Bill Ward Out of Reunion? Maybe.

Bill Ward just posted a bombshell on his website.   Not quite sure what to make of it at the moment, but if you’ve been following the band, it seems like the same kind of thing that happened in 2004 again.  Here’s what Bill posted on his site:

Los Angeles, CA – February 2, 2012

Dear Sabbath Fans, Fellow Musicians and Interested Parties,

At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour. However, I am unable to continue unless a “signable” contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band. Last year, I worked diligently in good faith with Tony, Ozzy and Geezer. And on 11/11/11, again in good faith, I participated in the L.A. press conference. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another “unsignable” contract was handed to me.

Let me say that although this has put me in some kind of holding pattern, I am packed and ready to leave the U.S. for England. More importantly, I definitely want to play on the album, and I definitely want to tour with Black Sabbath.

Since the news of Tony’s illness, and the understanding that the band would move production to the U.K., I’ve spent everyday getting to or living in a place of readiness to leave. That involves something of a task, and as I’ve tried to find out what’s going on with the U.K. sessions, I’ve realized that I’ve been getting “the cold shoulder” (and, I might add, not for the first time). Feeling somewhat ostracized, my guess is as of today, I will know nothing of what’shappening unless I sign “the unsignable contract.”

The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, I also have to stand for something and not sign on. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician. I believe in freedom and freedom of speech. I grew up in a hard rock/metal band. We stood for something then, and we played from the heart with honesty and sincerity. I am in the spirit of integrity, far from the corporate malady, I am real and honest, fair and compassionate.

If I’m replaced, I have to face you, the beloved Sabbath fans. I hope you will not hold me responsible for the failure of an original Black Sabbath lineup as promoted. Without fault finding, I want to assure everyone that my loyalty to Sabbath is intact.

So here I am. I lay my truth down before you. I’m good to go IF I get a “signable” contract. I don’t want to let anyone down, especially Black Sabbath and all the Sabbath fans. You know I love you. It would be a sad day in Rock if this current situation fell to the desires of a few.

My position is not greed-driven. I’m not holding out for a “big piece” of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal. I’d like something that recognizes and is reflective of my contributions to the band, including the reunions that started fourteen years ago. After the last tour I vowed to never again sign on to an unreasonable contract. I want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract that will honor all that I’ve brought to Black Sabbath since its beginning.

That’s the story so far.

Stay safe and stay strong.

I love every single one of you.

–Bill Ward


  1. what is going on? what is f**king going on? this is very strange

  2. Wow, what a bombshell!! Reading it again, I don’t believe that Bill would have taken such a drastic step without feeling a great deal of frustration & anger – we all have our limits after all. Let’s hope that the situation can be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction & that the album & tour can go ahead with the mighty Bill in his natural place – behind the sticks.

    • Danny Mullins says

      I’m sure Bill has VERY good reasons for this. It may be unsignable due to Tony getting “his lion’s share” because he has never left the band and may have more rights than the others. Not sure, but it’s definately a money thing, this stands to be a huge, profitable animal because it’s not just a reunion tour, but a NEW ALBUM. Everybody should be ashamed of themselves… is about money after all…..Lord forgive me, I sincerely hope I am grossly mistaken.

  3. Stargazer87 says

    What the **** is that?? Now that’s a real shame!

  4. Bill,

    you are one of the greatest drummer in the world, and sabbath songs wouldn’t be the same without you!

    I’ve already got the ticket for your Italian concert…and I hope to see you in the band!

    Otherwise, I don’t know if I will go to the concert…


  5. Doug Nicko says

    No Bill I am not traveling to see the band,not buying the cd.Just when I thought this year had some hope,I am “GOiIN INSANE”!

  6. Diego Mora Vega says

    I won´t buy any new Black Sabbath album without Bill. It won´t be Black Sabbath.

    • mike clifton says

      Oh, I guess ‘Mob Rules’ wasn’t a Sabbath album. My copy says ‘”Black Sabbath” on it. If Iommi is on it -It’s Sabbath ! Face it– a band can’t stay all original members all the time. It’s just a fact of life.

  7. Bill, I’m sure I’m not the only one who agrees with you on this.
    Stand your ground, don’t settle for less than what you think you are worth.
    I love you man!!

