rest of the gig,I would be completely insulted.Who would accept these kinds of conditions?Would you?How much shit shovelled on your head is enough?I disagree completely with the”puppy dog” bit.It appears to me Bill is the only one willing to communicate with us,the fans, in this whole fiasco, and you can tell the man wears his heart on his sleeve.It also appears to me that he has more heart than the other 3 put together.Such disrespect.Such disrespect…
      On a lighter note:It’s taken a hell of a long time,but I think that c**t Sharon has wrested from Yoko the “Most Hated ,Talentless,I Would be Nothing Without my Husband’s Name and Money” title belt.A monumental feat indeed.

  9. Bob Peach says:

    Well done Bill, I won’t be going to the gigs, or buying the album, and i’ve been a fan for 40 years, but i’m glad you’ve stuck to your guns for a signable contract, too often us drummers get a shite deal having written drum parts that sometimes make the songs what they are…
    With all the money this band will make from this tour and album, was it just too much to ask for 4 members to get 25% each…ain’t none of us getting any younger….but it seems the Osbourne family are getting richer..!!

  10. GREED!!!!!!! this what all this is about ,forget about having an honest reunion like brothers …it’s all about the MONEY like they are going to take it to their graves ….as for me i know it does not matter i’m only one person but if bill is not the drummer on the album ‘i’ll just have to burn one from someone, at least my money they are not goin to get …this is so sad , no respect !!!!
    i’m so so proud of you bill because of your immence contribution to the black sabbath sound and for not letting GREED take advantage of you !
    GOD BLESS YOU BILL WARD !!!!

  11. Mike Newsom says:

    There’s just so much about this that doesn’t make sense…

    If each of the four have separate management, is there a fifth manager for the band as a whole? I’m curious as to ‘who’ Bill is trying to negotiate with. As I’m curious as to who signed the new record deal lauded during the 11-11-11 event in LA. Why bother to have Bill participate in that event only to throw him under the bus at a later date? I think we can assume that Bill wasn’t part of the rehearsals that Rick Rubin was talking about.

    Remember the ‘Reunion’ DVD from 12 years ago? They all said (especially Tony) that when they initially got back together without Bill, it wasn’t the same. “There was one part missing, and we all said it” I think is the quote from Tony. I wonder what’s changed. Do the other three think Bill can’t play anymore?

    As I’m in my early 50s, I was fortunate to see the band live during the 76 & 78 tours and have been waiting ever since for the new studio LP. I must also confess that as much as I’m curious about what they come up with now, if Bill’s not part of it, then it’s a sham. I won’t be going to the shows, buying the album, or any of that, either.

    In the end, I guess I’m most frustrated by the implication that Bill is the only expendable member of the band.
    You can’t tell me that if they really wanted Bill to play, the lawyers wouldn’t be standing in the way.

    God bless, Bill.

  12. Bloody hell lads, sort it out. If this is Sabbaths last album/tour, do it right. As Ozzy said some time ago, Black Sabbath is Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward. Anyone else in the band and it just isn’t Black Sabbath.

  13. Very sad. I bought a Lollapalooza ticket and live 11 hours away from the venue. It really sucks Bill isn’t going to be there. It is going to feel different now standing there watching three of my idols from my favorite band playing with some random guy (no offense to him because he is probably a great drummer) on a supposed re-union tour. What the hell was the point of the 11-11-11 press conference then? This news is shattering to us fans that want to see the original line-up. And to top it off, Bill seems like a hell of a nice person…a guy that maybe one day I will get to meet and get an autograph and have a 5 minute chat with. He seems like one of those people that care about the fans…yet, as nice as he is…this is what he gets in return? B S…BULLSHIT!

  14. http://www.billward.com/2012/05/statement-on-upcoming-black-sabbath-shows/#more-1428

    Its a very sad day when it becomes apparent that money and greed are the true motivation for the renunion tour, and this episode will be a yet another unneeded blemish on the history of the band.

    I feel truly sorry for Bill, and am disgusted by the way he appears to have been treated. There are two sides to every story, but Bills statement appears to be written straight from the heart, and knowing the sad and complex history the band has with legal and monetary issues, his side of the story certinely seems to ring true. As Bill points out in his statement, nobody wins out of this situation, least of all the band in what is very likely their last ever chance to perform with the full original line up. I, along with hordes of other fans, have waited and entire lifetime for the opportunity to see the original band reunited, having bought tickets to both Download and the Birmingham gig, I cant express in words the dissapointment I’ve felt since hearing that Bill wont be playing.

