The Sabs respond to Bill

While I was out running errands today, the server tanked again.  I should have guessed something happened, because the other Sabs (Ozzy, Tony, & Geezer) issued a statement today on the official Black Sabbath Website.  It said:

We were saddened to hear yesterday via Facebook that Bill declined publicly to participate in our current Black Sabbath plans…we have no choice but to continue recording without him although our door is always open… We are still in the UK with Tony. Writing and recording the new album and on a roll… See you at Download!!!

– Tony, Ozzy and Geezer

Can’t say I’m surprised at that.  I figured they’d say SOMETHING, and they weren’t gonna say “Well, that’s it then, we’re not doing this anymore”.  So this move doesn’t surprise me in the least.   I’ve also seen a few comments as to why they chose to respond like this, and especially the mention of Facebook.   A few thoughts come to mind about this..

  • I’ve seen a few posts from people wondering why they issued the statement, and they didn’t just try to “work it out” behind the scenes.  Bill Ward did issue the statement on his website and on Facebook himself.   Given Bill did that, it seems logical that they’d respond in kind.  That doesn’t surprise me, really.
  • As I’ve pointed out a few times in the last 24 hours, this feels like 2004 again.  My gut feeling is that this will get worked out in the end, but I have no facts regarding any of this.
  • Yes, I do Bill Ward’s website for him, but I had no prior knowledge of this than the rest of the Internet did except for maybe five minutes when his manager asked me if I’d post something for him and my actual posting of it.  Despite my being involved with Bill since around 1997’ish, I have no idea what’s going on here, and have ZERO inside knowledge.  The contractual situation with the Sabs is not info I’ve asked about, nor would they share with me – so I’m about as much in the dark on this one as anyone else is.

Hopefully this all gets worked out.  Because if they don’t, I’m gonna have to update my timeline page with another bloody combination.  Sigh.


  1. Tortheguide says

    Hey fans, what about a donation directly to Bill Ward? This might be the last opportunity to see the greatest show on earth for heavy fans, and if money is the issue let’ssolve it! Bill my man, let your management prepare for a pay pal account were fans can donate directly, far from the greasy & greedy hands of Sharon.

    • Most sensible idea I’ve heard during this whole debacle. That and maybe sending Sharon for a long walk off a short precipice.

    • Please re-read Mr. Ward’s statement. This is not about money. This is about respect, appreciation. It makes me sick to read a comment like that, coming from a supposed Sabbath fan. If you want Mr. Ward to sacrifice his artistic integrity just so you can see the band perform together again, you are NOT a fan, you are a selfish and greedy arse.

      • Hank Rearden_WI says

        It is most positively, definitely, absolutely, undeniably, about the money.
        Read dignity, respect apprecaition, etc., and what your’e seeing is, it’s about the money.
        And being “about the money” is not a bad thing.
        My question is: if the others are in Europe recording, WFT is Bill still doing in the US?

        R & R is a business. There are no FREE World Tours, no free trucks to haul the gear, no free limos, no free jets, and frankly no free talent. Save the “artistic integrity” BS for OWS crowd.

        Get your shit together Bill and get your ass into the studio.
        Being THERE gives Sharon one less card to play.

        • Absolutely agree, its about money fullstop. Just swallow your pride a bit bill, if it where me id do it for a pie and a coke.

        • Black Mike says

          “It is most positively, definitely, absolutely, undeniably, about the money.” I totally disagree. I don’t even understand how you can make such an audacious comment, based on so little information!!
          Even if Bill feels the financial part (and I personally doubt it is) of his contract is insulting, it makes it about the insult not the money. I can’t claim to know Bill personally, but the vibe I have always got from the guy (via interviews, lyrics from solo albums, charity work, etc) is he is a down to earth, non-greedy, humble, generous soul.

          • Hank Rearden_WI says

            Bill may very well be “a down to earth, non-greedy, humble, generous soul”, but he has also proven to be much less reliable than Ozzy, and that’s says a lot.
            Bill is high maintenance. 1/4 of the band is fighting cancer and STILL writing and working.
            Bill is still home. The question is not Bill’s talent or generosity, It’s his reliability.
            And now when it’s time to get to work, show some compassion, and help lighten a load for a sick bandmate where is he? He’s not at work, helping the others.
            Reliable, or team player, are not words you chose to describe Bill.

