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.
Wait, there’s more. Read more…
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 Lollapalooza Perry 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…
This week on That Metal Show, we welcomed The Cult’s Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy, as well as German metal vocalist DORO Pesch. We rocked out with TMS alum Frank Hannon, who returned as our guest musician for the second week in a row. We also asked Tom Morello to stop by our TMS Top 5 segment and help us come up with the Top 5 Black Sabbath riffs of all time.
Over the past 40 years, the legendary Tony Iommi has given us such a magnitude of amazing riffs that it’s nearly impossible to cut the list down to a mere five. How do you choose from the iconic “Heaven and Hell” riff (which fans sing along to in stadiums), the punishingly heavy, haunting riff of “Black Sabbath,” and the “Iron Man” riff, which is arguably the most recognizable of all time? After much debate, the boys were able to narrow down the TMS TOP 5 Sabbath Riffs. Here’s what they came up with: Read more…
Tony Iommi should no longer be “Paranoid.” As of yesterday, the Black Sabbath guitarist released a statement on his website stating he was done with this chemotherapy. Since December, the 64 year-old rocker has been battling lymphoma, a cancer that affects your immune system cells; now, according to his statement, he has started his road to recovery.
Tony wrote, “Hopefully my body will start to get back to normal soon. The steroids were the [worst]. I’ve now got three weeks of radiotherapy coming up which I’m told can be very tiring.”
Diagnosed with lymphoma, Black Sabbath‘s Tony Iommi is refusing to let his illness put a dampener on the band’s much anticipated reunion. At 63 years old, Iommi announced that the lymphoma is still in early stages and that he’s “upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery.” Last year Black Sabbath announced that they would reunite for a tour and new album, and it seems that despite Iommi’s health problems they plan to soldier ahead. The album will be the first album in 30 years featuring the band’s original lineup, and while we’re looking forward to the release, we’re now preoccupied with sending Iommi well wishes.
Tony Iommi has lymphoma, still participating in Black Sabbath reunion [A.V. Club]
[Photo: Getty Images]
It’s safe to say that the genre of music known as metal might not have happened if John Michael Osbourne, Francis Anthony Melby Iommi, Terence Michael Joseph Butler and William Thomas Ward hadn’t met as teenagers in Birmingham, England (not to mention adopting nicknames like Ozzy and Geezer). The foursome, better known as Black Sabbath, formed in the late sixties and forever transformed the landscape of music with their sludgy riffs, foreboding lyrics and totally bad ass attitude. After releasing five platinum albums, the group disbanded in 1978, but the impact they made was undeniable, so much so that VH1 named them the #2 artist on our list of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
Black Sabbath briefly reformed in the summer of 1997 (sans drummer Bill Ward) for the Ozzfest tour and the 1998 album Reunion, but outside of that, the group has been dormant since the late seventies. However, earlier today at a press conference held in Los Angeles, the band announced that all four of the band’s original members have committed to recording their first album of original material since 1978, and will be embarking on a 2012 World Tour. (The rumors were true!)
Many metalheads and music fans are really excited about this news, because, well, how could you not be? It’s Black Sabbath! (Not to mention, their record is set to be produced by Rick Rubin.) However, some cynics out there might be curious about the band’s motives for deciding to bury the hatchet after 30+ years of acrimony, and here’s what they’re wondering:
Back in August, we excitedly passed along some reports that iconic metal band Black Sabbath were planning on reuniting. The day after, Black Sabbath founding guitarist Tony Iommi insisted that a journalist had actually misquoted him in an interview, asserting that the band had no plans to get back together. Now, it seems, the band may be set for a reunion after all, with reports that the band recently met at Ozzy Osbourne‘s house to jam.
Yesterday, metalheads and headbangers the world over rejoiced when news broke that the members of Black Sabbath had squashed their 30+ year beef and were already in the process of reuniting, news that made extra sense when coupled with recent reports that the band had just reached an out-of-court settlement regarding intra-band trademark issues. The Birmingham Mail reported that guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi revealed to them that he and original Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne were not only in communication once again after a longstanding feud, but that the original members of the band were planning on recording a new studio album and touring to support it. Devil horns were raised, heads were banged, and generals gathered in their masses because BLACK SABBATH WAS BACK!
Sadly, though, it seems that Tony Iommi was misquoted by an overzealous journalist. He corrected the misreported information in a statement posted on his official website, Iommi.com:
“I’m saddened that a Birmingham journalist whom I trusted has chosen this point in time to take a conversation we had back in June and make it sound like we spoke yesterday about a Black Sabbath reunion. At the time I was supporting the Home of Metal exhibition and was merely speculating, shooting the breeze, on something all of us get asked constantly, ‘Are you getting back together?’ he said. Thanks to the Internet, it’s gone round the world as some sort of ‘official’ statement on my part, absolute nonsense. To my old pals, Ozzy, Geezer and Bill, sorry about this, I should have known better.”
Bats of the world, you’re safe for now. We repeat, for now…
Black Sabbath reunion? Tony Iommi dismisses report [OTRC]
[Photo: Getty Images]