  8. Diego Mora Vega says

    Definitely, I won´t buy any new Black Sabbath album without Bill. It won´t be Black Sabbath.

  9. I knew it was too good to be true. Any reunion without all four original members is not a reunion at all. An equal share for the original members of the band is the only way to go. Give the people what they want and that is all the founding members. This is ridiculous.

  10. Heaven and hell says

    The true is that Bill Ward wouldn’t survive eventual World tour. He is in not good condition and this is an excuse to leave.

  11. Why do I think Sharon Osbourne could be behind this? Maybe Sabbath should take lessons from Rush, divide everything equal… Seems to have worked for them.

  12. well we can pretty much guess whose behind this (SHARONNNN) pretty much think its someone covering because of Bill’s health in the past and whether he can contribute 100%- No Bill Ward no reunion . just get in the studio and make one last kick ass album – how sad will it be because of tony’s health and now this we will be deprived yet again – as much as Van Halen just put out a new album its not the same without mike anthony – split it 4 ways

  13. In a recent interview when asked about the Sabbath reunion, Bob Daisley suggested such a thing could happen with regards to $haron and her limitless greed.
    Indeed this may not be the case with Bill’s situation, but I bet upon reading the news, Daisley would tend to think so….

  14. status quo says

    hope this band internel problem can be sorted out,bill is totally right if hes not happy with what ever contract there offering him
    was so looking forward to the new album and tour!!

  15. rangemasterjim says

    Just a little steam being blown off. All involved have way too much to loose if this doesn’t happen with all four members. There are products being developed and land being purchased with the hope of the album and reunion with Bill.

  16. Oh man so disappointing, so very disappointing. Lets hope this can be resolved. I would love to hear an original NEW Sabbath album but without all 4 original members including Bill I will not buy any new Sabbath material.

  17. Ozzy’s public statement regarding his legal claim to the name “Black Sabbath,” *before* the settlement, said that he wanted a fair share and touted the importance of ALL FOUR original members. Details of the settlement, as published by Shozzy’s legal team but NEVER publicly stated by Shozzy, states that Ozzy got a 50% share in the name Black Sabbath out of Tony’s former 100%. Does that sound equitable to you?

    Bill probably wants something as fair and simple as a one-fourth split from post-receipt tour proceeds (tickets, merch, etc) which would be completely fair. Knowing Shozzy’s decades-long practice of not paying shares to musicians (they’re not “band members” but independent contract players), I think it’s a safe assumption that the four members of Black Sabbath are not getting equal pay according to the contracts as they currently stand.

    I, for one, stand in solidarity with Bill on this. Unfair is unfair. Inequitable is inequitable.

    To others, “money is money.”

    God bless Bill Ward and others who stand for their own integrity rather than give in to false masters.

    All the best,



    • aww man… wtf? bill deserves just as much as anyone else in the band! as a sabbath freak since the 70’s i’d argue his contribution is greater than a certain singer who went missing around 1979 (or his wife, who’s contribution to the sabbath legacy is exactly-zero). ozzy is supposed to be bill’s closest friend in the band, well prove it ass****. if this is how it’s going to end- i sincerely hope not- the history will sit on shozzy’s shoulders. as for suggestions that vinnie may end up in the band, puhlease- as a drummer he’s not worthy of clipping bill’s toenails. no bill=no sabbath. everyone please conduct themselves accordingly. i’m with you bill, no matter what happens. Tim- Ontario Canada

  18. Looks like VINNY may be quitting his new band to take Bill’s place again.

    This actually makes me wonder about the contracts for Heaven and Hell. Was Vinny and Geezer screwed there? I’m thinking it was probably a fairer split since Sharon was not involved.

    I can’t believe no-one is calling for Geoff Nicholls to be back in the band Why the hell isn’t he involved again? Of course due to Shozzy. Geoff has to be back in the band!!! Who cares about Adam Wakeman? I am sure Sharon will insist he has to play keys.

    C’mon Tony, stand up for one of your long time mates!

  19. 14 years; 14 years and all Black Sabbath has to show for it is “Psycho Man” and “Selling My Soul.” Even after Tony’s cancer diagnosis, there was hope the album would be completed. Hopefully, this kicks everyone in the balls and makes them realize just how much time they’ve been wasting. Tony and Geezer have “The Devil You Know” to fall back on as their swan song. Ozzy and Bill have nothing. Bill understands this is his last go round, and wants to end it properly. Anything less than the original four Sabbath members is nothing short than defecation on an already bloated corpse of a band. Whoever is at fault (I can only think of two people) should be ashamed and ridiculed by everyone till they die meaningless deaths.

