Update – April 17th: Ward has responded to Osbourne’s post in a new open letter. Read it below.
Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward and the rest of his bandmates have been at odds since 2012, when he decided to drop out of a series of reunion shows because of what he called an “unsatisfactory contract.” Now, with a final Black Sabbath album reportedly in the works, Ward has surfaced to reignite the feud once more, and Ozzy Osbourne is joining in on the heated conversation.
It all started yesterday afternoon when Ward posted a lengthy message on Facebook, which was meant to address his reasons for canceling on the reunion tour three years ago and his noticeable absence from the legendary metal outfit’s current plans for a new LP. Along with the contract he rejected, Ward also placed the blame on Osbourne, saying that he would not consider regrouping with Black Sabbath until the frontman apologized for what he claims were hurtful insults aimed at him. (Osbourne publicly called Ward too “overweight” to tour.)
“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,” Ward wrote. “I must admit, I have little to no expectations of this happening, but in the order of first things first, 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.”
He added, “I would require a ‘signable’ contract before moving one step toward a pathway that could lead to us all playing together again. I want a contract I can approve. That’s my truth. That’s my stand. I’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.”
Less than 36 hours later, Osbourne has shot back at Ward with a response of his own and it’s likely to only make the conflict uglier. In a post on his official website this evening, the Prince of Darkness kept things relatively short, and, more importantly, did not sound remorseful in the least bit. His first few words easily set the tone: “Wow Bill, 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,” the singer continued in his #sorrynotsorry remarks. “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.” Osbourne then goes on to ask that Ward stop “this smokescreen about an ‘unsignable contract'” and “stop playing the victim and be honest with yourself and our fans.” He closes the post saying, “Bill, we go back a long way, let’s stop this now before it gets out of hand.”
By the looks of it, though, it seems things have already gotten out of hand.
Update – April 17th: Ward has responded to Osbourne’s “What the fuck are you on about?” post with yet another lengthy open letter on Facebook. In it, the drummer refutes many of Osbourne’s comments, insisting that he was in fact “ready and in shape to record” and that the “unsignable contract isn’t a smokescreen – it’s the truth.”
Elsewhere, Ward says Obsourne’s “own anticipatory fear has got you by the balls” and that he doesn’t “fuck with sincerity and honesty, period,” adding, “I’ve done nothing but bring my truth to the fans.” Read the full post here.