    As I’ve never had the chance to see any of the band members play before, I will still be attending both gigs, but will be doing so with a heavy heart, and as much as I love them (and don’t particularly even blame them), a little resentment for the rest of band for allowing this siutaiton to develop, and for continuing to play these shows without Bill.

    It seems that all three of these gigs had been arranged and advertised without the contact with Bill being signed; this is surely a misrepresentation of the facts, and I for one will be pursuing this issue with trading standards with a view to a full refund on the grounds of false advertising. I would encourage the countless other fans who have invested their hard earned moeny to do the same, in the hope that these vile and destructive business practices are brought to halt, and that other bands and fans are not subjected to the same torment in future. If the issues are all indeed about money, then lets try to hit the promoters where it hurts and teach them a lesson they wont forget.

    In future when I pay money to buy tickets for concent, I’d like to do so with confidence that what I’m paying for is what I’ll get, and that a cancellation or change of line up will only be made as a result of some unforseeable event, not the greed and malice of some amoral and conscienceless promoter.

  15. Frank Mammano says:

    With all the musical greats, true icons of OUR DAY, passing away from horrible health issues left and right…, this is just another black cloud smothering out all the light and love we feel for our music, our friends and our lives. there is no Black Sabbath without the incomparable Bill Ward. Period!
    It is now just now just Ozzy, Tony and Geezer and friend., meaning no slight nor insult to any of their individual talents, but it WAS NEVER ABOUT INDIVIDUAL TALENTS..it was about banding together, brotherhood, and love. Such sorrow in the world,…and then this…sorrow not for me, but for THEM>
    Who knows when the good lord of the Universe will bring us back home…this a black day, indeed to read this news.

  16. So let me try to understand, without Ozzy and Geezer, and even Bill in the past was still Sabbath, but now only without Bill is not Sabbath?!?! Sure I wanted Bill to be in the gigs and in the new album, but no one knows exactly what the problem with the contracts was and If Bill can still play a whole tour or even a gig (or everybody forgot that he had to be replace in the last reunion).
    Another point is, if he wasn’t happy with it, why did he accepted the bloody reunion in last November in the first place.
    Guys, I really think there is more to all of this than meet the eyes.
    And by the way, I think if someone would deserve more money in it, it is Mr. Iommi, as he invented it, he has stuck to Sabbath since the beggining and will stick with it up the end, like Steve Harris is the Iron Maiden owner, we can say that Tony is the Sabbath one.
    That’s it, looking forward for the Birmingham gig on Saturday and 3 weeks after that, Donnington, can’t believe I am seeing them twice in less than a month.

  17. Under these circumstances? No Bill Ward – no Black Sabbath. Either this a real reunion or just another incarnation of Black Sabbath. And now. New album without Bill Ward? Nay, just doesn’t seem right either. I’ve waited long enough to see and hear original Black Sabbath – 100 % not just 75 %. I’d rather see the band split than without Ward.

  18. Well done, Bill.

    Guran, i disagree with you. If Tony, Geezer and Ozzy were really happy to get things going and put the show on that Sabbath fans deserve they’d tell their representatives to jog on and give Bill a fair deal. But they didn’t.

    And it’s a pity they didn’t.

  19. What the hell is going on??? I’m 48 years old and have been a Sabbath fan since I was a kid. This seems like four kids fighting in the sand box. Whose money are you arguing about? It’s OUR money! Don’t forget that is we, the fans, who have made it possible for the four of you to live comfortable lives and travel the world through us buying your records, t- shirts etc. If I buy a concert ticket for 200 bucks I want 50 to go to Ozzy, 50 to Tony, 50 to Bill and 50 to Geezer. Not so difficult math? If you can’t come to an agreement, play for free and give the profit to charity! It’s not like you need the money, huh???

  20. It is up to Bill what he wants to do.He has done his time in Sabbath and has every right to step down.He has paid his dues.So,quit being hard on him,people.Keep in mind that he is in his 60′s.He has the right to retire,if he wants.I mean,he is a husband,father,and grandfather,as well.

