As you may know, Black Sabbath have announced their final shows. There have been mixed reports about Bill Ward's possible appearance at the final shows. Ward was not on the last Black Sabbath album and was not on their last tour. On his Facebook page, Ward posted an extensive explanation about his status with the band. As part of his statement, Ward said:
"With a sad heart, I have to say I will not participate in any musical undertakings until a righting of the wrongs spoken against me has been achieved. I must admit, I have little to no expectations of this happening, but in the order of first things first, Iâ€™m looking for an honest accountability of all of Ozzyâ€™s statements that I felt were untrue. I would want Ozzy to amend his opinions and exaggerations. I would want him to be forthcoming about his unrealistic viewpoints. And because I was chastised publicly, I would want him to amend publicly in his words, and not through an Ozzy representative, the nature of the wrongs…"
Following that, Ozzy issued an open letter to Ward, accusing Ward of not telling the truth and stating that the reason Ward was not included in recent Black Sabbath activities was due to his heath.
Bill Ward's Statement
Dear Friends, I hope youâ€™re well and in good spirits. I have not made any public statements regarding my relationship with Black Sabbath since February 2012. Today, I want to address that relationship in this formal statement. Thank you.
I have neither severed nor discontinued my relationship with Black Sabbath, however, since 2012, the often inaccurate statements about me as a person and as a musician have caused me to be guarded and be especially detached emotionally and spiritually from Ozzy. His rhetoric above all has brought me the most discord. The continuing misguided information about me has established a necessity on my part to confront these issues. And now, with the imminent release of a new Bill Ward Band album, and the flurry of rumors about new Sabbath projects, I feel it appropriate to speak in a truthful and an un-cynical way.
There is always speculation about a true, original Sabbath lineup for the next tour or record. With a sad heart, I have to say I will not participate in any musical undertakings until a righting of the wrongs spoken against me has been achieved. I must admit, I have little to no expectations of this happening, but in the order of first things first, Iâ€™m looking for an honest accountability of all of Ozzyâ€™s statements that I felt were untrue. I would want Ozzy to amend his opinions and exaggerations. I would want him to be forthcoming about his unrealistic viewpoints. And because I was chastised publicly, I would want him to amend publicly in his words, and not through an Ozzy representative, the nature of the wrongs. I would not want to continue on with him without this seemingly impassible dilemma being addressed. I donâ€™t think previously strong relationships can remain strong after dispute by just sweeping the offensive stuff under the carpet, or by saying a puny sorry, or â€œoh, thatâ€™s all over now.â€ It doesnâ€™t work like that for me. Righting of wrong works, and thatâ€™s what I want if Iâ€™m ever going to be his friend again.
Still undone and faraway is a â€œsignableâ€ contract. I would require a â€œsignableâ€ contract before moving one step toward a pathway that could lead to us all playing together again. I want a contract I can approve. Thatâ€™s my truth. Thatâ€™s my stand. Iâ€™ve listened to nothing but insults and false remarks, and if as a band or as individuals they wish to continue along the same lines, then any notion of an original Black Sabbath lineup will continue to fade away.
Put simply, itâ€™s up to them. I have dearly missed playing with them and as people, I have been heartbroken over the loss of who I thought we were. And now you know where I stand. Very soon my band, BWB will release a new album ironically called â€œAccountable Beasts.â€ I re- kick-started it in May 2012, and in an off and on journey to record, we have reached our final destination â€“ a good mix, and a well mastered record. At this time we are putting the final touches on the digital booklet.
There are other multiple projects in different stages of progress, and I hope to bring more definitive news about them as things unfold this year. I have been very happy writing new songs, playing drums and working with other musicians. I have been blessed with musical visions and the ability to harness them. Iâ€™m moving into the future with an optimistic outlook.
For our many Sabbath fans, I love you all dearly. You are extremely special people. You fucking rock. I have been in deep regret since January 2012 that a true union was denied. Iâ€™ve remained faithful to you and honest with myself. Had I not been honest throughout I would have perished long ago. My hand is within yours, and I am encouraged to know you better. Stay safe and stay strong. Now it is time to meet the circumstances of my statement and attend to what else is ongoing and before me.
Ozzy Osborne Statement:
I never wanted to discuss this in a public forum but Bill's statements left me no option to but to respond honestly.
What the fuck are you on about? I cannot apologize for comments or opinions I may have made about you in the press during Sabbathâ€™s â€œ13â€ album and tour-- physically, you knew you were fucked. Tony, Geezer and myself didnâ€™t think you could have done a two hour set with a drum solo every night, so we made the decision to move on. With Tonyâ€™s condition we felt that time was not on our side.
Bill, stop this smokescreen about an â€œunsignable contractâ€ and letâ€™s be honest. Deep down inside you knew you werenâ€™t capable of doing the album and a 16 month tour. Unfortunately for you, our instincts were correct as you were in hospital several times during 2013. Your last hospitalization was for a shoulder surgery that you now say youâ€™ve only just recovered from. This would have meant that our world tour would have been canceled. So how is all of this my fault? Stop playing the victim and be honest with yourself and our fans. Bill, we go back a long way, letâ€™s stop this now before it gets out of hand.
God bless you.