My wife and I have sent our condolences and have felt very sad with the news of Ronnie’s passing.
We wish to extend our positive thoughts and love to all those who loved Ronnie, and we salute him as a singer, performer, songwriter and arranger.
We plan to make no further statements and prefer to remain private at this time.
London Times – Black Sabbath 40th Anniversary Article Disclaimer
I’ve just finishing reading the London Times article for Sabbath’s 40th Anniversary of the album Black Sabbath, dated Saturday, February 13, 2010. The interview I did for this piece was with journalist Will Pavia, and at the time, I felt it was a good interview. My interview with Will was then added to the broader article written by journalist, Chris Ayers.
The headline of the article reads (partially) “their seminal album began as a gimmick, and they would rather be remembered as a hard rock band.”
Besides this unflattering headline, I’m particularly pissed off about the following, and I quote: “…Bill Ward ….told the Times. Although it started as a gimmick, he said, ‘it matured into something that was almost waiting to arrive.’”
The way these sentences are constructed gives the impression that I called Sabbath a “gimmick,” or that I agree with the statement “it started out as a gimmick.”
I want to make it very clear to my fellow band members, musicians and our beloved Sabbath listeners worldwide, the word “gimmick” NEVER came out of my mouth. I don’t own it – I’m not the source of the word “gimmick.” There isn’t anything ‘gimmicky” about Sabbath as far as I’m concerned.
I consider the article roughshod at best. It’s sad that on our 40th Anniversary a more supportive and heralding composition could not have been written. There IS a nice picture of the band and a nice picture of Oz with Sharon and Kelly.
I thought the light-hearted, or sarcastic look (depends on your point of view) at how to headbang, titled “Headbanging for Beginners,” was more slagging than anything else. I’d like to remind whoever put that segment together that headbanging was a true phenomenon that began during the 60s and was a fulfilling form of expression and reaction to the music playing. “Unison” headbanging mushroomed in 1969 and has remained intact up until today. For me, it is a personal communion with every single fan. It’s positive energy; it’s healthy; it’s true love, even if, as the writer quirked in “Position 4,” I quote, “Keep body bent over after song to adjust balance and avoid collapse. Experience sore neck and two-day headache.”
Even if the writer’s being “ha ha” about the segment, he or she is ever so slightly making a derogatory statement, in my opinion, about what most in Metal consider “sacred ground” and/or “sacred personal identity.”
Come on London Times. Sabbath is homegrown British – one of Britain’s great bands, loved all over the world. Perhaps if you can’t meet the occasion with a more positive headline, at least get this right: Tommy Iommi (sidebar insert) is not Sabbath’s guitar player. However, TONY Iommi is… 40 years, guys, and counting.
There’s a recent audio interview with Bill Ward out and about. If you missed it when it was first published a few weeks back, you should give it a listen. It’s Episode 24 of “Shockwaves Skull Sessions”. The specific episode title is “Ozzy & Black Sabbath”. You can check it out here:
Here’s a description of the episode from their site:
This episode features a 4-way discussion with legendary Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, Roadrunner Records VP of A&R Monte Conner, and metal enthusiast David Tedds as they join Skull Sessions host Bob Nalbandian in this mesmerizing and historic exploration into the first decade of Black Sabbath, commonly referred to as the “Ozzy-era.” The four discuss the entire catalog, from Sabbath’s groundbreaking 1970 debut leading up to 1978’s Never Say Die release. This is perhaps the most compelling Skull Sessions discussion yet. A MUST LISTEN for any Sabbath fan!
This Monday, 13th April, you can hear Bill talk about the recording and re-release of Paranoid, what the album means to him and the history, and possible future of the mighty Black Sabbath. That’s the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show with Daniel P Carter on Monday 13th April at midnight to 2am.
You can listen live in the UK on 97-99FM and online worldwide at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/listen/index.shtml
And listen back from Tuesday AM, all week, on the link on the Rock Show homepage; http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/rockshow/
There’s another cool audio interview with Bill online now. This one comes from 106.1 Rock Radio in Manchester. You’ll want to check it out and give it a listen to hear what Bill has to say.
Bill Ward made an appearance on the Kerrang! Video Podcast where he mostly talks about the re-releases of the first three Black Sabbath albums as enhanced versions. But more importantly he talks about those red tights on the Sabotage album cover!
Check it out…
I have been expecting negative letters, rumors, and general gossip mongering over my not participating in the “Heaven & Hell” project. It’s not unusual, as yet I’ve made only one brief statement to confirm that I would not be involved.