    Bill is always a part of the Sabbath family(whether he is there or not).Think about it.

  21. Fred Ineedtabreakwind says:

    Everyone is looking at this wrong ! As much as we all REALLY want Mr. Bill ward playing the drums on a Black Sabbath album/cd/ect..these days..With a different drummer,The band can live FOREVER !! So we dont get the awesome orchestrals fills and times of a true artist pushing a powerful rythmic bass and lead guitarist into musical avenues a drum machine can go ! Ozzy can write a song called “Click track” ! Just for a moment think !!! Black Sabbath can live forever !! With each NEW member they can create a NEW BLACK SABBATH !! Yes,everytime someone dies off !!! Look at Lynyrd skynyrd ..only one original member alive !..Procal harum,Foghat,The band,Platters,Temptations..hell,I saw that Micheal Jackson went on tour last year after dying !! Im pretty sure Chuck Berry isnt Chuck Berry anymore either !…..But seriously..any band “whomever it is” out there, performing as “That original band” and isnt sucks!! Does anyone really want to see “The guy that farted in the background on the Black Sabbath early demo tracks”? Someday technology and remastering might find one and since he was in Sabbath !! Hey another original member starts a new band !! The announcer yells ! Welcome everybody to the man that was the inspiration for “The Warning” .. heres !! FARTMAN !! FROM BLACK SABBATH ….Personally and really this time seriously..I’ve been lucky enough to see the REAL Black Sabbath “Live” and like The Beatles,Stones or Led Zeppelin..I just wish Sabbath would end with CLASS..HeavyMetal music gets such a bad wrap all the time and the biggest F-U to all those upperclass A-Holes that ever dissed or wrote off Black Sabbath should be Sabbath ending with class !! Will I buy the new record/cd.?.Yes,if Bills on it or not. Why? because im a fan of all of them and not buying it would be the same as not buying there solo records..IM A FAN !! Do I have high hopes for a great record / cd without Bill Ward drumming ? NO NOT AT ALL !! I have a curious musical taste for what a couple of my favorate artist are up too. But without Bill Ward..I have NO hopes of enjoying one more taste of the ear candy I enjoyed in my youth.Now dont get me wrong..I own every Sabbath record/disc 70′s,80′s,90′s ect..but Bill Wards orchestral style of drumming in my mind is Sabbath. Without his slightly out of time percusion signitures and fills ….its not Black Sabbath ! Sorry to the vinny fans and I loved the Heaven and hell record with Dio but I still think Bill ward would’ve made that record better than it was and I love that record !! Bill ward is the the tie that binds Sabbath as Kieth moon and Ringo is to there historic past…. end with class not cash …..im just saying

  22. Luiz Souza says:

    What a mess, huh, dudes? Won’t be buying the album. Won t be going to the show. Been a Sabs fan for 30 years, and now, from here where I stand, except for Bill, you look all like cocksucers. You are going to be remembered as the three bozos which played with Bill Ward, fellows…

  23. An open letter to the “other” guys….

    This is a fucking DISGRACE. I don’t expect much better from the promoters, managers, record companies, etc, but I do expect better from the other members of the band

    Tony, Geezer, Ozzy…….how can YOU let this happen? Bill says in his open letter that he holds no ill-will towards you guys, and if that is true, then he is being too kind, because to me the blame for this lays squarely on your shoulders…..so please don’t blame this on the “business” part of things….you are BLACK SABBATH, for chrissakes! Bill Ward was a founding member and an intregal part of the ground-breaking early Sabbath sound, and it is not unreasonable to say that you might not have been “Black Sabbath” as we knew you without him…..and now you have an opportunity to celebrate what you brought to the world, and Bill in not invited???

    STOP THE BULLSHIT AND MAKE THIS RIGHT!!! You are letting down your brother, and you are letting down your fans. In a world of music that has lost much of it’s “magic” over the years, it was so refreshing when the renunion tour and album were first announced. The original Black Sabbath…these four great guys getting together to write and perform music after all these years. What a cool thing to be doing together, and what a treat for fans like me that have followed you from the beginning…

    Well, I guess it was too good to be true.

