OzzyOsbourneShhh Right before Black Sabbath’s show at New Jersey’s PNC Bank Arts Center this past weekend, where the played with drummer Tommy Clufetos (Rob Zombie, Ted Nugent) instead of original drummer Bill Ward, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne told the New York Daily News he didn’t have faith in the original drummer’s health. “I don’t think he could have done the gig, to be honest. He’s incredibly overweight,” Osbourne said. “A drummer has to be in shape. He’s already had two heart attacks. I don’t want to be responsible for his life.”

Ward, Black Sabbath’s original drummer, left the band midway through their 1980 tour in support of Heaven and Hell due to a severe drinking problem. He returned to the group off and on throughout the 1980s and 1990s, but when they finally reformed with Ozzy Osbourne in 1997 he was replaced by Faith No More’s Mike Bordin. Ward said he learned of his exclusion on MTV. The band brought him back onboard later that year and he participated in all their tours from that point until the group quietly split in 2005. Ward didn’t play on the band’s 2012 reunion album 13.

According to MetalInsider.net, Osbourne also had some things to say about Ward’s performance at Black Sabbath’s earliest rehearsals for 13, the band’s first Number one album. “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.”

In a Guitar International interview in late July, Ward admitted he didn’t sign on to play with Sabbath this time around for specific reasons. “I was offered a contact and I couldn’t sign it,” he said. “I would never, ever show up for a commitment that I could not do physically. It was one of the toughest decisions that I ever had to make. Because I absolutely and without question wanted to play.”

Ward noted that playing part of the show wasn’t an option for him, “I’m the drummer in Black Sabbath so I want to do the entire show. I play all or nothing.”

Osbourne did go on to say “the door is always open for Bill” and admits without him “it’s not the same.”

additional source: Rolling Stone

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  • bob on

    I wish bill was there sooo bad ! But Tommy did an out standing job!! I was at the pnc show & he did all the parts right ,or as close as he could , he did not try to add or change any thing , CHILDREN OF THE GRAVE!!! spot on , but his solo showed what an amazing drummer he is.

  • Bobby on

    This makes me sick. Ozzy needs to take a look in the mirror. He hasn’t been able to cut it since 1990. The day he hires a vocal coach to help him sing on key and on time is when I start to respect him again.

    • T on

      Nailed it Bobby!
      When Ozzy can’t cut it, they prop him up. When someone else can’t, they’re dropped.

  • bonehead on

    Maybe Ozzy and Sharon could send Bill a few Million for his retirement since they care so much. Had enough of Ozzy and Sharon really. Wheres Jake E. Lee ? Where is Zakk ? Ozzy and Sharon use people up and then kick them to the curb. Greed !

    • evilsugar25 on

      Zakk was side-stage at PNC. He’s still tight with Ozzy.

    • Eddie on

      Yes he is.

  • vince on

    I think Tony and Ozzy share the rights to the Black Sabbath name. If Ward had to sign a contract then that would mean he is a hired gun. Ozzy does not care if he cant sing because he will not fire himself so that someone else can take his place.

  • Lee on

    Ward was bought out years ago from the BS partnership much like Criss & Ace. He would have been contracted at weekly wage much like Thayer & Singer. There is no Sabbath without an Ozzy or Dio. Ozzy sucked on the last tour decades ago, and he still had a voice.

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