Founding Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward missed out on contributing to his band’s 2013 reunion album 13 after a public contract dispute with frontman Ozzy Osbourne, and has now revealed that the incident may have irreparably damaged the friendship between sticks man and singer.
In an interview with DC Heavy Metal, Ward revealed that he stays in contact with Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi, but his relationship with Osbourne took a large hit after Ozzy made some harsh public comments about the drummer’s weight and playing ability. Ward revealed that he was hurt by Osbourne’s remarks, calling their lack of communication “a big loss”.
“With Ozzy, I’ve lost a friend as far as I’m concerned. A man that I dearly loved, and I still dearly love but I’ve had to really now readjust just how much I’m going to trust and love him.”
Discussing the album 13, Ward noted that he was completely available and able to play on the record, but now it’s just “still something that I don’t care to listen to. Even if it was the most brilliant album in the world I don’t care to listen to it,” he said. “There’s nothing of value in there for me.”
Ward did make clear that he’ll always be open to playing with Black Sabbath. “I love the band,” he said. “I miss them terribly. And so my answer would be leaning towards if something could be worked out — something that I could live with and I’m talking politically now, contractually, and not the kind of things that I’ve done in the past.”
After a health setback in 2013, Ward said that he is trying to regain his strength and would be the first to admit if he wasn’t strong enough to play with the band. “I would never, ever, ever allude to being able to play with Sabbath if my health wasn’t absolutely smack on,” he said. “And my health right now is not bad, but it’s not good enough to certainly play in any band, never mind Black Sabbath.”
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