Posted by Dana Category: LATEST NEWS

billward300 Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward – who is currently sitting out the band’s ongoing reunion citing contract disputes – has hinted at some of the specific reasons lying behind his decision to not rejoin the band in a new interview.

“I was offered a contact and I couldn’t sign it,” he tells Guitar International. “As for some of the stories – I would never, ever show up for a commitment that I could not do physically. So that should answer that one! In the statement that I did last year, I was quite clear that I came to the end of the road and promised myself and my family that I would never sign a contract that was not workable.

“It was one of the toughest decisions that I ever had to make. Because I absolutely and without question wanted to play. I haven’t left the band. Everybody thinks I have left the band. I didn’t walk out; it wasn’t like that at all! I just didn’t sign the contact and life took its own course.

“I’m the drummer in Black Sabbath so I want to do the entire show. I play all or nothing. Playing partially would kind of be aligning to my demise in Sabbath and minimize me. I’m the drummer in Sabbath and quite capable of doing the job.”

Read the entire interview at Guitar International.

In other Bill Ward news, the drummer is about to debut a fine art collection, called Absence of Corners, on August 1st. For more information, please visit

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  1. I bet any money Tony and Ozzy thought they should get more than Geez and Bill…

    There will never be another Black Sabbath with all that great material and its a complete joke that they couldn’t bring Bill . I would never go see these guys live.

    1. I totally agree100% the money should be split equally. I wouldn’t drop a dime on the album or tour. The only reason tony and geezer are playing with ozzy is because Ronnie died. The heaven and hell material kicks ass , this Sabbath album sucks without Bill.

  2. 3 guys are in. One guy isn’t. So lets blame the 3 guys who are in. To suggest Tony and Ozzy would f’ over Geezer is plain stupid. Geezer is just as important as the other tow. By being offered a contract, Bill confirms that he’s an employee now . Doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be there. But stop with the Tony and Ozzy are greedy crap.

      1. Bigsled, are you suggesting that Tony, Geezer, and Ozzy thought they would make more money by having a reunion tour without Bill? Or maybe you think Tony and Ozzy thought they would make more money by having a reunion tour without both Geezer and Bill. Either way, maybe you shouldn’t bet any money on your scenario, because its dumb.

  3. BILL WARD: “I’m The Drummer In BLACK SABBATH”
    Uh, no you’re not.
    BILL WARD: “And Quite Capable Of Doing The Job”
    Uh, no you can’t.

    Enjoying painting!

  4. Remember 1980 with Dio? Same situation. Probably a “let us give you a shot, if you can’t handle it then yer gone” contract, cheap too. Shoulda let him do 4 tunes per night.

    1. Well, it really doesn’t matter how many albums he played on does it? or how many times he has left the band? This has been dubbed a Reunion tour w. the original members of Black Sabbath, and as far as I know, Bill Ward is an original member. It’s not really an original members reunion is it..

  5. Easy enough to prove what he claims. Post the contract. There several different ways to look at this. Performing Live all should get a equal share. On writing the writers get the credit and the cash. Recording see performing. back when they originally were together they all got writing credits even if they didn’t write the songs. My understanding was Tony wrote the music, Geezer the Lyrics and Ozzy came up with the vocal melody lines. they never said Bill ever wrote any of the songs. If this is true he has been getting song writing royalty checks for 40 years on songs he didn’t write. So as much as I love Bill’s playing, maybe everyone felt he already had received his fair share. So it’s rather simple whether he ever plays with the band again is in his hands as much as the other guys. So Bill if you want to play get out there and play. If they don’t give you 25% of the concert performance money then maybe your getting hosed.

    1. Yes I’m sure Jon Bon Jovi splits the live show money equally with Tico Torres and David Brian. It was just Richie Sambora that he wasn’t paying equally. Point is for most bands nowadays the money is in touring and not writing music. So Bill Ward will not get paid the same amount as the Tony for example, and I don’t feel he should. He is the original and should be on that tour (if he’s able). But its laughable to suggest he would get equal money. Bill Ward was offered a job because he is now an employee and not a contractually equal member in Sabbath (much like Dio when he took over for Ozzy). I’m not saying it’s right or fair. But that’s how the business (any business) works. For those of you who think this is about re-living past Sabbath glory, your painfully wrong. This is about making money. Quite frankly I don’t have a problem with that either.

      1. So do you think Ozzy should get the same pay as Tony … The guy that dosen’t write his lyrics. Can’t sing live . Cant remember his lyrics, and is so off key , anyone of us singing could those songs would sound better…..

        Hey DR maybe they could get your buddy Thayer or Singer to be the singer … That’s if their puppet master Gene would let them …

  6. This is getting so old…Just move on…Decisions were made (for better or worse)…It is what it is…I don’t care who said what or who did what…Let it go, guys!!

  7. Ozzy said that Bill Ward was not playing up to par and that the band would be carrying him. The irony here is that Ozzy’s voice on the album is over processed, weak, sluggish, and monotone. As for the videos I’ve seen of the first couple of shows on this tour, Ozzy is off key, off time, and is being carried by the band.

