Last week, we reported how former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward was edited out of dozens of photos on Sabbath’s official website. Most people, (including us) jumped to conclusion that Sabbath was retaliating to Bill Ward’s announcement of not involving himself the upcoming reunion shows. BUT, a statement from Sabbath reveals that Ward, through his attorney, asked to be “temporarily removed” from the group’s website “so as to not give the public the wrong impression about his involvement.” Bill will remain cropped and photoshopped out of the shots for the duration of the band’s forthcoming shows.
Over the weekend, the reunited original line-up of Black Sabbath, sans drummer Bill Ward, performed their hometown gig in Birmingham, England despite the drama taking place over the past few weeks. Bill chose not to include himself because he felt as though the contract he was offered was unfair and they couldn’t reach an agreement. Bassist Geezer Butler commented on his decision, releasing a statement that reads, “I feel sad to see the Sabbath reunion becoming a bit of a soap opera on the Internet.” Butler said the band never knew about the drama circling Bill Ward and feels their representatives could have worked it out. Geezer goes on to say that Bill “wanted an amount that was unrealistic.” He ends his statement saying Bill made his decision, and he has to respect that, but hopes to some day play with Ward again.
Top: Black Sabbath shot (minus Bill Ward) that currently appears on BlackSabbath.com; Bottom: The original photo, which includes Bill Ward
We must admit, we were pretty excited to hear that the original Black Sabbath line-up was supposed to reunite this year for a tour and a new album. However, due to guitarist Tony Iommi’s cancer treatment, the tour was scrapped and replaced with a few gigs in the U.K. and one in the U.S. The U.S. date was confirmed by the founder of LollapaloozaPerry Farrell, who explained to us that the reunited Black Sabbath would headline at this year’s festival in Chicago. Which of course, excited a lot of fans. (Us too!)
Earlier in the week, though, former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward posted a statement on his official website to announce that he’s definitely not reuniting with Sabbath for the upcoming shows because he feels the contract they offered him was unfair. The rocker explained that after a final effort, he still hasn’t reached an agreement with the band and therefore won’t be playing at the three shows Sabbath has lined up. Bill explained, “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.” Ward added that he doesn’t blame his band mates but feels it’s “sad that it’s come to this.” Read more…
Last week we reported that Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward was reluctant to sign a contract for the reformation of the band for a reunion tour and new album. Of the contract, Ward said, “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. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another ‘unsignable’ contract was handed to me. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician.”
Now it seems like Black Sabbath are preparing to go forward with the reunion — with or without Ward. Rumours are rife that the band has already lined up a replacement drummer, but fans are not going to take it lying down. A Facebook group has popped up, called “1,000,000 Black Sabbath fans say yes to Bill Ward,” and as of right now the group has 11,113 likes. The pages’ mission statement simply states, “We all feel that any Black Sabbath Reunion must include original drummer Bill Ward.” It also includes statements like, “Thin Lizzy sounded better the minute Brian Downing rejoined the band, UFO always sounds better with Andy Parker behind the kit, I can’t imagine Deep Purple without Ian Paice. No Bonzo = No Led Zeppelin. The Who ain’t The Who without Keith. Bill Ward is the drummer for Black Sabbath!!”
What do you think? Do you think Black Sabbath can go ahead without Bill Ward? Will you be joining the Facebook protest? Or do you think another drummer would suit the line up just fine? Let us know in the poll below!
Black Sabbath Drummer Bill Ward Contemplates Dropping Out Of Reunion Tour And New Album Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has made the following statement regarding the band’s highly anticipated reunion tour and new album, “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. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another ‘unsignable’ contract was handed to me. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician.” Oh no — looks like there might be a spanner in the works! [A.V. Club]
Jessie J Says VH1 DIVAS Was A Career Defining Moment Jessie J has sung praise for her appearance on VH1′s DIVAS, Tweeting that it was, “An honour to be on stage with so many of the singers I have grown up listening to. Was defo one for the diary.” Of all the wonderful things Jessie J does in her career, we think it’s pretty neat that she picked DIVAS as a highlight. [Capital FM]