  20. Don’t think it’s right calling Sharon out w/o some sort of proof… Bill & Ozzy are fairly tight, plus I would think if it were a Sharon issue, it would be affecting everyone other than Ozzy, not just Bill…

    That said, I would hope the 4 original members would set things aside… wake up and realize this is could well be the last hurrah for the 4 of you (and I mean no disresect)… don’t let management dictate your terms, the 4 of you do what you did when you started this great band… work together for the common good of BLACK SABBATH… I, as a long time fan, ask Bill, Geezer, Ozzy & Tony to do the right thing… a fair share to each of you, then get on stage and do what ALL 4 of you love most… give us fans something to remember you by… PLEASE!

  21. I wouldn’t doubt this is $haron at work. Why they don’t just split it four ways, I don’t understand. Remember they used Ozzy’s drummer for Ozzfest back in what 97? Come on, that is no coincidence. Bill has always been so (and I’ll say overly) loyal to Ozzy, and he gets mud in his face. I agree Tony AND Geezer should stand up for Bill. The cards are in Tony’s and Geezer’s favor this time. Not Ozzy’s.

  22. WTF

    Come on people make a good contract for Bill .Otherwise you will destroy this historic reunion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Im 100% behind Bill here, Black Sabbath are four blokes who play in a band, there isn’t a member that is more significant than the other. They’re not supermen, they are normal blokes. Here’s the deal record companies and promoters are fucking idiots, i mean they really are fucking morons, they see ‘Black Sabbath’ and think “oh yeah thats ozzy osbourne isnt it? his band or something? whatever, thats big i guess”
    Bill as the drummer really is an afterthought (to them) being as most of the dumbass fans they’re going to be playing in front of at musical catastrophies such as the Download festival wouldnt know any better if Ozzy was accompanied on stage by two chinamen and a wookie.
    Unfortunately this original Black Sabbath has beome too popular with people who just like them because they think they’re supposed to. The band are suffering for it, I feel for them. God bless you Bill

  24. Ben Gonzales says

    This?………after the news about Tony earlier last month, people need to wise up. Six months ago, I wasnt excited after 11.11, I allowed myself to get real excited. Now this?
    We want Bill – we want Bill – You go Bill!

  25. When the official word came out about a new Black Sabbath album and a tour I was thrilled. My favorite band finally getting back together was something I had hoped for for a long time. I grew up listening to Black Sabbath and I still tell people that if it wasn’t for their music I sincerely believe I would have gone insane during the teen years. It seemed like a dream come true for me. Then, we hear that Tony has cancer. Even though I believe he will be alright it still makes one feel uneasy and now this comes out that Bill Ward may not be a part of it after all. BLASPHEMY, I tell you. It’s one thing if an original member either can’t or won’t participate, but it is totally something else if a member is being put in a position that he feels is just too unfair to him to participate. I think I speak for the majority of Black Sabbath fans, if not all, we want all four original members to write, play on, and record a new album and then go on a tour together. To all parties concerned we the fans of Black Sabbath say PLEASE do whatever it takes to make that happen. Thank you.

  26. 11.11 is double special day for me because it’s my birthday and Black Sabbath reunion day. Please Bill, Tony, Ozzy, GZR keep on Black Sabbath sprit. We’re really need Holy Black Sabbath, need Real Sabbath.

  27. Old_Papa_Rich says

    Ugh. Why wasn’t this handled before the announcemennt?!

  28. Money, money, money- oh how it fucks everythiong up! They need to just split things equally between the four original members, its the only way to go, really. I don’t think people would be intersted in this happening with any other drummer, it would be a Claytons reunion..
    P.S I don’t think Bill is being greedy here-Ozzy and Tony are probably trying to get most of the $$, which is wrong. Stand your ground, Bill- they’ll get hammered by both press and fans if they try and do this without you.

  29. This is a shrewd and well-thought move by Bill. Good on him for being so honest. The next move (and response) from the others will be interesting. Will they be obtuse or as open as Bill? I doubt it. Spin City here we go again. Release ‘Beyond Aston’ and show the world your talent once again.

