Black Sabbath: 'Bill Ward's Demands Were A Joke'

Geezer Butler has responded to Bill Ward's last public statement, but Bill has already countered it. Should this be behind closed doors?

Black Sabbath: 'Bill Ward's Demands Were A Joke'
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Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler has unofficially responded to drummer Bill Ward's comments that he was shut out of negotiations with the band for their 2012 reunion. Bill had previously said he needed to defend his role as a founding member of the band, and didn't want to be stuck with an unfair deal as he had in the past. "I made a solemn vow after the last European and Ozzfest concerts that I would never again enter into what was, in my opinion, a totally unsatisfactory contract. I have to stand for something, and as painful as it is, I'm doing it," he wrote. Geezer's response sheds some light on the other side of the story, though Bill has since rejected some of Geezer's claims. In the post, Geezer says it's been a tough year with guitarist Tony Iommi's cancer diagnosis and for the band's reunion to become a "soap opera" on the internet. He says that he and Ozzy Osbourne flew to England to write their new album with Tony: "No drummer involved, just three of us quietly putting together ideas. We thought that when we had enough songs together for a full band rehearsal, we'd move back to L.A and put the whole thing together with Bill. Unfortunately, to our surprise, Bill issued a statement on his site saying he'd been offered an un-signable contract. He hadn't told any one of us he was having contractual problems, and frankly those things are worked out between our representatives, and never between the four of us, let alone in public." In addition, Geezer suggests that Bill representatives might have been asking for too much money without Bill's knowledge. "A one off show at [Download] Festival costs an absolute fortune to stage... [Bill's representatives] wanted an amount that was so unrealistic that it seemed to have been a joke. So we resigned ourselves to doing Download without Bill, hoping he'd change his mind and at least make a guest appearance." Geezer also took issue with Bill saying he had been asked to play the Birmingham show for free, despite it apparently being a charity fundraiser. "I think that's basically how you raise money from gigs for charity you play them for free," wrote Geezer. The bassist concludes by saying he hopes to play with Bill again one day. Bill has since responded to Geezer's comments, noting that he did in fact notify the band that he was having contractual difficulties, and that he would have played the Birmingham homecoming charity gig for free. Hopefully this drama will play out behind closed doors now, but ultimately, Bill is out of the reunion this time around. Let's hope for another opportunity in the future.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Glass Prisoner
    Am I the only one that feels just a little communication between the guys was all that was needed? I'm sick of bands talking to each other through "representatives" and reading bitchy remarks on the internet.
    Skyce
    It's nice that we're about to hear another side to the story, but regardless, like Bill Ward said; "nobody wins."
    xHellbound
    Glass Prisoner wrote: Am I the only one that feels just a little communication between the guys was all that was needed? I'm sick of bands talking to each other through "representatives" and reading bitchy remarks on the internet.
    Doesn't this crap happen a lot nowadays? People finding out about things over Twitter because technology allows bands to not have to reside in the same state or even country.
    Jesus_Dean
    He says that he and Ozzy Osbourne flew to England to write their new album with Tony: "No drummer involved, just three of us quietly putting together ideas.
    flaphead325
    Damn it people, just stand up on your feets, walk, go to a rehearsal room without involving any lawyer and play!!!
    Blackwaterson89
    I think people should stop knocking Sharon without knowing all the details. At this point we don't know all the details. However I will say I believe Geezar and Iommi when they say something. Seems like the guys need to sit down in person and work shit out.
    GREENholiDAY1
    jesus i love bill ward and sabbath but, there are bigger music news in the world right now than a story already covered by everyone months ago. i mean robin gibb just died.. RIP (you can probably expect that story on UG in a couple of weeks at least)
    Maiden95
    I would like to hear what those demands were. "A one off show at [Download] Festival costs an absolute fortune to stage... [Bill's representatives] wanted an amount that was so unrealistic that it seemed to have been a joke..." And yeah Geezer that may be true, but I bet a lot of money that Ozzy and Sharon were demanding a whole lot more.
    Rastapunk
    Thanks for not accepting my news and actually re-write it... I wrote the day he made his statement public which was on saturday if I remember correctly...