            As for ” I don’t even understand how you can make such an audacious comment, based on so little information!!” Bill’s own words told me everything there is to know, plus that he needed to make an internal band issue public, and that he did it from Stateside.

            Thinking of you Tony, Geezer, and Ozzy. Looking forward to the new material, and a Milwaukee concert date, when the right touring time comes along.

          • Couldn’t have said it better myself mate. I thought it was amazingly tasteless that the reunion was announced so soon after Dio’s death & thought they should have called it quits at that point anyway. With Bill, I might have been persuaded to go along & listen to yet another rambling of Iron Man & Paranoid – god knows we won’t be hearing anything different, just the same old stuff trudged out again, but if Bill ain’t there, then I ain’t either.

  2. I smell the Yoko of Black Sabbath in all of this. Tony should get the most, then Geezer, then Bill and a few cents for Ozzy. Hardly writes a thing and his onstage performances of late are a joke. Have you seen Live at Budokan, it’s a joke, sad old fool stumbling around trying to read off an auto queue and wailing about being crazy between songs. Lucky he had a rocking band to save the day for him.

  3. Three people are to blame and three people only for Bill Ward not being apart of this: Ozzy Osbourne / Geezer Butler / Tony Iommi. Thank you three musketeers for saving me money when you tour and put out a record.

    • Ozzy was going through hell wheen he did budokan.Its when sharon had cancer ect..Even Ozzy said it sucked.Cut the guy some slack..Must be a dio fan.

  4. I’ve been listen to Sabbath since I was 11 ( 1973)…My brother convinced me to buy an album called Sabbath Bloody Sabbath for my birthday….I bought it because it had the word “Bloody” on the cover..Been following Sabs ever since..they are part of my life…I went to see them whenever I could..Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield …but only ever with Ozzy …I moved to South Africa…and got to see them at Sun City with Tony martin….he was shit!!!

    I’ve always thought that Never say die was an album too far..Especially when you look at the Quality of Heaven and Hell/ Mob Rules and Blizzard of Ozz…I still can’t bring myself to listen to NSD all the way through…it’s fuckin awful..

    Then when I’m back to the UK..My heart sank as I saw Ozzy, converted into a living cartoon for money…talk shows …reality shows..Singing for GW Bush for fucks sake..Pimped out by Sharon.. Et al..

    Went to see Heaven and Hell at the MEN Manchester…Brilliant…Then went to see Dio do his Holy Diver Set at Manchester Academy..a small venue…possibly the best gig I have ever been to… Dio fuckin rocked the place shitless…what a voice..What a performer….RIP…

    This bullshit now with Bill is just the last straw…my brother almost bought me a ticket for download for my 50th birthday I’m so glad he didn’t..the thought of Ozzy painfully trying to enthuse the crowd while he can barely walk …and Vinnie who’s a great drummer but he’s not bill…Just fucks me off..

    • Look, I’m going to say this only once more, as succinctly as possible. As a drummer, compared to Bill, Vinnie Appice SUCKS DICK. One listen to ”The Devil You Know” will confirm this. As further proof, consider- what exactly has Vinnie done between Sabbath / Heaven and Hell gigs? Aside from his work with Dio( who is no longer around to prop him up)? Anybody? I rest my case. NO BILL=NO SABBATH. End of discussion.

  5. Guys… This is not any of the other band members cauing the problem. Its quite obvious it is the greedy evil scum that is the record company and tour promoter. These guys want to do everything they can to destroy music and are suceeding while lining their own pockets. I dont blame Bill Ward, they have obviously offered him pittance.

  6. It’s not just sharon causing the problems,It’s all the management thats involved,so all management need to stay out it and let the real fab four do what they do best which is make music,let the boys rock!!!!!!.

  7. Bill Ward deserves a 25% share in all monies earned from the Black Sabbath 2012 World Tour. He also should be paid handsomely for his contributions to their upcoming album too. Sharon is the demon behind all this contractual madness and she should change her name to Yoko.

  8. I think this smells… seriously? Sabbath is my favourite band. But, I’d rather have them just retire than do another tour that isn’t the real deal. I don’t need another Iommi Album, even with Ozzy and Geezer on it, it it’s not the ONE real Black Sabbath Album everyone’s waited for… Maybe they should look for another new name.

