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Statement on Black Sabbath Album & Tour

Posted on Feb.02, 2012 under Bill Ward, Black Sabbath

Los Angeles, CA – February 2, 2012

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 everyday 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’shappening 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 few.

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 beginning.

That’s the story so far.

Stay safe and stay strong.

I love every single one of you.

–Bill Ward

277 comments for this entry:
  1. jose luis chacon

    Well! What can I say?

    Let’s not talk about Ozzy and Tony, but I guess Bill deserves as much as Gezzer. Or at least very close to Gezzer.

    But honestly, as long as you don’t show some figures or something, you’re not gonna get us! The four of you will remain a 25% greedy bastards! Unable to understand the fans!

    I love Black Sabbath, and this is what I get!

    Good luck with your finances!


  2. Jimmy G

    At first light, my anger, ignorance and frustration resulted in my posting a negative email to Bill and I must apologize for that. I likely angered other fans also due to my initial rant and less that thought thru comments. I must apologize to you also.
    I have come round to side with Bill and hope that cooler minds prevail and all can get together for this much anticipated reunion.
    As a founding member Bill certainly does deserve full credit, continuing respect and admiration. An equal share on the contract side of things is only fitting.
    I don’t know if Sharon is to blame or some other messed-up sod, but the Black Sabbath world is saddened by your actions. A very unfortunate situation when all could have been so fantastic….
    Back on side with you Bill. \,,/

  3. Flávia

    I totally understand that you have your pride nd that you deserve respect, as much as the other 3 guys. I also understand that you want to stick with your decision, and I’m not here to make you change your mind (actually, you may not even read this) but seriously, do it, man. Do it for your fans. We’ll support you anyway, but we also want to see you live, at least one last time. I mean, me (and many other fans) never had the opportunity to see you playing and it would be awesome if it happened. Keep your pride, but remember of your fans. Don’t matter what, we’ll support you, even if we end up missing you, as we are, already.
    Best regards 🙂

  4. Matt

    im sorry Bill i hope you can play with the greatest band and im looking forward to seeing you all live

  5. Zero

    damn i hope see u all in the stage cheers bill!!! if u wont come back to sabbath i wont assist to the gig promise they cant do tht!

  6. Alex

    Bill, If this isnt for the fact that you´ll get less pay; what is it? Of course it´s business. I´d sign the contract if I were you. Your solo career aint going to well.


  7. matt colon

    We need you bill the music wont sound right without the original, you guys are 4 of the greatest musicians to ever assemble and play in a group i have been waiting my whole life to see all of you live just once and im sincerely let down.

  8. Ethan Gaston

    Dear Bill Ward,
    Thank you for taking the time to explain the situation. As I’m sure you know, you are the only one involved who has provided any worthy information to the Black Sabbath fans. The real fans are very angry right now and the vast majority of us are behind you 100%. We understand and respect your decision. You are 1/4 of Sabbath.
    Of course we are all hoping for resolve but I, for one, would hate to see you make any compromise in order to make it happen. I have made my voice heard along with thousands of other fans who support you. We are signing petitions and posting all over the social networks. From what I’ve seen, nobody is blaming you for any of this. We love you Bill!

  9. Michael

    Its not a Black Sabbath reunion if Bill Ward isn’t there. Hope things work out. Remember there are loads of us Black Sabbath fans who are behind you 100% no matter what happens.

    If nothing else it should bring a wry smile to the makers of Spinal Tap!

  10. Ed Ehrgott

    You SHOULD command respect from everybody involved and the way you are being treated is bullshit. With Toni being in his situation with his health every minute counts and there isn’t time for the drama. I don’t know all the details but I would guess it has something to do with Sharon. Whoever it may be they need to suck it up and get you on board immediately! We are all behind you Bill! Hopefully everything gets straitened out and you get back where you need to be with your boys in Sabbath! I’ve seen you guys play many times here in California and hopefully there will be many times more in the future. Sharons only talent is keeping Ozzys balls in her purse don’t let her fuck this up.

