Bill Ward (Allegedly) Turned Down Offer To Play BLACK SABBATH's Final U.S. Show
The Black Sabbath / Bill Ward drama has reached an interesting crinkle. Depending on who you ask, Ward isn't touring with the band because of either financial reasons or physicality reasons. (If only they just saved some of that massive 1972 cocaine budget).
But, with the band's final final tour approaching, there were overtures to Ward to play the band's final U.S. gig on September 16 in Phoenix, AZ. But, according to bassist Geezer Butler, Ward turned them down:
“It’s been mentioned to [Ward]. But he doesn’t want to do it. He wants to do the whole tour or nothing. We’d love him to come on at the very last gig and be part of the whole thing, but he didn’t want to do that. And I understand: I wouldn’t want to be asked to come out just for the last gig. It’s a shame, but that’s the way it is.”
“If he’s there, he’s welcome [to play]. But I don’t really want to talk too much about Bill Ward! Because every time I do, he starts getting pissed off at me! Things are quiet between us right now, you know?”
“It’s a shame that Bill won’t be a part of it, but whatever happened, happened. It’s great that at least the three of us can end it on a high note and be friends together. I still get on with Bill, I saw him last year at some award show. We got on great, we had a laugh together. It’s not personal, as Bill would say, it’s business.”
Update: Bill Ward has since released a statement saying he never received such an offer. Read his statement in full here.
It is indeed a bummer that both sides couldn't work it out, but I completely understand Ward's position. Ozzy has said some really unkind things about him in the press, and to be fair, Ward had his share of nasty comebacks too. The big losers here, are the fans.
Get dates for Sabbath's final tour here.