Despite previously claiming other disputes forced Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward to bow out of their latest tour plans, frontman Ozzy Osbourne has now revealed that the real reason was that the sticks man was just too fat.
In an interview with New York Daily News, Ozzy explained that the health concern was an unnecessary risk, with two heart attacks already on Ward’s record:
“I don’t think he could have done the gig, to be honest. He’s incredibly overweight. A drummer has to be in shape. He’s already had two heart attacks. I don’t want to be responsible for his life.”
The tour eventually saw Tommy Clufetos handle duties on the skins.
Prior to that, though, it appears that Ward was too out of shape to even keep up in the studio. Ozzy previously told Mojo that Ward was loose and lazy during the early rehearsals for the band, resulting in him being nixed for the new album process and replaced with Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk:
“We looked at Bill, and he couldn’t remember what the fuck we were doing. He didn’t come clean and say, ‘I can’t cut this gig, but can we work something out, guys, where I’ll come on but with another drummer backing me up?’ Or, ‘I’ll come and play a few songs.’ That would have been cool.”
Ozzy did admit however, that it’s not the same without Ward in the folds and explained “the door is always open” should the drummer decide to return.