Black Sabbath Officially Reject Bill Ward

The drummer says he's been officially shut out of negotiations with the band, after months of trying to make a deal.

Black Sabbath Officially Reject Bill Ward
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Black Sabbath have officially ended negotiations with founding drummer Bill Ward, four months after he rejected their offer to perform in their reunion. In a lengthy post on his website, Bill explains that his last-ditch attempts to come to a deal fell flat when the band would only let him join their homecoming show if he played for free. "It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news," he wrote. "I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I'm very, very sorry that it's fallen to this. This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside [guitarist] Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent." Iommi was diagnosed with cancer in January, shortly after the band announced their reunion. Bill doesn't want to blame the band for their situation, but defends his choices - even when it hurts to let his fans down: "Throughout this process, which began over a year ago, I have had to stand up for myself time and time again. I have had to stand up for myself and in doing so realize my actions indirectly, although unintentionally, are upsetting and hurting a lot of you. "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." The letter reveals details of what happened behind-the-scenes since we last reported on their negotiations in February. In April, Bill was asked to participate "minimally" in their headline slot at Download festival. "I believe I'd been offered no more than three songs to play while another drummer presumably played the rest of the show with Black Sabbath," he wrote. Bill only heard about their April 30 homecoming show in Birmingham through the Internet at the same time as the fans: "I was upset by the idea that the band was going to play Birmingham and play it assumedly without me. I had no prior knowledge of the date and location, and I felt totally excluded." Despite keeping his drum crew on standby since mid-January, Bill was told by the band's lawyers that he could "come to the UK, play for free and see how the first show goes." "I was tempted," wrote Bill, but it wasn't enough. "I can't prioritize the Sabbath fans making one show more important than the other. I can't do that. All of you are important. It's all the gigs or none at all." Bill's team asked the band whether the negotiations were at an end on May 9th,. The next day, the band's representative confirmed it was over. "In my opinion, nobody wins this time; the band doesn't win; the fans for an original lineup don't win," wrote Bill. "Nobody wins. Even the ones who thought they did." While Bill remains open to a fair contract to perform in the original lineup, it looks like this chapter in Black Sabbath's history is closed. Sadly, it could also be their last.

