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Bill’s Statement on Ozzfest 2004

Posted on May.18, 2004 under Black Sabbath

Earlier today, the news broke that Black Sabbath was to headline Ozzfest 2004, with a lineup of Ozzy Osbourne/Tony Iommi/Geezer Butler/Mike Bordin – without Bill Ward on drums. Here is a statement from Bill Ward about Ozzfest 2004.

“Dear Sabbath People,

This morning I received the very sad news that Mike Bordin is to play drums with Black Sabbath on Ozzfest ’04.

Black Sabbath is, and always will be an important priority in my life. I support Geezer’s, Tony’s and Ozzy’s decisions to move ahead into Ozzfest ’04 without me. I can appreciate they may not be overjoyed with the decision, and I’d really like to be with them. Nothing would please me more than to be a part of the show.

Last week I did receive a proposal which allowed no room for negotiation. It was a cul-de-sac proposal in my opinion, where the only answer was yes or no. I was asked to respond by Friday. May 14th. I wrote a brief letter of decline on Thursday, May 13th. I answered directly at the proposal, and left out any personal comments, other than I was sad to have to decline. What I did not put in my response was this:

I’m willing to be flexible
I’m willing to compromise
I’m willing to negotiate
I’m willing to play.

I understand and believe in a united front when it comes to Sabbath. I can appreciate the fallout from such a decision will upset some people, and I am so sorry. I’m more than willing to support Ozzfest in any way I can.

I’ve walked down this street before when Sabbath did the first reunion without me and had Mike Bordin play instead. I want you to know, I’m not being the bad guy here. I’m not trying to hold anyone to ransom. And I’m not trying to reverse my decision to decline in hope of a positive managerial response to this letter.

I’m ready, willing and able to rock. There are some details on the proposal that don’t work for me. I guess it’s a case of the importance of things on both sides and I think that’s all I can say for now.”

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