Black Sabbath pioneered heavy metal. The original members of Black Sabbath -- Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward -- have not played together as a full foursome since 2012.
Now there is talk of Black Sabbath launching a farewell tour. The word around the campfire seems to be that, if you're going to saw "farewell," it's best to do it with all the originals on board.
Twisted Sister is heading into what promises to be a farewell tour. They were talking about it months ago, then drummer A.J. Pero died. Up to that point, Twisted Sister was still whole with all original members. Dee Snider would have loved to have gone out with a bang, all members on board. But alas, it was not to be.
Could Black Sabbath go out with all cylinders firing? Only if original drummer Bill Ward in in the fold. But Bill Ward has a condition that must be met if he is to step back in.
Ozzy Osbourne has to apologize.
Bill Ward released a statement to Black Sabbath fans via his Facebook page. The full statement is below, but a few salient points include:
"I have neither severed nor discontinued my relationship with Black Sabbath, however, since 2012, the often inaccurate statements about me as a person and as a musician have caused me to be guarded and be especially detached emotionally and spiritually from Ozzy. His rhetoric above all has brought me the most discord."
Black Sabbath's original drummer and vocalist have been at odds over some things Ozzy said that Ward took issue with. Ward is not willing to let this go without Ozzy admitting publicly and personally that he was wrong.
"There is always speculation about a true, original Sabbath lineup for the next tour or record. With a sad heart, I have to say I will not participate in any musical undertakings until a righting of the wrongs spoken against me has been achieved. I must admit, I have little to no expectations of this happening, but in the order of first things first, I’m looking for an honest accountability of all of Ozzy’s statements that I felt were untrue. I would want Ozzy to amend his opinions and exaggerations. I would want him to be forthcoming about his unrealistic viewpoints. And because I was chastised publicly, I would want him to amend publicly in his words, and not through an Ozzy representative, the nature of the wrongs. I would not want to continue on with him without this seemingly impassible dilemma being addressed. I don’t think previously strong relationships can remain strong after dispute by just sweeping the offensive stuff under the carpet, or by saying a puny sorry, or 'oh, that’s all over now.' It doesn’t work like that for me. Righting of wrong works, and that’s what I want if I’m ever going to be his friend again."
Ward also mentioned the need for a “signable contract," one that he could approve.
When asked about Bill Ward joining Black Sabbath on their previous "13" tour out, Ozzy told the New York Daily News:
"I don't think he could have done the gig, to be honest. He's incredibly overweight. A drummer has to be in shape. He's already had two heart attacks. I don't want to be responsible for his life."
Will Ozzy apologize? Apparently not. One day later, Osbourne released a statement of his own, also on Facebook:
I never wanted to discuss this in a public forum but Bill's statements left me no option to but to respond honestly.
What the fuck are you on about? I cannot apologize for comments or opinions I may have made about you in the press during Sabbath’s “13” album and tour-- physically, you knew you were fucked. Tony, Geezer and myself didn’t think you could have done a two hour set with a drum solo every night, so we made the decision to move on. With Tony’s condition we felt that time was not on our side.
Bill, stop this smokescreen about an “unsignable contract” and let’s be honest. Deep down inside you knew you weren’t capable of doing the album and a 16 month tour. Unfortunately for you, our instincts were correct as you were in hospital several times during 2013. Your last hospitalization was for a shoulder surgery that you now say you’ve only just recovered from. This would have meant that our world tour would have been canceled. So how is all of this my fault? Stop playing the victim and be honest with yourself and our fans.
Bill, we go back a long way, let’s stop this now before it gets out of hand.
God bless you.
These are strong, opinionated, and old men. They don't have to bend. And they are the heart of what it means to be hard and anti-anything they disagree with.
This could get colorful.