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    cbabb7
    I really dont understand this entire thing. Let him effin drum and pay the man like for frigs sake.
    lars17
    Whats so hard about giving him 25%? Why is this a problem all of a sudden after 43 years? I don't get it.
    HarvesterofPain
    That's a shame. Bill's making the right choice, though. It's not at all about the monetary gain for him, it's about how marginalized they've made his contributions to Sabbath seem.
    scott82
    Glad I passed over the chance to buy tickets to see the "original" line up now....
    jurnag12
    While I'm kinda sad about this, I can understand the why. Props for sticking to your principles, Bill.
    Jesus_Dean
    In the end, it's gonna be a couple of Sabbath dates and the rest "Ozzy & Friends". Well, it made me happy for a couple of weeks last year when the news of a full-on Sabbath reunion broke. Looks like that's all I'm gonna get out of it.
    Garagepoet
    this makes the whole "reuinion" album entirely unappealing to me, knowing what douchebags certain members of the band are being... best to leave the legacy alone than ruin it w/ this garbage...
    ZWH
    I totally understand Bill in this situation. Black Sabbath without anyone from the original line-up isn't Black Sabbath.
    lars17 wrote: Whats so hard about giving him 25%? Why is this a problem all of a sudden after 43 years? I don't get it.
    This.
    SkepsisMetal
    the band would only let him join their homecoming show if he played for free.
    Offering to play for free is a good deed. Being told you have to or you're out of the band is a cu ntish move by the rest of the band. And by the rest of the band I probably only mean Ozzy. Don't think I'll go support them at Download this year. Best wishes to Iommi though.
    Maestro1600
    animemetalhead wrote: Since Dio died, Bill is one of the only kind-hearted rock idols left. Why do people do this to him?
    Because, at this level, rock is big business generating big money. Kind-hearted people have always been, and will always be, screwed over in big business.
    kratos379
    I want to hear what the other members of Black Sabbath have to say about this. Based off of this article, it's more their fault than Bill's.
    animemetalhead
    Since Dio died, Bill is one of the only kind-hearted rock idols left. Why do people do this to him?
    British_Steal
    He's right. If hes not getting paid thats bullshit. It doesnt matter how much money he already has, music isnt free folks!
    Jyrgen
    Wonder who's gonna do the drums for the new album then... this is lame, especially because first they claimed that the reunion would involve all of the original four
    iamryanallen
    man, what the hell...bill, you deserve better, MUCH better, and i stand behind your choice 100%. thank you for all your years of incredibly hard work and drumming...im sorry it hasnt be reciprocated
    Iommianity
    I've seen a lot of people lately who don't even think the rhythm section even matters, and who are going to these shows essentially to say they saw Ozzy first, Iommi second. Which I find funny; if Iommi truly carried Sabbath on his back and was a lone wolf in writing genius music, people would hold Eternal Idol or Tyr at the same level as their classic Ozzy/Dio material.
    tallica83x91
    This really sucks....but its still better than reading "Guitarist Tonny Iommi loses battle with cancer"
    p_a_morgan
    I don't completely understand what is going on here, either. It seems like the other band members would be stoked to have Bill on board. I know he's suffered health problems, in the past, and, like Ozzy, Geezer, and Tony, is also getting up in his years....but....Why would they just expect him to be pushed around like that? It seems Bill was always the one to get the shaft, after all these years. I suppose they expected him to just go along with it. I don't know, but I don't support this 'reunion' if Bill Ward is not on stage. I just don't. It's not Black Sabbath without Bill.
    p_a_morgan
    Where is the evidence behind blaming Sharon for this? I'd like to see a document that supports this.
    p_a_morgan
    Abacus11 wrote: That's too bad. They're probably going to have Vinny Appice on drums now... who's ok and can play Ward's parts (and his own) but he won't be nearly as good to write and record with as Ward if they do end up making a new record.
    Vinny is currently playing in a band called Kill Devil Hill with Rex Brown of Pantera fame. [Opening for them, this Friday. Stoked.] He has already declined the offer to join them, if they ask.
    darkdevout
    Blackmore991 wrote: Fuck you, Sharon. Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart... **** you.
    Toni is the manager of Sabbath not Sharon dumbass, she has nothing to do with it, it was explained ABOUT A MILLION TIMES.
    rhs5110
    They'd let him play for free? wtf is that about he's bill ****n ward! Pay the man
    Reddaz
    I don't think Sharon should entirely take all the flack for this, Tony Iommi's/Black Sabbath's management have been known to make some pretty harsh deals for the past 25-30 years. This possibly explains Bill and Geezer's drifting in and out of post Ozzy line ups. The crooks of it all really is that Tony Iommi IS Black Sabbath and has been through the good and bad times, and I will be watching him at Download, whether he has Bill, Vinny or a Quadriplegic behind the drums.
    zomgguitarz1234
    You know I recently seen an interview with dio about right after he got kicked out of sabbath after the dehumanizer album. Basically he was talking about how Ozzy has an insane amount of power over the band, even when they weren't with him, and he shit talks to them all the time to. Interviews here (starts talking about it at 2:15):
    trickster47321
    It's possible it might have something to do with his health. He was only offered a contract to play 3 songs at Download and they offered to let him play at Birmingham to "see how it went", it sounds to me that they might be worried he isn't up to it all. Btw I've heard that Tommy Clufetos is the guy going to playing Download and playing on the new album too, as sad as it sounds
    classicrocker01
    Am I the only one that feels like something just doesnt quite add up here? I just feel like there's no way this is all there is to the story. Like we're not being told everything.
    BoobuleeGroovin
    Wouldn't it be ironic if Bill, Tony, and Geezer did a tour with a holographic Ozzy and Dio. I mean, that would be pretty ****ing epic...
    Scratcher17
    Iommianity wrote: I've seen a lot of people lately who don't even think the rhythm section even matters, and who are going to these shows essentially to say they saw Ozzy first, Iommi second. Which I find funny; if Iommi truly carried Sabbath on his back and was a lone wolf in writing genius music, people would hold Eternal Idol or Tyr at the same level as their classic Ozzy/Dio material.
    I completely agree with you. Geezer and Bill are my favorite rhythm section and also my favorite bassist and drummer respectively. Original line-up had that undeniable chemistry which gave birth to one of my favorite genres of music.
    Mack888
    So hang on, I'm assuming he would be the only member of the band to play for free, assuming he'd agreed to that? And the other guys woulda got some sort of payment? Cos when i first read this article, I figured they were all gonna be playing free. Very naive, perhaps. But if they're getting paid and he wasn't offered shit for his time, then good on him, and shame on the other guys!
    Suckerpunchme!
    Won't be going to see Crap Sabbath. If you're going to do a reunion show, then it needs to everyone or no one. Period.
    Shavyi
    Shut up and give that man money ! We just want the full line up live ! All that shit is probably because of Sharon Osbourne... bitch.
    xHellbound
    I still don't understand why there's comments about Sharon on here. Black Sabbath is Tony's band, and if you read any past interviews from musicians he's worked with, he does this to everyone. His lawyers write up a contract in which you receive no money and no credit so that you have no control over anything in the band. I love Iommi as a guitarist, but sorta hate his personality. Even with all this drama, I still can't wait to see them live. Sure it's lessened without Will Ward, but I guarantee I'll still end up with nosebleed seats.
    Abacus11
    That's too bad. They're probably going to have Vinny Appice on drums now... who's ok and can play Ward's parts (and his own) but he won't be nearly as good to write and record with as Ward if they do end up making a new record.
    Shiookami
    God.BILL WARD IS A PART OF SABBATH> HIS DRUMS ARE STILL MORE ADVANCED THAN A LOT OF BANDS OUT TODAY!! WHY CAN"T THEY GIVE HIM MONEY?? IT"S NOT RIGHT!
    Maiden95
    ZWH wrote: I totally understand Bill in this situation. Black Sabbath without anyone from the original line-up isn't Black Sabbath. lars17 wrote: Whats so hard about giving him 25%? Why is this a problem all of a sudden after 43 years? I don't get it. This.
    Two perfectly correct statements. Exactly what I came here to say.