UPDATE: Black Sabbath Reunion In Jeopardy?


UPDATE Feb. 3: Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler are telling Ward to stuff it. “We were
saddened to hear yesterday via Facebook that Bill declined publicly to participate in our current Black Sabbath
plans,” they wrote. “We have no choice but to continue recording
without him although our door is always open…We are still in the UK
with Tony. Writing and recording the new album and on a roll…See you
at Download!!!”


Drummer Ward unable to continue unless he gets “signable” contract.

By Blurt Staff / Photo by Marcus Blake

Things are not rosy in the Black Sabbath camp – and no, we’re not talking about the genuinely distressing news of guitarist Tony Iommi’s recent diagnosis of lymphoma. Today drummer Bill Ward issued a statement indicating that, due to business and managerial issues, he may be pulling out of the proposed reunion.

Read our coverage of the November press conference and reunion announcement, then have a look at what Ward has to say, below.

Dear Sabbath Fans, Fellow Musicians and Interested Parties,


At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to
proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour. However, I am unable to
continue unless a “signable” contract is drawn up; a contract that
reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the
band. Last year, I worked diligently in good faith with Tony, Ozzy and
Geezer. And on 11/11/11, again in good faith, I participated in the L.A.
press conference. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to
negotiate, another “unsignable” contract was handed to me. 


Let me say that although this has put me in some kind of holding
pattern, I am packed and ready to leave the U.S. for England.  More
importantly, I definitely want to play on the album, and I definitely
want to tour with Black Sabbath.


Since the news of Tony’s illness, and the understanding that the
band would move production to the U.K., I’ve spent every day getting to
or living in a place of readiness to leave. That involves something of a
task, and as I’ve tried to find out what’s going on with the U.K.
sessions, I’ve realized that I’ve been getting “the cold shoulder” (and,
I might add, not for the first time). Feeling somewhat ostracized, my
guess is as of today, I will know nothing of what’s happening unless I
sign “the unsignable contract.”


The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want
to play and participate, I also have to stand for something and not
sign on. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and
respectability as a rock musician. I believe in freedom and freedom of
speech. I grew up in a hard rock/metal band. We stood for something
then, and we played from the heart with honesty and sincerity. I am in
the spirit of integrity, far from the corporate malady, I am real and
honest, fair and compassionate.


If I’m replaced, I have to face you, the beloved Sabbath fans. I
hope you will not hold me responsible for the failure of an original
Black Sabbath lineup as promoted.  Without fault finding, I want to
assure everyone that my loyalty to Sabbath is intact.


So here I am. I lay my truth down before you. I’m good to go IF I
get a “signable” contract. I don’t want to let anyone down, especially
Black Sabbath and all the Sabbath fans. You know I love you. It would be
a sad day in Rock if this current situation fell to the desires of a


My position is not greed-driven.  I’m not holding out for a “big
piece” of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal. I’d like
something that recognizes and is reflective of my contributions to the
band, including the reunions that started fourteen years ago. After the
last tour I vowed to never again sign on to an unreasonable contract.  I
want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract
that will honor all that I’ve brought to Black Sabbath since its


That’s the story so far.

Stay safe and stay strong.

I love every single one of you.


– Bill Ward



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