    • Finally, some one gets to the heart of the matter.Back to you,3 musketeers…

    • hey steve here is the title of the new sabbath album SABBATH GREEDY SABBATH !!

    • I understand the nostalgia and wanting originality. I didn’t like it when Van Halen used Eddies son but the show must go on. I think They where after a modern drum sound and adding something to give fire. Also the drummer created the new tracks. Its not that bill doesn’t have merit but musicians do strange things to create music. I wish BS and Bill well and I am sure they want him to play on a few songs. This whole thing may be magical or fail horribly, but the new double bass sounds bad ass.To bad the sticking together thing is not as popular as it should be. At least the new material sounds good.

  24. Patrick Conley says:

    It’s not much different than when Black Sabbath first got together for Ozzfest and had Mike Bordin play drums instead of Bill.
    I went to see them because I never had the chance to see Tony, Geezer and Ozzy together before and had no idea if I ever would again. Mike Bordin was ok, but I wasn’t there to see him.
    Then they came back around with Bill and I got to see the entire original line up, as is should be.
    This time, I have already gotten to see the original 4 together.
    If money is more important to Tony, Geezer and Ozzy (more like Sharon the Yoko of Sabbath I am sure) than so be it.
    I don’t plan on spending a dime on anything involving Sabbath without Bill but if you are like I was years ago and have never had the chance to see them, it’s better than nothing.
    God bless Bill and Tony

  25. chinaman says:

    dont hate, but its the right decision.
    Bill bailed on them during the heaven and hell tour, and bailed again before the born again tour started. what if liquor touched his lips now, would he bail as well? then he came back again, and left again! Bill has had several heart attacks, and had to be replaced by vinnie as well as having him as emergency back-up for another tour. (which caused some problmes between vinnie and ronnie.) puffy also played with them in 97, and it wasnt that big of a deal

    on when the bough breaks lp, ronnie ciago played drums AND NOT BILL. on selling my soul, it was a drum machine. the last time bill worked live was back in 2005. no doubt some of his abilities have diminished, though he is not the only one. no one can really be replaced, if you do it cant one of the other three. geezer can lock in with anyone, and the backbone of sabbath drives the machine. his ideas are far different from what heaven and hell were doing which is why they called vinnie

    all this is more likely about ability. its possible sabbath trying to do songs they haven’t done in 35 years and bill just cant cut it. . money is probably not a factor. bill might not be as well off as the other three, but im sure hes comfortable and doesnt have to worry about the bills.

    bill has also taken this very public. the same thing happened in 1997 when sabbath included mike bordin. this time, the other three are collectively pretty much keeping mum.

    in the end, it really doesnt matter. understand that if you protest by not going, then you are just leaving the
    ticket for someone else who will go and enjoy the show. you might as well go. you probably went in 1997
    or 1998 and still had good time

  26. S. Reader says:

    I’d go see Toni and Geezer play duo anytime, honest. No one does it better. No one.

  27. It really f****** sucks! I cannot even listen to the studio stuff without thinking about this unpleasant things. If they can’t do it without those stuff they should cancel it completely!

  28. TomOzzy123 says:

    There are two things I see here that come in to play. That they really don’t want Bill to play drums because he has lost some chops over the years, or Sharon Osbourne and lawyers have their hands in the till. All I can say is Ozzy has enough money, Bill’s playing is fine–Sabbath fans don’t care if his timing or chops are a little off, and Iommi is battling cancer, and there are no guarantees there, and Geezer is just laid back. Get the lawyers out this and give the man his money and contract. If he doesn’t play on the new Sabbath album, I may buy the CD, but I will not see them in concert because it’s all or nothing in my book. Bill Ward is alive and healthy, and he needs to play.

