Ever since the split of original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward from the group’s reunion, the world has been under the impression that it was all a contract dispute.
In the latest edition of Mojo magazine, Ozzy Osbourne tells a different story.
According to Ozzy, it was more of a case of Ward’s competency in remembering his parts. Osbourne said:
“I guess it’s to do with finances or something. But there was also another side to it. When Bill came along, we all had to ask, ‘Can he do an hour-and-a-half, two-hour gig? Can he cope?’ My suggestion was that we run through a set and see how he got on because he was so out of condition and the drummer is the most demanding job in the whole band. We looked at Bill, and he couldn’t remember what the fuck we were doing. But he didn’t come clean and say, ‘I can’t cut this gig, but can we work something out, guys, where I’ll come on but with another drummer backing me up?’ Or, ‘I’ll come and play a few songs.’ That would have been cool.
“I get where he’s coming from, though. His pride was hurt and I get it. I really do get it. The guy will always be a dear, dear friend and a brother to me, but … He can’t be surprised that he didn’t get the gig. … You know them yellow fucking stick-on memo notes? He had them all over his fucking drums. I was like, ‘What the fuck’s that for, Bill?’ He said, ‘I can’t remember what I’m doing.’ I go, ‘How are you gonna remember out of those 500,000 bits of paper stuck all over your kit, which one you’re looking at, Bill?’ (He said) ‘I’ll know.’ Ah, OK great. I’m not gonna give Bill a hatchet job, but at the same time we haven’t got the patience to deal with it.”
Ward was replaced by Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine for the recording sessions on the album 13 and Tommy Clufetos, who is part of Osbourne’s solo band, has been playing for the tour.
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