  9. Black Sabbath,

    This is not a reunion with out Bill. How do we find out who is directly responsible for the contract that has been given to Bill? I propose that we ( all the millions of fans) flood there emails, call, write letters, or what ever it takes, to let them know we want Bill in the band and to give him what is fair to him as original member. It is most likely about money somehow, and if Bill is not in, then the label, publisher, or who ever is gonna lose a shit load of money. I say we let them know that we do not support this, and will not support it financially. I love all you guys so much and hate saying this, but if the root cause of Bills contract is because of greed, then I don’t want to support the label, publisher or who ever with my last few dollars so they can live it up in a mansion. Im in school now for audio engineering and just getting into the biz and it makes me sick how all these big shots take advantage of bands, u guys are fucking huge! How can this kind of crap be going on with Sabbath. You guys should own them, not them own you. I support Bill on this and he should get what he wants just like the rest of you guys. So who is the slimball that is in charge of the contract so we can 99% there ass? Thanks and love you guys lots and so hope this works out! Ozzy you are my inspiration to getting into audio engineering and my goal is to work with you some day!

    • Black Mike says

      Good points made here. Who is responsible for this farce?? We have a right to know, we are the ones who pay for albums, gigs, etc.

    • Mike Ciresi says

      I agree, no Bill Ward no Sabbath Reunion, they could still call it Black Sabbath but I am not interested in the album or going to a show without all original members. The original Sabbath is what kept Sabbath going, they made all of the recordings that made the band famous. After Ozzy it was new versions of Sabbath but they were only able to do that because of the original member recordings. I am so tired of reunion shows that don’t have the original members especially when they are all alive. Nobody knows what is in the contract and what the real story is. All I know is that the other three members should not continue without all members. Believe me I wanted the original Sabs to have stayed together, they are and always will be a huge influence and one of my favorite bands of all time. In saying that I just can’t bring myself to go to the show without the four, I have done it in the past and just sat there and wished all of the original members were there. When they were together they split everything four ways and things were fine, they should be doing that now. If it is not going to be all four I will not buy the record and will not see any shows on the tour. The one problem is, is that nobody really knows what the story is, it could very well be that Bill is not being reasonable, but, I have a hard time with that because of his nature. Bill has been wishy-washy about things in the past, but he is a sincere person. The problem I have with the whole thing is why just Bill, why aren’t the other three complaining. Ozzy & Tony have the most star power, Geezer isn’t complaining, if you look at it in today’s terms Ozzy & Tony could get buy with it and get even more money. I think that there is more to it than we know. I think the fans need to band together and boycott the whole thing if it isn’t the four, unless, Bill is just being difficult. I think that the fans need to put their feet down and say “Hey have a little more respect for your fans and give us Black Sabbath, not 3/4 Black Sabbath.”

  10. Worse than Van Halen. Can’t all four of them just get along for five minutes…
    This will be far more profitable for everyone if it is all original members, but Tony and Ozzy will push ahead without Bill, if need be. They just need to sort out a satisfactory comprimise with the dough.

  11. I think bill never really wanted to be part of the reunion, more like he was talked into it and this was his way out. and i feel if he actually gave a damn about his and sabbaths fans, he would go through with it. oh well though, time to bring back vinny

  12. michael coleman says

    I think that each person should get 25% of everything from album to wristband sales , tour sales and T-shirt sales and anything else that the guys sells , anything else just is not cricket . Hoping the original 4 get together and record another classic , and the wolves are locked outside untill the album is complete . That is all the fans want .

  13. Bill,
    I dont know what the contract is about but this is bullshit.You deserve 1/4 -you’re an original member and make the sound of Sabbath. Without you it’s not a reunion. Someone is greedy and it isn’t you because I’m sure you’re not asking for more than 1/4.
    Hope it gets resolved and I see you behind the drums on tour
    All the best from Toronto-Canada

  14. business and bull go hand in hand with music. each one of us is an individual and have our own ways and needs so with this we as people won’t always see eye to eye. By no means do I take part in business of this size but I know it is very hard work to keep everyone happy all of the time but I would love to have a fantastic new record from Mk1 Black Sabbath.

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