Tony Iommi Wanted Carl Palmer to Replace Bill Ward

Asia tour obligations prevented Emerson, Lake & Palmer drummer from joining Sabbath.

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Emerson, Lake & Palmer drummer Carl Palmer recently revealed that he was invited to join Black Sabbath as a replacement for Bill Ward, but couldn't due to tour obligations with Asia.

As Palmer told WENN, the invitation came directly from Tony Iommi once it was clear that Ward wouldn't take part in the latest reunion.

"Tony and I did talk when they were looking for drummers to make the album and he put me forward," he said. "I couldn't do it because I was off with Asia, we were touring and then something else came up. I couldn't have done it but I would have loved to. It just wasn't on the cards."

However, the stickman also pointed out that he's still very much up for the task, describing heavy music as energizing. "I was classically trained, but basically I'm a rock drummer and I've never been in a true out-and-out guitar band like Black Sabbath, where it's just big riffs very simple but very dynamic. It would be extremely invigorating," Palmer added.

Interestingly enough, prog rock giant admitted giving greater appreciation to metal with age. "The older I get, the more I appreciate that music, I was late to come to heavy metal. Asia had a bit of that but we were a little bit more corporate rock and melodic," he concluded.

So do you think Palmer would do a better job than Brad Wilk on "13"? Or maybe even a better job than Ward himself? Cream's Ginger Baker was also among the possible choices for metal pioneers, so perhaps he is your favorite. Let us know what you think in the comments.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    That would have been ****ing amazing
    I ****ing love that album. Also got it in a box with some Deep Purple, King Crimson, Led Zeppelin, and other bands like that for only I wanna say $5. It also had a copy of Tarkus in there and I just recently got a mint copy of Brain Salad Surgery for $1.
    I think Brad Wilk did a good job. I could see how age might effect the relationship a bit. No need to start switching drummers.
    Brad Wilk did a good job of not sticking out like a sore thumb but the drumming on 13 clearly lacked some character. A guy like Palmer has that character. I'm not saying Wilk is bad but if there's one thing that doesn't sound like Sabbath on that album it's the drums.
    It's not that wilk is a bad drummer or that his drumming was mediocre on the album. I just find myself thinking the drums are a little too quiet in the mix when everyone is playing. It's a bit of a challenge to hear every bit Wilk adds. I blame the mix, not the band.
    That's Rubin's fault. The mixing on 13 was terrible, he screwed it up the same way he did Death Magnetic, everything compressed to a pulp.
    I don't dislike Brad Wilk's work on the album, but it is true that the void was not totally filled. Bill Ward was the only right guy and we know it. I'm glad they didn't go with Vinny Appice btw, I like him but God he can just be so boring sometimes.
    Wilk was not weak in concert... while Iommi was doing heavy riffs, both Wilk and Butler were playing like they were mad (not pissed off... but insane).
    He decided not to record and play with Sabbath over Asia, is he nuts?
    First of all, there were probably contracts involved, secondly he might have friends in that band and prefer the music/people to play with, and thirdly the pay could have been better. It's his choice, he says, "previously obligation."
    I think Brad did an okay job on the album. But the drumming left a lot to be desired. Also Tommy is doing a great job on the tour with Sabbath. If Rubin would have let HIM drum on the album instead of Wilk I may have liked it even more.
    I personally think that Brad Wilk did a fine job, and that "13" is an amazing addition to the Sabbath legacy! Saw them in Holmdel, NJ and the show was fantastic. Tommy Clufetos did one of the better drum solos I have ever seen, and in my 30 plus years of going to shows and playing in bands I've seen/heard a lot of those! All that being said, I am not sure if any consideration was given to Vinny Appice as a drummer for the record and tour, and if not, why not? Does anyone have knowledge about this subject of Vinny to share besides his commitments to Kill Devil Hill and The Last in Line? Was he ever discussed and/or approached?