The widely publicized “Bill Ward versus Black Sabbath” drama has been going on since 2011 and just won’t stop although the band has. Very recently, guitarist Tony Iommi has made a comment on Sabbath’s feud with their co-founder and former drummer saying: “It would have been nice to do these last shows with Bill, but it just didn’t happen. And it’s silly, really, because it was over nothing. Even if he’d have played a couple of shows, it would’ve been great. I don’t think he quite realizes how hard it would have been on him. So we wanted to bring another drummer just in case Bill ended up saying ‘I can’t do it’ for a couple of days or whatever. It’s too risky to go out and then have Bill say ‘I can’t do it’ and you have to cancel on 70,000 people or whatever it might be. It’s very hard, and it’s not fair on the fans and it’s not fair on him.”
Today, Bill Ward has responded to that in a statement posted on his Facebook profile. Here are the fragments referring specifically to Iommi’s words:
Tony commented, “and it’s silly really because it was over nothing.” I have to confront that statement. I can’t let that wash into my life and my family’s life, and the lives of all those affected by an original band failure. It was something. It meant everything to thousands of people including me. It will always be something and it will always ring with truth, and actual correct accountability. By saying it was nothing, [he] dishonours the credibility of our fans, and insults the very heart of what we all clung to, Black Sabbath.
Tony’s comment (and I’m assuming it was in reference to me touring) was, “I don’t think he quite realizes how hard it would have been on him”. How can Tony say that. I know what it takes to tour. I’ve helped to set the physical and playing bar that was metal then and today. What an undermining, self-centered thing for Tony to say. What an inaccurate thing for Tony to say. I had played all the Ozzfests and Sabbath tours after the reunion. Keep in mind, they did one tour without me first, I think just to see if it could work without me. I’m sorry and mean no malice in saying this, but it was their fear, their mistrust, and their rationale that put back-up drummers on the stage at the reunion and other tours. I disliked that they did that, but understood they wanted to. I got on with my work, playing drums in Sabbath. Never once was a back-up drummer required, and no, I did not validate the fears of those who had fears.
I regret the loss of Ozzy’s friendship.
I regret the loss of Tony’s friendship.
Finally, and I’ve defended this many times, I couldn’t play one gig or a couple of gigs here or there with a back-up drummer or no back-up drummer. To do that one gig would put me in an elitist position, and I can’t do that for all the other fans who couldn’t see that one gig.
I’m honoured to have been a part of Black Sabbath, and to have played with Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, and Geezer Butler.
Long Live Black Sabbath.
You can find the full statement HERE.Share