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Black Sabbath Drummer Bill Ward Puts The Reunion Of The Band In Doubt

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Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has posted a statement online via his official website in which he has declared that he would be "unable" to continue with the proposed reunion, unless a "signable contract" is drawn up. This has placed the future of the reunion in question, which was also recently hurt by the announcement that guitarist Tony Iommi is battling lymphoma. An excerpt from Ward's statement reads as follows:

"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’s happening 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."

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38 Comments on "Black Sabbath Drummer Puts Reunion In Doubt"

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Anonymous Reader
1. HMR writes:

Oh, for crying out loud...really?

# Feb 2, 2012 @ 2:34 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
ZMA's avatar

Member

2. ZMA writes:

^ That's kinda what I was thinking lol. Feels like the universe doesn't want this. Like "Hey we're having a reunion........ oh no Tony has lymphoma and now Ward is doubting."
I'm sure it'll all work out though. This has to happen.

# Feb 2, 2012 @ 2:47 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

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3. brandedcfh420 writes:

he says "unsignable contract" but doesnt say "WHY" it's "unsignable"!! sounds a bit fishy!!

# Feb 2, 2012 @ 2:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
ZMA's avatar

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4. ZMA writes:

Probably cause there's stuff in it he read that he didn't agree with. Like they would have control of the music or something. I'd hope there would be a legitimate reason behind it. But who knows?

# Feb 2, 2012 @ 2:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
cbella's avatar

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5. cbella writes:

Damn!!! I knew this reunion sounded too good to be true!
That was a much more open and honest explanation than the fans are usually given! Anyway - I'm sure it'll get fixed soon. Too many people have too much invested in this reunion to let it go to sh**.

# Feb 2, 2012 @ 2:55 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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6. Blindgreed1 writes:

He needs an NFL agent to negotiate his contract to ensure he gets what he deserves. I hear Rosenberg is looking for a new client since he dropped TO like a bad habbit. In all seriousness though, I don't blame Bill for not trusting Sharon's contract.

# Feb 2, 2012 @ 2:58 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar

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7. R10 writes:

Keep Sharons money grubbing hands out,split it all four ways,show goes on! Plain and simple! Hopefully the matter gets resolved,Mike Bordin wont be an acceptable replacement for Bill,like in '97. This is too big to let this type of sh*t get in the way. Get it done!

# Feb 2, 2012 @ 3:03 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
8. i'll believe it when I see it writes:

Assume not; I will believe a new Black Sabbath album with the original cast will be out when it is out! I'm turning a blind eye to the speculation. I can assure you at this point that still NOTHING IS CONFIRMED, set and stone!


In all honest though, they should do it strictly for financial reasons. THIS WOULD MAKE A sh**LOAD OF MONEY

# Feb 2, 2012 @ 3:17 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cr4wf0rdTxJ1ng0J4ng0's avatar

Member

Figures. Money wins the day, again!

Not even trying to be a d***, but come on. These guys aren't getting any younger, and it's a real shame that cancer can't stop the reunion, but Bill Ward's contract negotiations can. Maybe if these f***ers are so money-hungry, they can keep their asses at home anyways. Nice to know NOW that we were only being considered as a paycheck for Bill Ward. I'm kinda losing some respect for Bill over this. Obviously, this isn't the Black Sabbath that we thought. If money is their main concern, then f*** them. Who even cares anymore? They all have all the money they could ever want. Who cares what their fans think? Because god knows that Sabbath got to be what they are without the help of their fans. Sarcasm. f*** these old farts. I'll just keep listening to my vinyl, which apparently, is where Sabbath belongs.

# Feb 2, 2012 @ 3:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

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10. Drum_Junkie writes:

According to his site, he's not in it for the money. It sounds like he wants the contract to reflect his contribution as an equal and inimitable member of the band. With the press releases so far, he has some good leverage on his side. There is a lot of momentum already built up and the pressure is in his favor to produce a workable contract. If the deal falls apart and there is no Sabbath album, there will be a lot of blame directed at Sharon - whether its her fault or not. (Karma is a b!tch sometimes.)

