Bill Ward Denies Black Sabbath's Health Concerns

(Classic Rock) Original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward addressed the recent controversy over his and Ozzy Osbourne's public statements about why he is not currently involved with the band.

Ward spoke with Classic Rock Revisited about his new solo album but also touched on the public back and forth between him and Ozzy Osbourne. Ward maintains that he isn't currently part of Black Sabbath because of the contract terms that were offered him, while Osbourne claims that Ward isn't physically up to the job. Below is an excerpt from the interview:

Classic Rock Revisited: Part of the controversy is that according to certain camps, the rest of Black Sabbath, you are unable to play an entire concert, physically.

Bill Ward: Oh, that's their fear that has nothing to do with me. That is somebody else's fear. That is simply fear and that's all that is. It is not the truth and it has nothing to do with the truth. The only thing that happened to me that is the truth is that I actually got sick on October 18, 2013. Up until that point I was fully capable of playing drums and I could have played multiple world tours, et cetera, et cetera. I just had not signed a contract. Had I signed a contract then I wouldn't have been sick, according to them!

I hate what's going on, it is terrible. It is a good question: Had I signed the contract that was offered to me, which I wouldn't have done, but had I signed it I probably would have been exonerated from health problems! That is crazy. Once you sign, you just don't have health problems.

I would never, ever, ever commit to taking on any type of live commitment, or studio commitment, if I knew there was something going on inside of me which could stop me from doing it. There wasn't a f***ing thing going on inside of me that would stop me from playing in the studio or in a live band rehearsal. It absolutely didn't exist.

Classic Rock Revisited: You're saying this all strictly boils down to money with Black Sabbath.

Bill Ward: In my particular case, when I try to get a sign-able contract, yes.

Classic Rock Revisited: That's crazy.

Bill Ward: The sickness agenda started after I wouldn't sign the contract. You know all the problems of what I was like in 2011, it all started to happen after the event. In 2011, nobody said anything to me about that as they all seemed to be quite happy that I was there. I am getting better with it now, but I was infuriated when I first heard of that as my health was really good. I was playing drums every day and practicing 130 beats per minute for a half an hour on the bass drum. I wasn't walking ten miles, I usually walk ten miles a day but I was walking six to eight miles a day. It is what I would be doing anyway. It is what I am doing now. I am walking on treadmills. I had to rebuild my core after the operation I had.

What happened on October the 18th of 2013 was serious sh*t and I needed surgery. Had I been on tour then, yes, that would have happened. That was something that was unexpected and unforeseeable, as life can be. That would have meant that I would not have been able to continue on with the band for at least five months. It would have taken that amount of time. They have cancelled shows as well when unforeseeable events happen. They say, "He couldn't have done it anyway because he got sick." I think that is a bunch of bullsh*t. These things are unforeseeable and everybody knows that we go in good faith and we know unforeseeable events can happen. Ozzy has had to cancel on multiple occasions because of unforeseeable events since all of this has happened.

Classic Rock Revisited: Should we hold out any hope that Sabbath will reunite with you?

Bill Ward: That statement that I made was actually an olive branch. It was a real olive branch, not a pie in the sky olive branch. I gave exact specifications of what would put me back in the band. I don't f*** around, you know. "You want me back I the band? Then make a public apology about the things that you said about me that weren't true. That's the first thing. The next thing is give me a sign-able f***ing contract."

This contract isn't the Rockefeller of all Rockefeller contracts. I just want something that is decent and fair and what every other person on earth who is playing rock and roll would want.

Read the full interview here.

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Copyright Classic Rock Magazine- Excerpted here with permission.

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