Godfathers of heavy metal Black Sabbath are approaching the end of the line, with their final ever album and tour both on the horizon. However, the veteran act still remains one drummer short of its founding lineup.
Bill Ward pulled out of Sabbath’s historic 2012 reunion over a contract dispute, and has today taken to Facebook to clarify that he will not consider rejoining Sabbath until frontman Ozzy Osbourne apologises to him over a past beef.
“There is always speculation about a true, original Sabbath lineup for the next tour or record,” Ward writes. “With a sad heart, I have to say I will not participate in any musical undertakings until a righting of the wrongs spoken against me has been achieved.”
“I must admit, I have little to no expectations of this happening,” he continues, “But in the order of first things first, I’m looking for an honest accountability of all of Ozzy’s statements that I felt were untrue.”
Although Ward has not specified what the nature of Osbourne’s offensive statements were, it’s possible he’s referring to an incident in 2013, when Osbourne told a New York newspaper that Ward was basically too fat to keep up with the rigours of touring with Black Sabbath.
Either way, Ward is now demanding a public apology from the Prince Of Darkness.
“I would not want to continue on with him without this seemingly [impassable] dilemma being addressed,” he says. “I don’t think previously strong relationships can remain strong after dispute by just sweeping the offensive stuff under the carpet, or by saying a puny sorry, or ‘Oh, that’s all over now.’ It doesn’t work like that for me. Righting of wrong works, and that’s what I want if I’m ever going to be his friend again.”
In news sure to be greeted with a fist-pump by Sabbath fans, the drummer has also declared that he has “neither severed nor discontinued my relationship with Black Sabbath”. But he has outlined a few other things that need to happen before his friendship with Osbourne, and rightful place in the band’s lineup, can be restored.
“Still undone and faraway is a “signable” contract. I would require a “signable” contract before moving one step toward a pathway that could lead to us all playing together again… I’ve listened to nothing but insults and false remarks, and if as a band or as individuals they wish to continue along the same lines, then any notion of an original Black Sabbath lineup will continue to fade away.
“Put simply, it’s up to them. I have dearly missed playing with them and as people, I have been heartbroken over the loss of who I thought we were.”
Black Sabbath last toured Australia in 2013, with fans keeping their devil horns crossed that the metal pioneers will be returning to our shores one last time as part of their final ever world tour.
Osbourne’s wife, Sharon, recently announced that the band would be playing their “final” show at Ozzfest Japan, although that appearance has since been cancelled.
Read Bill Ward’s full statement, below.
Gallery: Black Sabbath @ Allphones Arena, Sydney 2013 / Photos: Peter Coates
Black Sabbath Drummer Bill Ward Is Demanding An Apology From Ozzy Osbourne - Music Feeds