# Feb 2, 2012 @ 3:56 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

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11. hellrat writes:

I told y'all when it was first announced that Ozzy's haggard old gold digging snatch would fvck this whole thing up, didn't I? Eh now?

I should have opened up some betting lines, 100s of odds against me, and frikken cleaned house :)

# Feb 2, 2012 @ 3:58 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
12. Behemothpl666 writes:

Of course...why should anything change? Get over it old men. Forget the money, this is probably the last time you guys might play together. For the fans....whatever happend to that idea?

# Feb 2, 2012 @ 4:21 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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13. Blindgreed1 writes:

Hahaha! For the fans... SHARON OSBOURNE happened to that idea my friend.

# Feb 2, 2012 @ 4:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
WOLF7's avatar

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14. WOLF7 writes:

I must say, I disagree with you lot.

So many "classic" bands have had the frontmen living like kings, while the others lived pretty much regular lives, if even that.

Makes me wonder exactly how shaky this so-called "re-union" really is.

# Feb 2, 2012 @ 9:44 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
15. GokaiMetal writes:

Are you f***ing kidding me ?!...

Tony get's diagnosed with cancer,
continues to work his a$$ off, and
Bill wants to pull this sh** ??!...

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 12:49 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
DixieSkumLord666's avatar

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16. DixieSkumLord666 writes:

this sooo weak....the black sabbath reunion better happen...quit arguing about money guys...you are all super rich now....do it for the fans who love your music and all that metal has become since the first record 4 decades ago

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 1:09 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
17. Mil Reno writes:

Rock on bill dont let Sharon steamroll you!

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 8:32 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
18. HMR writes:

Well, don't blame Bill alone. It is very possible that the root of the problem is the same Hydra that robbed Bob Daisley out of his money for 30 years. That, of course, is the most likely scenario, but it could even be coming from Tony's and Geezer's camps--Lord knows they've done enough shady dealings.
Black Sabbath never seems to be able to capitalize on the Shangri-La/El Dorado phantom of a full reunion+new studio record. They had plenty of chances to pull it off, especially in the 90s, but will they ever pull it off, while it's still possible, remains to be seen. Another issue is do we even want it: the two mediocre "Reunion" studio songs put in question just how good this record will be.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 10:13 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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19. Blindgreed1 writes:

I want it. Tony and Geezer have continued to write great stuff since Ozzy left the band. The Devil You Know was a great album. I'd very much like to see a reunion but only if it happens with a new album.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 11:55 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

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20. Drum_Junkie writes:

^ Agreed with every bit of that comment Blind.

HMR, don't forget about Lee Kerslake either.

It's only speculation that Sharon is behind the unsignable contracts. But given her track record with Daisley, Kerslake, and Ozzfest, among other incidents, it probable that she has a hand in this as well. Do you think Ozzy is going to draw up his own contract? Sharon is a shrewd business woman and I applaud Bill for making a stand.

It wouldn't surprise me if Bill's impetus is about the assignment of writing credits. Bill appears to be focused on receiving credit for his contribution with the resulting royalties at the back of his mind. Sharon likely views it the other way around. I'd say kick Sharon out of it, but if Sharon goes then Ozzy goes. I think we all know that.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 1:51 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Overlord's avatar

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21. Overlord writes:

Black Sabbath may be the greatest metal band to ever walk the planet, but my god how much better would the be if they forgot about the ca$h.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 1:59 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar

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22. R10 writes:

Exactly DJ. Whats odd is Ozzy is supposedly closest with Ward. I think alot of these "business" things are done by Sharon without Ozzy even knowing anything about it. Like eliminating Kerslake and Daisley from Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. Completely sad! But its business for some people. I stand behind Ward,100%. Obviously theres no reunion without Iommi,but Ward deserves his quarter split. I hate to be a d*ck,but i see Sharon as the culprit here,even though i dont know the inside story. Just going by past history.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 2:00 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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23. Blindgreed1 writes:

Couldn't agree more DJ.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 2:01 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

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24. Drum_Junkie writes:

@R10: True, but what is 'close' in the lives of the rich and famous? Probably not as close as those great memories they shared 30 years ago. I also seriously doubt Ozzy has read Bill's contract to know his side.