  30. What the fuck !!!!!

  31. This has $haron Ozzhole written all over it. True fans won’t stand for it. No Bill = not buying the recond, not buying any concert tickets, not buying any merchandise = you won’t make any money $haron!!! Bill gets an equal share to everyone else…. or don’t bother doing it. Because without Bill Ward… its not Black Sabbath.

  32. bill (not ward) says

    100% in support of Bill Ward!

    Its not a reunion without Bill Ward and it hardly comes as a surprise that he’s been left out in the cold.

    To Butler, Iommi and Osborne- Split it 4 equal ways and enjoy it for the moment and leave Sharon out of it. It won’t happen again.

  33. Hernán Balladares says

    Sad news indeed Bill, but i think every Sabbath fans undersatnd you. We know is not for money issues! I think you have eniugh money you know, this is about respect, and we understand you. I only hope that this shi* situation goes right, Tommy get better about his illnes and i hope you go for the world tour and come to South America !!!

    We love you too Bill !

  34. Please, don’t reunite without Bill Ward. It will be frustrating and disappointing.

  35. I understand if Bill wants a good contrac, but still, if Black Sabbath reunites without him, it’s not reunite of black sabbath. Then it is just 3/4 offical members, and one guy who play the drums. But if Bill stay in in a band (and that’s what I hope), then it’s reunite of Black Sabbath. So, Bill please stay in band. You are the greatest drummer in history.

  36. Dear Bill,
    Please stay “open”,consider what”s more important;respect of the fans who want to see
    you play or some indecent f……g contract!
    Please go on with it despite the consenquences.
    Love and support,

  37. Bill deserves credit and equal share in any Black Sabbath realated tour, merch, ect.. as anyone else!!
    Remember Ozzy suing Tony over the naming rights to the band AND WINNING even though Tony carried on (good or bad) the tradition of Sabbath. If that was the case, then why does Bill get shortchanged?
    IT IS ONLY SABBATH with the original 4, remember ? !!
    Than pay the man his 25 % and lets get the tour started /m/

  38. Motherfucker…..
    Just solve your issues dammit. Tonys battling cancer and THIS is what you bitch about? If Tony’s cancer doesn’t even stop the forward-movement of the album and everything, then what is this to whine about? Of course I also think Bill should get his fair deal, as should everyone, but come on. This is the LAST chance for a Mk1-reunion and Bill doesn’t have much else going for him these days.
    Just get over it.

  39. Good Lord,

    I really do want to see the original F O U R members. And I don’t want anybody to make a mess out of this long awaited and surely final reunion. I have already bought highly expensive tickets for the venue in Praque. Please, do not make a mess out of it and don’t talk it down or ruin it by raising those kind of f****** stuff before anything started. It really sucks! Give him the royalities he deserves, get in shape and make sure that you play the hell out of your arses especially in Europe later the year.

  40. PatrickS77 says

    With todays announcement, that they really plan to continue without Bill I have to say:

    Pathetic! Four old filthy-rich fucks, who have more money than they will ever be able to spend in their last remaining few years, can’t come to financial terms on what may most likely be their last tour.

    What about friendship, loyalty, artistry, doing the right thing, the fans? All that matters to them is who gets the biggest paycheck??!! Truly sad! It’s like the Van Halen reunion. No reunion at all. Worthless at that. And just goes to show again, money is the root of all evil.

    Damn me for already having bought a ticket! Greatly disappointed to see that they are not much more than spineless dicks.

  41. another reunion thats all about money and nothing else and sounds like bill is getting the short end of the stick

    to me this is simple 4 piece band each member gets 25% duhh

    guys please think back to when you were 19 and hungry the bank accounts are intack (especially sharon osbournes) so split evenly 4 ways and get on with it

