The press notes and quotes are flying with dreadful accuracy as the news about Black Sabbath moving forward in their plans to record and tour WITHOUT original member Bill Ward started posting today.
This all seemed to come to light the other day as Ward posted that he had been delivered a contract he deemed “unsignable” and how he would keep waiting for an acceptable proposal from the other members in order to proceed with the reunion plans. Bill’s quote is cited below on the Bravewords.com website.
Bill Ward statement from his Official Website has been embedded below:
“Dear Sabbath Fans, Fellow Musicians and Interested Parties, At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour. However, I am unable to continue unless a “signable” contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band. Last year, I worked diligently in good faith with Tony, Ozzy and Geezer. And on 11/11/11, again in good faith, I participated in the L.A. press conference. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another “unsignable” contract was handed to me. Let me say that although this has put me in some kind of holding pattern, I am packed and ready to leave the US for England. More importantly, I definitely want to play on the album, and I definitely want to tour with Black Sabbath. Since the news of Tony’s illness, and the understanding that the band would move production to the UK, I’ve spent everyday getting to or living in a place of readiness to leave. That involves something of a task, and as I’ve tried to find out what’s going on with the UK sessions, I’ve realized that I’ve been getting “the cold shoulder” (and, I might add, not for the first time). Feeling somewhat ostracized, my guess is as of today, I will know nothing of what’shappening unless I sign “the unsignable contract.” The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, I also have to stand for something and not sign on. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician. I believe in freedom and freedom of speech. I grew up in a hard rock/metal band. We stood for something then, and we played from the heart with honesty and sincerity. I am in the spirit of integrity, far from the corporate malady, I am real and honest, fair and compassionate.
If I’m replaced, I have to face you, the beloved Sabbath fans. I hope you will not hold me responsible for the failure of an original Black Sabbath lineup as promoted. Without fault finding, I want to assure everyone that my loyalty to Sabbath is intact. So here I am. I lay my truth down before you. I’m good to go IF I get a “signable” contract. I don’t want to let anyone down, especially Black Sabbath and all the Sabbath fans. You know I love you. It would be a sad day in rock if this current situation fell to the desires of a few. My position is not greed-driven. I’m not holding out for a “big piece” of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal. I’d like something that recognizes and is reflective of my contributions to the band, including the reunions that started fourteen years ago. After the last tour I vowed to never again sign on to an unreasonable contract. I want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract that will honor all that I’ve brought to Black Sabbath since its beginning. That’s the story so far. Stay safe and stay strong. I love every single one of you.” As previously reported, Black Sabbath have moved writing sessions for their long-awaited reunion album from Los Angeles to Birmingham, England due to guitarist Tony Iommi’s treatment for lymphoma. According to a band update, “Sabbath has gone back to where it all started and it’s been just amazing. This is where the writing of the album will be completed. Funny how it all goes full circle sometimes.”
I read all this as Ward being offered a paltry sum for the work and time involved and that he felt he deserved more than was being offered up. On one side its true he didn’t compose a whole lot of tunes in terms of music and words but when you assemble something like this “for the fans”; you can expect that people want a larger piece of the pie. I guess the ruling managerial parties involved disagree and are willing to move on without him. I’ll admit I’m slightly disappointed in the guys who were kind of presenting this whole thing as being for the good of the genre.
Black Sabbath statement from their Official Site has been embedded below:
“We were saddened to hear yesterday via Facebook that Bill declined publicly to participate in our current Black Sabbath plans… we have no choice but to continue recording without him although our door is always open… We are still in the UK with Tony. Writing and recording the new album and on a roll… See you at Download!!!”
I call this reunion tour an un-event now and one that will cost a fortune to fans and not present the full legacy lineup at the end of the day. The funny thing was how I was more interested in this as a journalist than a fan because I felt it would be great to document the return for the site readers as the key force in Heavy Metal’s birth. I realize some of you might now be challenging my level of representing Metal but believe me my aim remains true for the cause.
So what do you readers think of this development? Let me know in the comments below.
*** UPDATE *** On 2/17/2012: An announcement came out that said how Black Sabbath would only perform one day (at the Download Festival) and the remaining scheduled gigs for the Original Lineup (minus Bill Ward) would be replaced by a tour called “Ozzy and Friends”. This is being done based on Tony Iommi’s continuing treatment for the lymphoma and to allow him time to rest and recover as best as possible. We all want the Founder of the Heavy Metal Riff to be in tip top shape. Rumor has it that Ozzy will be joined by a cavalcade of stars like Geezer Butler, Slash and Zakk Waylde. Excited for this tour? Personally, I actually could care less about this nonsense now. Give us a full on original Black Sabbath reunion tour and then continue to make your own solo magic.
Official Website: http://www.blacksabbath.com