It has been brought to our attention that there is a posting on a few web sites which discloses a supposed statement I made to a Clear Channel personnel. THIS IS COMPLETELY FALSE. Every piece of verbiage therein that posting – supposedly quoting me – is FALSE also.
OK. I’m off to get on with my life. Hopefully there won’t be too many shite letters floating around, as I don’t think anyone out there – myself included – wants to waste anymore time on complete falsehoods.
Bill Ward today announced that he will not be recording new tracks for the “Black Sabbath: The Dio Years” CD or playing drums on the “Heaven & Hell” tour.
“I realize there has been some speculation as to whether or not I am participating in the Heaven & Hell project,” said Ward. “I want to confirm that I will not be involved in either the recordings for the upcoming CD or the subsequent tour. I want to wish the guys Tony, Geezer, Ronnie, and Vinny – much success for the coming year.”
No further statements are available at this time.
Something I didn’t say on the night of March 13, 2006 at the Waldorf Astoria, New York, NY. Better late than never. I’d planned to put up a Thank You to the band on my web site the week of the Hall of Fame. Finally, several weeks later, here’s the Thank You.
I’d like to thank Tony, Geezer and Ozzy for a lifetime of fun, achievements, musical satisfaction, musical progress, unity, love, laughter, wonderful memories, strength to accomplish, and valuable life lessons. I could probably add an infinite list of gifts I’ve received from them, however, I’ll share the March 13th accolades with a short story instead.
On the morning of March 13, 2006, Walter and I were finishing our walk through Central Park. Heading out of the park near Columbus Circle to go toward 5th Avenue, we walked past several construction workers sitting on benches against the wall of the park. I guess it was around lunch time, and these ruddy-faced workers were on chow break. My eyes met one of the workers, and I half acknowledged a nod to him. After walking past the guy, I sensed someone had gotten up and was coming towards my back.
“Yo, Bill Ward, Bill Ward!”
Walter and I stopped, and a bulky guy with a grin from ear to ear asked,
“Bill Ward, right? What the fuck you’s doing here?”
“Hall of Fame,” says I.
His New York/New Jersey accent bowling me over somewhat, “Hall of Fame! Congratulations! Sabbath deserves it! I’m with the Iron Workers Union, New York.” He said it with such pride. He deserved immediate respect. “We love Sabbath… all my life…Sabbath.”
Then he pointed to a building across the street under construction. “We’re on the 7th floor right now, going to 38 stories [I think he said 38].” I glanced at the iron framework, solid and echoing New York’s greatness.
“Bill, so’s you know, we play Sabbath everyday in our building,” I felt completely honoured as he continued talking, “everyday, man, Sabbath on every floor. ‘Iron Man,’ ‘War Pigs,’ all the way to the top.”
I felt truly moved by the sincerity of this larger-than-life man. We shook hands, and I thanked him. I couldn’t have received a nicer compliment or gift that day, even with the Awards still ahead. I felt my day had already been made, and I mentioned as much to Walter as we walked away. I regretted Tony (Tony Iommi) wasn’t with us. Tony and I walk regularly in Central Park when we’re in New York. I think he (Tony) would have gotten a huge kick out of this New York encounter.
A new reality awoke inside me, and I saw with much insight the rippling effect of Sabbath’s reach – the iron worker playing Sabbath on every floor, to the top of “his” building in the heart of New York, New York. Again, I want to thank that iron worker and send all my best regards to all the iron workers in that great city and across America.
This short story I dedicate to Tony, Geezer and Ozzy, who got the most sincere accolades from a Sabbath fan, who builds high. In their absence on that Monday, March 13th morning, I guess I did the Thank You’s on the band’s behalf.
In summary, these are things you keep close to the heart. These memories and these precious moments somehow make the world go around more easily.
My sincere thanks to Tony, Geezer and Oz. Without them, there would be no story, and our world surely would be less without them.
Here is the complete text of Bill’s speech onstage at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony on Monday night.
Thank you to Sabbath fans everywhere. Congratulations to all those being inducted this evening. Extra-special greetings to Metallica.
Hopefully, our induction tonight will add further validation, as other bands already inducted in the past years have begun to establish, which is that hard rock and heavy metal have an endearing and forever lasting place in Rock history.
In the US, the ceremony will be on TV on VH1 on Tuesday March 21st at 9PM EST. Click here for further details.