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Bill Ward Band Concert Review – Apr 25, 1997

Posted on Apr.28, 1997 under Bill Ward

This review originally appeared in Issue #542 of the Black Sabbath Mailing List on April 29, 1997. Brad was also kind enough to send in a handful of pictures he took at this gig; you can see them in the slideshow below. Click on the slideshow for larger pictures.

From: Brad Mozley (
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 17:32:04 -0700
Subject: I met Bill Ward

(Tomorrows) Dreams really do come true.

This past Friday (25 April, 1997) Bill Ward played a small club in Fullerton, California. A club called “Club 369”, named for the numbers of people the place holds but I doubt if there were 150 people there. There were 3 warm up bands, first one called “Something Meaningless”, the second one called “O.C. Bent” and the third called “Gaff”. All heavy alternative rock bands. It was interesting to note that when the announcer spoke over the PA and announced each band, you would hear some what of a moderate cheer and then he would say “and later on we have Bill Ward”, not a single cheer in the crowd. I really didn’t care for these bands, though each band played with an incredible amount of energy.

Then it was about midnight and the lights dimmed, a tape was being played, sort of an interview of Bill, with an incredible, heart beat like, intense laser sound playing along with the interview. Then this musician comes out on stage sits down with a cello and starts playing. The crowd seems puzzled and starts getting into it and then he breaks out into “Iron Man”. The crowd went crazy! (All pretty much echo of the show Chuck Begian saw last week in Phoenix, check out post #535, Thursday, April 17, 1997). My friend and I had the best seats in the house, about 5 feet from the stage. We took loads of pictures should get them back in a couple of days.

My thoughts on the performance:

Bill, through all the battles in his life, can still rock. He performed with an incredible amount of energy. The way he darted back and forth, first he’d go to his drum kit and beat on it for awhile then back to center stage, where a large floor tom was and he would beat on that for awhile, like a man gone mad. It was fantastic! He played my favorite solo track, “Bombers Can Open Bomb Bays”, great version. He played several tracks from his new CD, “When the Bough Breaks”. Most notable, “Children Killing Children”. Great track! One of the closing numbers was “It’s Alright”. He announced it by saying, “this is something I did with Black Sabbath 23 years ago”. Then the show was over. The announcer came on and said “Bill will be out in about 15 minutes to sign autographs”. So I took that opportunity to dash out to my car and get the items I had for him to sign. I had been thinking about the items for him to sign for the last couple of days. Finally I decided on Vol. 4 (inside gatefold of Bill) and an 11 x 14 photo of Bill taken in 1976 at the Long Beach Arena. I got back and waited for a short while, then I saw Bill starting to walk out from the side of the stage. At this point, there was one person in front of me. Bill greeted him and signed a poster, then it was my turn.

I was incredibly nervous, I mean here I was standing next to a Sab and been following for the last 26 years. At first the words just wouldn’t come out. Then I said “It’s a great honor to meet you Bill”, I told him my name, he quietly repeated it, we shook hands, and then the words started to flow. He signed the 2 items I had and I asked if I could get a picture of us and he said sure. My friend took several pictures of me and Bill, (I get them back in a couple of days), can’t wait. Bill and I talked for about 5 minutes. We talked about the photo he signed, his new CD, “When the Bough Breaks” (due out 29 April), the show tonight and about our mutual friend in Birmingham, England that I met a couple of years ago on my trip to England. She is a personal friend of Bill. Then he moved on to some other fans to sign autographs, I went over to my car to drop off my things and return to the gathering (only about 5 people). Then one of his crew said let’s get going. Bill finished up signing autographs, then Bill looked at me, reached out to shake my hand again and said, “nice meeting you, Brad”. Then he signed one more autograph, look at me one last time and said “see you Brad” and I said, “take care Bill”. Then he was off.

Brad ‘oz’ Mozley

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