Ozzy has never reached out since January 26/27 2012 when he called to see when I would be arriving in the UK to join rehearsals for the 13 CD. Since that last phone call, he has never reached out to me, and I have not reached out to him.
Ozzy I’m sad that Bill never came through. Ozzy needs to look to those who stopped me from coming through. The contract was impossible to sign; the group rhetoric of 2012, 2013 and throughout, was fault-finding, condemning and full of dishonest evaluations of me as a person, including my so-called health issues. Had I signed the contract, I suspect I wouldn’t have been labeled as having poor health or having all the other judgmental character references.
As a reminder, in September 2015, we asked a Sabbath representative if there could be an opening to play with the band again. Their representative answered “no.” It’s hard to come through when you receive a “no.”
I love all our Sabbath fans throughout the world, and to toss around ideas that I might play the Birmingham shows is both emotionally heartbreaking for me and spiteful. I think the Sabbath fans who have loved the original band have gone through enough in terms of disappointment and sadness. For me to play Birmingham only, would, I feel, be discriminating and elitist towards our other fans all over the world. I could never be discriminating or elitist to our fans. It’s been heartbreaking enough not to record and tour and it’ll be heartbreaking not to play to the Birmingham fans. Please know the prevailing circumstances are not by my design. This is not what I would have wanted or what I have chosen. Had any of you had to choose to sign a contract which undermined and devalued you, I think most of you with some dignity and self-respect would have walked away too. My absence at the current shows and the future Birmingham shows reflects an undeniable and unseen misadventure that my accusers won’t bear. It’s called selfishness and self-centeredness; dishonesty and disloyalty. These are the culprits of Sabbath’s original line-up’s demise.
We have seen it reported in the news that Bill will be playing with Black Sabbath on The End tour in the UK. This is incorrect, and we wanted to make sure you heard it from us directly: Bill is not playing with Black Sabbath in the UK or on any other dates of The End tour.
As always, we thank you for all your support and understanding.
I must respond once again to inaccurate statements made by Geezer. I never received an offer to play the final show of The End tour with Black Sabbath. When the tour was confirmed, my management reached out to the Black Sabbath management to inquire as to whether or not they would like to discuss my participation in the tour. We were told there was no interest. That is last conversation we had with them regarding the tour.
I will say that I wouldn’t want to play only one gig when I am completely capable of touring. I would not validate their untrue statements about my health by playing only one gig. Also, I wouldn’t want to show up for only some of our fans and not for all our fans when I could have played multiple shows.
- You never wanted to discuss in a public forum. BUT, you did by making all these public comments during your interviews for the 13 album and tour. I was only responding in kind. Don’t forget why I spoke out. If you had talked to me and shared your opinions privately, we wouldn’t be here today.
- I was ready and in shape to record. I knew I would need to get in better shape for the gigs –same as I have needed to do and have done in the past. I was beginning my workout regime to get “tour ready.” I knew what I needed to do to play the gigs, and I was confident I would be ready. I would not commit to an extensive tour without believing I could go all the way with it. I wouldn’t do that to our fans.
- Shoulder Surgery. This was not a surgery that was an immediate necessity, or an emergency, or something that was prohibitive in terms of playing drums in Sabbath. It wasn’t anything like that. I would have elected to do the surgery after we finished touring, but since that didn’t come to pass, I scheduled it for the fall of 2013. My other surgery, yes was unexpected, but who among us knows what curve balls might be coming our way. Having had to recently cancel your own gigs, I think you could understand that and not hold someone to “what ifs”.
- The “unsignable” contract isn’t a smokescreen – it’s the truth. I have been honest with our fans on where I stand. Your opinions of me are completely immaterial – they have nothing to do with my reason for not participating – the “unsignable” contract – that’s it. I wonder if I had signed it if any of this would have come up? I imagine we would have made an album and done a tour with the original line up in place.
It’s not going to work.
I can see you,
And, I read your statement.
Boy oh boy.
Well, I know I didn’t expect you to respond to my request of an apology. By the way, it’s pretty easy to go back and really look at what was truth and what was not.
I notice you’re including Tony and Geezer in being in full agreement, that with my health condition I couldn’t have played a two hour set with a drum solo. First time I’ve ever heard about a two hour show with a drum solo. But I’m asking you, not them. Why did you stay in the studio working with me? Why did we go to England for band rehearsals in August 2011? Why did we continue rehearsing in the Fall? Why did we make the announcement of 11/11/11? Why did you call me in late January 2012 asking me to come over to England to continue rehearsals? Why, if you thought I was so unhealthy, did you continue with me at all? You know why, Oz, because I was fine. I was playing. I was good to go.
I ran into no, zero, health problems until October 22nd 2013. Oz, I could have played my ass off in 2012, all the way through to October 22nd 2013. The shoulder operation was optional. It was quiet and I needed a wear and tear adjustment. I was fine. I could have gone without surgery. But listen to you, hitting back and hard, too.
I don’t believe a word of it. I am not an enemy. Eternity will show and serve as proof.
None of it, Oz.
I’m not going to own a fucking thing, other than I came into the studio initially overweight to tour, but not overweight to record. I was good to record. All of you know how much I put in, especially when I prepare to tour.
Your own anticipatory fear has got you by the balls. What fucking smokescreen, about an unsignable contract.
Yes, let’s get honest. I did.
It came out in my statement Wednesday, April 15, 2015.