  11. Dave

    Hang in there Bill– we all know Sabbath is not Sabbath without you on the skins. Anyone with ears can hear that. I have to believe this is a ‘management’ deal, after reading Tony’s book and knowing his situation..I can’t believe it is coming from there.

    I have faith it will work out, if it doesn’t it will be crimnal, but I can’t see anyone holding yur accountable. I lke many others prepared to spend for the concert and memorabilia– and many of us will not unless the reunion is complete. I grew up with Sabbath – I would like to grw old with you guys also…take care..

  12. Harry

    Equal rights and proportion for each Black Sabbath member! No question, no discussion!

    Only in original line-up will i go to concert!

    Harry, (54 Years old)

  13. Ziad

    i was born and raised on the sound of black sabbath. their music and words has become my history, and sabbath means: tony, geezer, bill and ozzy.. i love dio and his music with sabbath, but the original stays original.. without the bill’s drum beat sabbath won’t sound sabbath enough, a body lost a memebr, picture without a frame..
    i support u Mr Bill, damn it u’re the only sabbath member who never wanted anything more than music and fun..
    may the lord bless u and keep u in good health..

  14. John

    This situation seems, unfortunately, like so many nowadays between people. Bill Ward, you have my sincerest blessing, you`re a fantastic person and musician. Stay with what you believe is right, for you deserve a fair and equal shake in your participation. I truly hope everyone involved comes to their senses, if not I`m sure most will understand your feelings. I know many things in the world have changed over the last 40+ years, things are way different now. Good luck and be blessed Bill:)

  15. Jeff

    Black Sabbath got me thru my Southern California High School Years(70-74). Cal Jam…wow. Black Sabbath always has been and always will be you, Tony, Geezer, and Ozzy.
    Accept no substitutions. I sure don’t.

    Hoping that the light bulb comes on for whomever and you are treated as an equal…and righfully so.

  16. Bob Edwards

    Hi Bill.

    First off, I want to thank you for sharing your musical gift with all of us. I also want to express my hope that all parties involved in the contract issue will work hard to find a workable common ground. I hope everyone can put their concerns on the table, hear each other, respect each other, and find something that honours everyone’s interests as much as is humanly possible. I also hope everyone’s willing to give a little. I think that’s the way ahead. Also, Tony is in my thoughts and prayers (as are all his friends and family) in light of his recent diagnosis. May God bless you all.

    Bob E.

  17. Aitch


    Black Sabbath is NOT Black Sabbath without you. Period.

    I have total respect on your position.

    I hope that the rest of the group will come around.


  18. Rockstar Murray

    Fuckin bullshit!!!! I have no intention of paying any money to see Black Sabbath without ALL iys original members!!Ozzy always says its about the music, bullshit! Black Sabbath is not a band but a company. The greatest metal band in the world who can’t do anything right! Piss on Sabbath and the so called reunion tour if Bill isn’t in the lineup

  19. GIANNI

    ps. – maybe we’ll get to eventually see them on VH1 BANDS REUNITED…

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  22. Kali

    This sound like politics for me. Parties fighting over the power and giving shit about the people who voted them. The only part who will loose here are the fans. It’s such a shame to see that at this age you guys are still arguing like a bunch of kids.

    Bill, if you feel that something is not right, step up and solve the issue like a man. Punch some faces, kick some asses, do what you feel is right.. but don’t hit in the fans. If your just gonna sit in a chair and blog your problems it ain’t gonna solve nothing.

  23. Matt

    Im not sure that what bill is talking about is up to ozzy tony and geezer.

    if this was some other crap classic rock band it wouldnt be an issue….Srry bill…but sabbath has had a rough road since day 1 as far as im concerned…

  24. Paul KZman

    Latest News just in :

    Animal from The Muppets will be Drummer on the Uk Black Sabbath Gigs, He won’t need Paying and everyone can beat him up n he’ll still be ok for the other Gigs. Will just get Stuffed (like Bill) . . .

