Update: Ozzy Osbourne has reached out to Bill Ward, but it’s not to issue an apology. Posting to his Facebook page, Osbourne wrote, “What the fuck are you on about?” before going on to pen a much longer letter to the former Black Sabbath drummer. Here it is in full.
What the fuck are you on about? I cannot apologize for comments or opinions I may have made about you in the press during Sabbath’s “13” album and tour– physically, you knew you were fucked. Tony, Geezer and myself didn’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 Tony’s condition we felt that time was not on our side.
Bill, stop this smokescreen about an “unsignable contract” and let’s be honest. Deep down inside you knew you weren’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 you’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, let’s stop this now before it gets out of hand.
God bless you.
Bill Ward, Black Sabbath’s former drummer, has been estranged from his previous bandmates since he declined to join their reunion in 2012 over an “unsignable” contract. Though there have been rumors about him coming back to the fold, he’s stayed pretty quiet — until today. Ward released an “official statement” on Facebook earlier this afternoon, saying that while he “dearly missed playing” with his former bandmates, he would not come back to the group unless he got a good contract and an apology from Ozzy Osbourne. Though he didn’t name any specific slights, Osbourne has insulted Ward publicly in the past, including a memorable time in 2013 when he said Ward was too fat to tour with Black Sabbath.
I’m looking for an honest accountability of all of Ozzy’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.
Ward went on to write that he “would require a ‘signable’ contract before moving one step toward a pathway that could lead to us all playing together again.”
“Put simply,” Ward wrote, “it’s up to them.”