Tony Iommi Talks 'Problems' of Black Sabbath With Ginger Baker

Guitarist notes that drummer wouldn't have worked.

Ultimate Guitar

As Classic Rock Magazine notes, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has been talking to WWeek about the possibility of Cream drummer Ginger Baker joining Black Sabbath. While producer Rick Rubi reportedly put the name forward as a replacement for Bill Ward, the band didn't think that he would have worked out:

"We put a stop on. We didn't think Ginger would have been ... we didn't want to go into the studio and have, um, problems."

The band ultimately went with Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk. As Iommi notes, it took Wilk a while to adjust to Sabbath's prankster nature:

"We did try some big name drummers some very big name drummers. They were great, but Rick particularly suggested Brad. He did work hard; he was thrown into the deep end and he was very nervous. He got used to us, our jokes, the way we prank around."

Emmerson, Lake and Palmer and Asia sticksman Carl Palmer recently revealed he was consulted about playing with Sabbath, but had to turn it down.

And while bassist Geezer Butler believes the band could be playing their final tour, Iommi hasn't given up hope on another record. "It all depends on my health but I don't think it would be hard to do," he says. "I've got plenty of ideas and stuff, but we'll have to see what happens after the tour."

Meanwhile, big-name drummer Mike Portnoy has claimed Sabbath's current incarnation shouldn't be regarded as a reunion.

He tells Energize With Lonn Friend: "I have no issue if Bill Ward is not fit to plat, as they're saying. I have no issue if they're having problems and couldn't agree on something that was fair.

"My issue is that they're calling it a Black Sabbath reunion. It's not without the four of them it's now just the latest Black Sabbath lineup.

"Why is this Black Sabbath, but "Heaven and Hell" wasn't Black Sabbath? If they need to do it without Bill, don't call it a reunion."

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "Tony Iommi Talks 'Problems' of Black Sabbath With Ginger Baker" Another article about fck-all. All that writing up there but no relevant information (that we haven't read bits and pieces of in 10 other articles). Iommi doesn't talk ABOUT problems with Ginger Baker, he simply used the WORD problems in a sentence. And if I read the article correctly, Rubin just tossed the name out there.
    Ginger Baker is a great drummer, but anyone who has ever read an interview with him knows two things. 1.) He hates heavy metal and is disgusted that Cream had a part in the formation of it. And 2.) He is really just an old p**ck.
    Tony is showing the world his magic on tour BIG TIME. 13 is amazing. I think if Tony wants it, then Ozzy and Geezer should roll with it and give it a shot. All of them owe Tony a lot. Maybe Geezer needs a bit more reaching out to by Tony. And Ozzy needs to tame down things so he is in the band as more of an equal. Geezers mind created once again the mind-invading, creepy visuals Ozzy's perceptive melody and voice brought to life. Never let that gift be underestimated. I sure hope it was 30-30-30-10 with Clufetos being the 10. And not some other stupid equation that would leave Ozzy's fans like me (since 1976) disgusted with him. Regarding 3 of the 4 not being a reunion: Ozzy made quite a point of getting Tony Iommi, Geezer, and Bill saying THE FOUR OF THEM ARE BLACK SABBATH, and no other lineup BUT THE FOUR ever is, in The Last Supper DVD now didn't he. So it is puzzling why the change in tune when it's Bill came up. I love Ozzy, but he can't say that Bill isn't beloved, isn't viable, and isn't Sabbath. He's pivotal. His switches and rhythm are amazing. I was hurt, so I can't imagine what Bill felt hearing what Ozzy said about his weight. Ozzy got a tad arrogant in the last few interviews about Bill and that disheartened me. If he's buying into what he is saying, particularly HOW he is saying it, he really needs to examine why he's becoming so unkind carefully. Anyway, I am with Tony. I pray to GOD his health remains with him for a very long time. I would love to be blessed with another album, and that Geezer would stay with his friend long enough to help him live that passion and dream with what has led to something beautiful for Tony during his struggles. Geezers lyrics can never be replaced, nor can his style of playing. The Doom he generates out from his hands, and mind, are irreplaceable.
    I think that they should keep Brad permanently.. He's just awesome and would actually fit in with Sabbath..
    "Emmerson, Lake and Palmer"...try "Emerson"...or if that's too hard for you just try "ELP"...geez, they've only been around since 1970.
    Respect for Brad Wilk being compared to Palmer and Ginger Baker! That is flattering, a 90s drummer becoming part of one of the pioneers of Metal/Hard Rock.