  25. Maria

    Hey Bill you know man, I think it’s real mean that you are chosing $ over love…’unsignable contract’? so it’s all about the $ right? Come on man what are you waiting for? I know I was waiting to see you and the whole band play. Think about the message you are sending out by writing you are ‘unable to continue unless a “signable” contract is drawn up’…really ‘being far in in the spirit of integrity, far from the corporate malady’?
    ‘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.’ What is that something? Love or money?
    You know you can’t put a price on love man. And though I don’t really know you and I doubt you will even read this, I hope to see you play at Download.

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  27. Alex

    Unless all four of you are involved, it’s not a reunion. It will be a cover band with the name ‘Black Sabbath’

  28. Richard Graham

    Dear Bill, your drumming is inspirational and unlike that of any other drummer, and I don’t think many people realise how different the music would sound without your unique touch. The jazz and swing influences are shot through some of Sabbath’s best known tunes (e.g. Black Sabbath, War Pigs) and mark you out as a vital part of Sabbath’s signature recorded sound. Live, you put so much energy into each hit, it’s fucking scary. Watching you on the Never Say Die tour video was a vital part of my musical education. This is how to play the drums.

    Given your contribution, I think it’s disgusting that you would be offered a deal which includes watching another guy playing your part for all but three songs at Download. It’s like spitting in the face of every single musician who doesnt have celebrity status, it’s an attack on those of us who play rather than writing material, it’s plainly saying “you are less than us”, and it’s not what mates do.

    Stick to your guns. Unfortunately, as much as I love Black Sabbath (and I have loved you guys for 30 years now, and spent the last ten playing some of your music) your bandmates have gone right down in my estimation. Stick to your guns Bill. It’s about something even bigger than music, but which is vital to music, it’s about being a band, it is about togetherness, love and respect, it is about friendship and valuing your friends more than money.

    I won’t be buying the album if youre not on it.


  29. Richard Graham

    To those few twerps who are “oh so respectfully” calling Bill Ward selfish and money-motivated and telling you you should swallow your pride and “do it for the fans”, please do us all a favour and STFU. It’s not your pride, your reputation, your self-respect that is on the line. You selfish bunch of muppets.


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  31. iain mlilo

    i’ve been s devoted sabbath fan since i first heard that cough at the start of sweet leaf, back in 1973.its like i know the band personally,but i dont,but musically i do.i hope that makes are hearin this from a true sabs fan,you can succesfully replace ozzy,but not any of the other three members.each one of them plays their instrument like no other, and thats a fact,folks.lets stop wastin time and get Bill back,so we can enjoy sabatha(like we used to call them back home)while we can,tomorrow is not promised or guaranteed.

  32. iain mlilo

    lets stop wastin time and get bill back.tomorrow is not promised.

  33. LukusDimitrius

    Fair play Bill. Respect to you for putting your cards on the table. It makes it easier for us as fans to understand. Let’s hope that Black Sabbath will happen once more some day, like it was.

  34. Kevin

    I sure hope things work out For Bill Ward.Man that would be awesome to see the four original band mates together,for new material and tour.But I guess we have to make a stand sometimes,that isn’t always easy to do.Hang in there Bill Ward.

  35. NattyJ

    I thought I WAS seeing the original four when I went to see them in Sydney, Systeslua tonight! It was advertised as such!

  36. Alberto Flores

    Bill la ultima gira sin uno de sus miembros originales es como presentar a un ser mutilado que en vez de dar alegria a sus fans da lastima, todo por el cochino dinero que deberia de ser una parte secundaria de sus actos, yo siempre seguire a mis idolos por su talento y su entrega a sus fans, pero a veces se vuelve mas importante lo material que lo que se vive en el escenario con la gente, nos hicimos viejos juntos ( idolos y fans )y aun asi aprendimos poco de la vida, saludos desde Chihuahua Mexico y que mejore la salud de todos los miembros de la banda,

  37. John blade 10993

    Hi Mr. Ward glade to making your acquaintance i am a true Black Sabbath fan I refuse to go to the show in New Jersey just because you were not on the stage and I will always been a hard black sabbath fan since the 70s I will refuse to go see Black Sabbath without all four members God bless you take care. Black Sabbath needs you to be the original.

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