  29. Well folks,I’ve just seen something that I thought all Sabbath fans should be made aware of and which,for me,is THE last straw.Just paid a visit to the “official” website.The main page is a collage of photos of the band-WITH BILL WARD CUT OUT OF EVERY ONE!! Are they SERIOUS?!! ARE THEY FUCKING SERIOUS?!!! This seems reminiscent of the “re-mixing” job on Ozzy Arden’s first 2 records.Are we,the fan,supposed to just accept this as gospel because SHE has her knickers in a knot? This really is beyond the pale.Doesn’t she realize she is not just disrespecting Bill,she is shitting on US,who PAY HER HUSBAND’S FUCKING SALARY?!! I’m almost in tears,I’m so angry over this.Even if,tomorrow,all the stars aligned and everything was settled to everyone’s satisfaction,I wouldn’t go to their show or buy the new record,this has become so hurtful to the fans.Why?We just wanted to hear a new record and see the boys on one final (probably) tour.What did we,and Bill, do to deserve such treatment? And now,what,she’s trying to write Bill out of the band’s history? Well,you can manipulate Ozzy’s history to your heart’s content,Sharon,but YOU CAN’T ALTER THE HISTORY OF BLACK SABBATH,no matter how hard you try!! This final,fatal (imo) blow has me on the verge of depositing my entire Sabbath colllection,including my very first vinyl LP (Master of Reality),into the trash bin.As any medical doctor can tell you,some wounds just cannot be healed.History will give you what you deserve,Ms.Arden.So,so pathetic.

    • Addendum: the fact that you had the cojones to actually cut Bill out of the picture is all the “comment” we need.Now,Fuck You.

  30. paul Hudson says:

    Bill i’m absolutely gutted you won’t be part of it. Neither will i. I’ve been a Sabbath fan for 40 years and i can’t believe all this bickering. Black Sabbath is an equal partnership between four people Ozzy Tony, Geezer & Bill. I think it’s it’s rediculous that four lifelong friends can’t sort this out. Outside influences maybe but if Ozzy Tony and Geezer say “We ain’t doing it without BIll” surely that would help or am i being to simplistic. Ah well here’s hoping. Good luck Bill. Best wishes to Tony.

  31. FUUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUU! Sharon Osbourne.

  32. Ben Gonzales says:

    Aw Crap!
    On 11.12.11, my wife said something like this was going to happen and not to get all excited and now she was right……..AGAIN!!

  33. I have a suspicion that fans attending the Birmingham show tomorrow night may be pleasantly surprised when BW takes the stage with the rest of the original line-up. Call it a hopeful, intuitive hunch.

    • I’m pretty darned confident in saying it’s not happening. I wouldn’t get your hopes up for an unannounced playing of the drums by Bill Ward.

  34. This boils down to greed, plain and simple. Ozzy/Sharon are two very greedy people. Look at what they did to Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake on some of the ozzy remasters. I’d be willing to lay money it’s THEM not giving Bill the fair deal he has earned. Those guys should be splitting everything 25/25/25/25, it took the four of them to make them great, and 3 of them with a replacement drummer aren’t going to fool anybody. Shame on you guys, you’ve let the fans down here. Give Bill the same contract everybody else is getting, and get on with it.

  35. I live outside of Chicago and the moment I heard they would playing at Lollapalooza I knew I had to go. Imagine that…Sabbath playing in front of a sea of people on the Chicago lakefront (the irony!) in the year 2012!!! I have seen them live many times through numerous line-ups (inc. the original one) and enjoyed them every single time, but this seemed to be the perfect venue to see this band, for possibly the last time, since they are not getting any younger (despite a possible new album and another tour). Of course I expected them to headline the show so when I saw the schedule I was a bit disappointed, but nonetheless there would be no missing it, or so I thought! I know a statement released by the rest of the band points at “there are two sides to every story” but I have found myself siding with Bill Ward as he’s been upfront with all the developments. Personally I can’t understand how they could mess this up, but I know I am letting those tickets go. This is a great disappointment!

  36. This is why I gave up on this bullshit years ago. The band Thrice is touring the US right now on a farewell tour getting, on avareage, $25 bucks a ticket. They’re a damn good band and love each other as brothers. They love their fans and are appreciative of every stop on the tour. Screw this childish bullshit that adults should well be over by now. Bill, your explanation of the situation sounds like a kid that forgot his homework and can’t come up with a decent explanation so you have taken to play the victims role. There are many other bands out there that I’d pay to see rather than wring my hands over this bullshit. I’m 57 and saw your guys back in the original lineup four times…all great shows. Piss on this whimsical act.

  37. Richie Walnuts says:

    Bill….cut the shit already!!!! You know you’re respected no matter what…Does it HAVE TO BE in writting???
    Gimme a break already…..you’re ruining the whole thing and the vibe…thanks for nothin……

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