Ozzy Osbourne says the real reason that original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward didn't join their current reunion was that he isn't' physically or mentally up to the demands of performing or recording.
Ward was part of the reunion press conference in 2011, but by February 2012 he revealed a contractual dispute which suggested he wasn't being offered a fair share of future royalties, but the band wouldn't budge and eventually replaced him with Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk.
"You know them yellow f--king stick-on memo notes?" Osbourne said during a recent interview with Mojo Magazine. "He had them all over his f--king drums. I was like, 'What the f--k's that for, Bill?' He said, 'I can't remember what I'm doing.'
"I go, 'How are you gonna remember out of those 500,000 bits of paper stuck all over your kit, which one you're looking at, Bill?' [Bill said] 'I'll know.' Ah, okay. Great."
It seems the band's concerns about Bill started during their first reunion rehearsal sessions, where they started to wonder whether he could last hours on stage during their reunion shows.
"My suggestion was that we run through a set and see how he got on because he was so out of condition and the drummer is the most demanding job in the whole band," Ozzy added.
"We looked at Bill, and he couldn't remember what the f--k we were doing. But 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."
Ozzy doesn't blame his old friend for outing their contractual dispute. "I get where he's coming from his pride was hurt," he says. "And I get it. I really do get it. The guy will always be a dear, dear friend and a brother to me."