Actually, I'm waiting to hear the responses from Tony, Geezer and Ozzy. It's barely been a day since Bill's post, so I'm interested to hear the reactions from the other three.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 2:30 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

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25. Drum_Junkie writes:

Ha! Ask and ye shall receive.... Thanks CROMCarl!

MU... news/details.cfm?newsid=76915

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 2:43 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

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26. hellrat writes:

^pretty sure Ozzy doesn't even know HOW to read...doubt we'll hear much from the rest of the camp, besides maybe the standard canned statement

I'm not sure 'shrewd' best describes his haggy Snatch's business strategies...more along the lines of 'ruthless'

Alienating and undercompensating viable collaborators is not savvy business, it is shortsightedly self serving, and disgustingly inconsiderate...usually comes back to bite ya in the a$$ in the long run as well

NP---Angel of Destruction---HELLHAMMER

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 2:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
sonictherapy's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

27. sonictherapy writes:

I couldn't get the link to load, could be my server - but I found the rest of his statement. This makes it pretty clear.

"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."

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 4:23 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar

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28. R10 writes:

Thumbs up sonictherapy! Thanks.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 4:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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29. Blindgreed1 writes:

"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."

I believe that is the nail in the coffin right there. So where is ole Vinny right now anyway?

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 4:49 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

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30. Drum_Junkie writes:

Sonic: I wouldn't be surprised if his server is overloaded. I was able to view it earlier this morning, but cannot now.

Though he is the member with the least public exposure, he still deserves proper credit for his contributions. Hell, he hasn't really been given proper respect for his past contributions to the band - probably why he's put his foot down now.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 4:51 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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31. Blindgreed1 writes:

I agree DJ, but it's a bit late in the game to try to get your just deserves for past hasty decisions made decades ago.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 4:56 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

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32. Drum_Junkie writes:

BG1: Vinny has been in KillDevil Hill with Rex Brown and two "unknowns", Mark Zavon (guitar) and Dewey Bragg (vocals).

Don't know how hard it would be to pull Vinny away from that, but without Bill it's not a reunion and not an orignal Sabbath record. Vinny is a great drummer, but is still not the same.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 4:58 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

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33. Drum_Junkie writes:

I'm a post behind lol.

I don't think Bill is after 'reparations'. I think he wants to be treated as a equal member and sign a contract that HONORS the importance of his contribution to the lagacy of Black Sabbath. I'm sure the other three have a contract that honors there contribution and status.
It's more about paying respect than paying cash, IMO.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 5:03 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

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34. Drum_Junkie writes:

EDIT: -"their" contribution-

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 5:04 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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35. Blindgreed1 writes:

Well see here's where it gets difficult. before the last reunion, a crazy contract was written to "protect the legendary name of Black Sabbath". This is why they couldn't use the name when Dio came back on board. All of the verbiage in that contract was agreed to by all members involved. The olny way he's gonna renegotiate what that contract says is if Sharon agrees to not hold that contract binding and write another one. She'll NEVER do that.

And I don't think it wold take much to get Vinny into the studio, but there are 1000's of drummers out there that could fill the vacancy.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 5:15 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

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36. Drum_Junkie writes:

I guess I don't follow what stipulations would conflict with that contract, not knowing the details. Hell, I would figure NOT having Bill involved would be detrimental to the legendary Balck Sabbath.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 5:23 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar

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37. R10 writes:

What do you call someone who hangs out with musicians? A drummer! Seriously though,a respect issue here,the origional drummers not getting any. They called it Heaven and Hell because of that lawsuit between Ozzys lawyers and Tonys and Sabbaths lawyers over back merchandise monies. One final Sabbath record and tour without Bill is truly a Sabbath reunion,imo. Even though he's the most easily replacible member,obviosly.

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 5:24 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

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38. Drum_Junkie writes:

EDIT: BLACK SABBATH! not balck. My apologies to all that is metal... \m/

# Feb 3, 2012 @ 5:31 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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