I’m not playing (your quote). I never did. I don’t fuck with sincerity and honesty, period. I’ve done nothing but bring my truth to the fans. Man, you spin it real well. Sorry I can’t love you back, Oz. I put my love for you somewhere safe inside my heart in 2012 when your stories started showing up. It’s hard to love someone who thinks he’s telling the truth by making false claims, elitist comments and just plain rude statements.
It’ll show up, Oz, in your dreams, in your daily days. I’m clean and have nothing to feel doubtful about. All my actions have been of loyalty, honesty, and open-mindedness.
Stay safe old friend.
Sad we couldn’t roll it out for the fans one more time.
I read your speculation, and your what ifs, your doubts. I’m about as far away from being a victim as I am from Hell itself.
Following up on yesterday’s statement, there is a new interview with Bill on the Rolling Stone website. In this interview Bill answers a lot of questions about various issues regarding Black Sabbath, and clarifies in more detail some of the remarks from the statement. You can read the full interview over at the Rolling Stone website.
I hope you’re well and in good spirits. I have not made any public statements regarding my relationship with Black Sabbath since February 2012. Today, I want to address that relationship in this formal statement. Thank you.
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. The continuing misguided information about me has established a necessity on my part to confront these issues. And now, with the imminent release of a new Bill Ward Band album, and the flurry of rumors about new Sabbath projects, I feel it appropriate to speak in a truthful and an un-cynical way.
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.
Still undone and faraway is a “signable” contract. I would require a “signable” contract before moving one step toward a pathway that could lead to us all playing together again. I want a contract I can approve. That’s my truth. That’s my stand. I’ve listened to nothing but insults and false remarks, and if as a band or as individuals they wish to continue along the same lines, then any notion of an original Black Sabbath lineup will continue to fade away.
Put simply, it’s up to them. I have dearly missed playing with them and as people, I have been heartbroken over the loss of who I thought we were. And now you know where I stand.
Very soon my band, BWB will release a new album ironically called “Accountable Beasts.” I re- kick-started it in May 2012, and in an off and on journey to record, we have reached our final destination – a good mix, and a well mastered record. At this time we are putting the final touches on the digital booklet.
There are other multiple projects in different stages of progress, and I hope to bring more definitive news about them as things unfold this year. I have been very happy writing new songs, playing drums and working with other musicians. I have been blessed with musical visions and the ability to harness them. I’m moving into the future with an optimistic outlook.
For our many Sabbath fans, I love you all dearly. You are extremely special people. You fucking rock. I have been in deep regret since January 2012 that a true union was denied. I’ve remained faithful to you and honest with myself. Had I not been honest throughout I would have perished long ago. My hand is within yours, and I am encouraged to know you better. Stay safe and stay strong.
Now it is time to meet the circumstances of my statement and attend to what else is ongoing and before me.
There is an excellent new interview with Bill by Chris over at DCHeavyMetal.com. It is a wide ranging new interview, touching on many subjects such as new music from Bill (Accountable Beasts), the Absence of Corners project, the 13 album and Black Sabbath, other metal drummers, and the Rock 50 show. Amongst others. Check out the full interview here where you can both read a text version, and listen to an audio version.
Dear Sabbath Fans and Musicians,
I have read Geezer’s statement of May 19, 2012 titled “Heavy Heart.” Out of respect for the Birmingham gig, I wanted to wait 24 hours before releasing this statement. There are some points he brought up which I want to respond to.
1) I had indeed notified Ozzy, Tony and Geezer, well before my first public statement, that I was having contractual difficulties.
2) I came out into a public forum to be accountable to the fans primarily, and to say at a public level there’s a problem. The band members stopped talking and corresponding with me some time ago, with the exception of a nice letter from Tony on my birthday. Prior to that, Geezer and I were corresponding, but that stopped abruptly in late February after I emailed a specific question to him.
3) In my statement of May 15, I clearly stated I would play Birmingham for free. That was not a problem – charity or otherwise.
4) My Download fee was not an extravagant amount. Originally, when Download was part of a full tour, I had asked for a decent fee. More recently, as we were negotiating just Download/Birmingham and Lollapalooza, I told my attorney that I would accept the proposed small Download fee, but there were other parts of the offer that were unsatisfactory.
I will continue to be honest and respectful towards the band and our fans. I will also confront any untruths about me, and any fault finding missions aimed at me that come to my attention.
I hope the band and the fans had a good gig in Brum.
Stay safe/stay strong.
Dear Sabbath Fans and Fellow Musicians,
I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued. At this time I have to inform you that I won’t be playing with Black Sabbath at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012.
It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news. I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I’m very, very sorry that it’s fallen to this. This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality. (continue reading…)
Dear Sabbath Fans,
I wanted to let you know where things are at, from my point of view, as of today, February 17, 2012.
As my statement of February 2, 2012 indicated, I have not declined to participate in the Sabbath album and tour. At the earliest opportunity, I am prepared to go to the U.K. and record, and later tour with the band.
Last week, we sent further communication to the attorney handling the negotiations to try to reach an agreement. At this time we are waiting to hear back. I remain hopeful for a “signable” contract and a positive outcome.
I want to thank everyone who has voiced and posted their opinions, thoughts, support and love through all media, including the newly constructed sites. I applaud your worldwide reaction in support of the original band. And speaking for myself, your intent and truth will always be respected.
While believing in your freedom for expression, keep in mind that Tony, Ozzy and Geezer are still my lifetime friends, and I cannot support comments with an objectifying or derogatory theme toward them or their various representatives.
Many thanks to all of you. You are truly phenomenal.
Stay safe, stay strong.