  42. dan rivard says

    34 years. think about 34 years. that is the period of time i have awaited a new album by black sabbath. black sabbath defined as tony, ozzy, geezer, and bill. i was cautiously ecstatic when i heard the news on 11-11-11, but i did not assume that it would actually happen. there have just been too many ob$tacle$ placed into the path of this would-be momentous album. i became wary of the ‘reunion’ when i saw the list of concert dates posted online. too many, too close together for 4 men in their 60s to pull off without incident. and now this. i do not blame bill ward, not at all. he is deserving of his fair share (25%) of the booty that could come their way. how can any other division even be discussed? i, too, am in disbelief that these details were not clearly hammered out before the press conference. i will not attend any black sabbath concert that does not feature the original four members, and i will not purchase the new album if it is not written and recorded by tony iommi, ozzy osbourne, geezer butler, AND bill ward. hopefully, my stand here, which is shared by others in this thread, will get the attention of black sabbath, and they will remove their heads from their collective asses, and get on with the only legitimate reunion they can ever have. if i wait another 34 years, i’ll be 86, and they will all likely be -6 (as in feet). i guess i can keep spinning the old albums and waiting…wondering…hoping…that black sabbath will rise again. thanks.

  43. Got tickets to Bergen…I’m 45 and been a fan since I was 12-13 never seen you live, but this i to MUCH shit to accept …so go strong ….i’ll see you in another lifetime if this’not going youre way……should be easy peacy…….hugs and war pigs …:)

  44. So this is what it comes down to. Black Sabbath without Bill Ward. Way to go Sharon.
    You were able to take the front man of one of the greatest bands & turn him into a human joke with The Osbournes. You paraded a drug addict on television for money. You tried to erase any and all history of Bob Daisley’s work on Blizzard & Diary of a Madman.
    Or maybe you forgot his contributions?
    & now, I’m going to go out o a ledge here & say you are responsible for the contract Bill was offered.
    All of you should be ashamed of yourselves.
    I know Tony is fighting his own battles now but Geezer why aren’t you & Tony standing up for Bill?
    No Bill Ward? No Black Sabbath!
    One less ticket sold!


  45. No Bill .. it’s a shame but of all 4 he is probably the one you’d substitute if they were a football team.

  46. Craig Storey says

    This is very disappointing news indeed.

    Now who’s to blame I do not know, but a lot of tickets have been sold on the premice of the original four being back together and now this. I cannot understand the logic of this at all. This is going to be the last time for anything like it, and they need to sort it out. I will not go to a show without Bill there, and am in two minds as to whether I will buy any album, should it come out.


  47. I understand You Bill. Please play only on the new studio album. This album without You, it`s not true Black Sabbath.
    Best regards!!!

  48. Paul mills says

    All boils down to money. Madness in the middle east, starving women and children in large parts of africa. And 60+ old musicians, squabbling about millions of pounds to play a few shows and record an album. Your women and children will never have to work again, let alone fucking starve to death and live most of their days in fear. Time for a reality check Black Sabbath

  49. I am so sad. What kind of person would not give each member an equal share? What is Black Sabboth without Bill Ward? BS, that is what it is. The contract must have been pretty bad for Bill to have to take a stand. These are life long friends being torn up by the greed of those who write up the contracts. No good will come of this. Guys, stick together, do what is right in your hearts, soul search and do the right thing.

  50. Nick Power says

    Black Sabbath have sustained over time is because of the magical combination of a Percussion unit of Bill Ward and Geezer Butler two men who rewrote the book of how to be a Percussionist then set it on fire pissed on it and threw it out the top floor window, Tony Iommi who despite losing the tips of his fingers with a little inspiration decided Fuck it i can play the Guitar and i bloody well will and is probably responsible for half the worlds guitar sales between the late 60’s till early 80’s.
    Add to the Mix a guy called Ozzy who can’t read sheet music (truth be told can barely read anything) has never had a singing lesson in his life but he sings in his own unique way and melody’s flow the combination of these 4 people some freak act of luck creates the most unique sounding and acting band in the world who’s originality and integrity mean they are the one band who every Rock and Metal musician to have come about since have stated as an influence

    Their music is still as incredible fresh and undated today as it was 50 years ago try it find someone you know who hasn’t heard a lot of Sabbath and play them War Pigs and they will say wow and then they will fall over when they find out it was written before they where even born

    without Geezer, Tony, Bill and Ozzy Black Sabbath are not Black Sabbath they can be good they can be incredible but they can not be Black Sabbath you can always feel that something is missing

    I sincerely hope that what ever has happened to cause Bill the respond like this can be sorted out all i can say is

    “Guys Fuck The Lawyers Get Down The Greasy Spoon Get A Brew In And Have A Chat”

    Good Luck and guys remember all hate ever gets us is more hate

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