  8. So far all the reunion has proven to me is that Ozzy’s explanation of why Bill wasn’t a part of this to be nothing short of bs and just how much better Ronnie and the Heaven and Hell lineup were. We haven’t seen the contract Bill was handed, but my guess is he couldn’t post it due to disclosure and confidentiality reasons even if he wanted to. We don’t know how much of this contract thing is true, but based on the way the Osbournes screwed Jake E. Lee on the Bark At The Moon album’s writing credits for money, it wouldn’t surprise me. On the other hand (like Bobby just said) the irony is Ozzy has proven himself to be everything he accused Bill of: not being able to remember his parts, lacking ability at his age, and just not up to snuff in general as for as being able to tour. I don’t see how Bill could’ve been any worse than Ozzy is at this point, even if Ozzy’s accusations about Bill were true in the first place. Ozzy has drifted musically for the past 20 plus years ever since he decided to not retire like he should have. All we’ve heard are unremarkable, second-rate albums and watched him turn into some mainstream TV, money-mogul guru like Gene Simmons. All the reunion and years leading up to this has revealed is Ozzy’s true nature and how the Dio fronted Sabbath was superior to this version despite it being the original with all the historical significance attached. It’s also interesting how the Osbournes kept the Dio version from using the Black Sabbath name during the Heaven and Hell reunion era a few years back, which makes perfect sense now because after the ass Ronnie and the boys kicked, there’s no way Ozzy would be able the follow that act under the same name. Just by the name Black Sabbath tagged exclusively now to Ozzy somehow legitimizes his poor showing these days, gets people to by the album, come out to see the show, and spend their money for an inferior product. The best move Bill ever made was not signing at this point.

  9. All I have to say in defense of Bill Ward is that at least he, unlike SO many other musicians, was aware of his rights as a performer, musician, artist, instrumentalist, etc. that ALL of us have…but so few really know inside and out and use that knowledge to make informed financial and career decisions. If he felt like he’d be getting screwed by signing that contract, or not getting what he felt was at least fair or reasonable, then I completely support him in not going along with it.

    1. I agree Seth. But then he should stop talking about it publicly. Otherwise all the opinions hit the airwaves – some in support, some not. If he feels getting paid nothing right now is better than getting paid something, then I applaud his integrity. Clearly there are two sides to the story.

  10. I just saw Sabbath in Tampa on Monday night and they were excellent! I have seen them several times over the years but never with Ozzy. The drummer that they have playing is awesome! Ozzy’s voice was better then when I saw him on the Blizzard tour in 81. Great concert!

  11. Once Bill did the Press Conference he should have been committed. He chose to , it’s not the first time in Black Sabbath’s long history that Bill “sat out” . Anyone thinking OZZy isn’t getting “his ” share or it’s wrong, BS would be back to selling 30,000 albums and playing to about 4-5,000 a night on a 3 band ticket without him.

    I do wonder though, if this was 1 of the big acts Ed talked about in his previous blog that were “papering” some shows. There’s claims on the internet that they have so far. Of course when you sell 10-14,000 tickets , then give out thousands of free tickets to fill these sheds, HUGE profits are then made at merch and concession stands(in the sheds all they give away are mostly lawn tickets ).

    And Doug , you can love KISS(they just finishing up their biggest tour ever of Canada) without shitting on any of the former members.That comment comes from a guy that sees no harm in who’s wearing the make up. BUT, if I did have a problem with it, I’d be asking the guys that sold it why, not complaining like a girl because the guys that bought use it.

  12. Bill was in no condition to tour 13 or even record it. If you think this album/tour was going to implode due to Ward… couldn’t, they got him out of the picture way much like Dio did getting the Black & Blue Tour on track instead of falling apart.

  13. For whatever reason they are disrespecting their “friend” and original band-mate by insulting him with an unreasonable contract. I can’t believe that if they truly wanted and respected Bill as they say they do, that they would not do right by him. On another note, they are also disrespecting their fans by having Andrew W.K. instead of a actual band open their shows in North America. Is someone in their camp afraid afraid of being shown up?

  14. Since 1983 Bill played on Black sabbath Born Again,The mezmerist (drummed 0n 4 songs),2 solo albums and played drums on 2 songs (psycho man and who’s foolin who) and played on what 4-5 Black sabbath tours,that is not very much work in the last 30 years. and has backed out on BS many many times. He is my favorite drummer of all time and seems like a very nice fella but he can’t keep up with commitments . Their is something very strange with the guy. Where the hell are those 3 new solo albums Bill??

  15. If TMS does another season, which I hope they do, I would love to see Bill as the guest performer and where his drumming skills are at presently. Though we may never know about the contract and commitment side of this deal for sure, we’d certainly be able to put to rest Ozzy’s accusations that Bill lacks the ability to perform on the level of the rest of the members at this point. I’d be really curious to hear Bill on the show since Ozzy himself has set the bar so low already with his own showing on this tour. If Bill needs to bring his post-it notes and stick them to his kit as Ozzy indicated Bill needed to do during rehearsal, then so be it. It’s certainly no worse than Ozzy needing a teleprompter to sing Iron Man on the actual tour.

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