Ozzy Osbourne: "Incredibly Overweight" Bill Ward Is Incapable of Playing with Black Sabbath

by Guitar World Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2013 at 9:53am

Before Black Sabbath's show at New Jersey's PNC Bank Arts Center this past weekend, Ozzy Osbourne chewed the fat with the New York Daily News.

The topic? Why original Black Sabbath Bill Ward isn't sitting where drummer Tommy Clufetos has been sitting on this current tour.

“I don’t think he could have done the gig, to be honest. He’s incredibly overweight," Osbourne said. "A drummer has to be in shape. He’s already had two heart attacks. I don’t want to be responsible for his life.”

According to MetalInsider.net, Osbourne had some negative opinions about Ward's performance at Sabbath's initial rehearsals for 13, the band's new album. "We looked at Bill, and he couldn’t remember what the f--- we were doing. 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."

In another interview last month, Ward said, "I was offered a contact and I couldn’t sign it. I would never, ever show up for a commitment that I could not do physically. It was one of the toughest decisions that I ever had to make. Because I absolutely and without question wanted to play."

"I’m the drummer in Black Sabbath so I want to do the entire show," he added. "I play all or nothing."

Ward left Sabbath in 1980 to get help with his drinking and played with them on and off throughout the next two decades. He was replaced in 1997 (He said he found out by watching MTV). The band eventually let him back in — until they called it quits in 2005.

Ward and the band have been at odds since right after Sabbath announced they were reforming in late 2011; he wrote a 1,500-word letter about why he wouldn't participate in the reunion, and the band responded with a 45-word reply:

"We have decided not to make any detailed comment on Bill's latest statement. There are two sides to every story. We have been working hard at rehearsals making excellent progress after Tony's treatments and we have engaged a substitute drummer for the forthcoming shows. See you at Download."

–Black Sabbath, 5/17/12


Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

Zakk Sabbath, Zakk Wylde's Black Sabbath Cover Band, Play "War Pigs" (10/12/2015)
Late last week, Zakk Wylde's Black Sabbath cover band, Zakk Sabbath, performed a set at the Slidebar in Fullerton, California. Below, you can watch two decent fan-filmed clips of the band playing "War Pigs" from the October 8 show. Besides Wylde...
Tony Iommi's 10 Greatest Black Sabbath Riffs (7/9/2015)
Rarely can you point to a single musician and say, "he and his band mates practically invented a musical genre on their own." But that description isn't much of a stretch for Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi, one of the most influential and oft-imitat...
Three Sisters Perform Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" on 'Ellen' — Video (5/11/2015)
Last month around this time, we posted an insanely popular video of three young sisters from Monterrey, Mexico—better known as the Warning—whose cover of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" pretty much took over the internet for a few days. Daniela (gui...
This Is the End: Black Sabbath Announce 2016 Final Tour Dates (9/7/2015)
Black Sabbath have announced what is being billed as the legendary metal band's final tour. "It’s the beginning of the end,” says the new video, which you can check out below. “It started nearly five decades ago with a crack of thunder, a dista...
The 50 Heaviest Songs Before Black Sabbath — Songs 40 to 31 (10/11/2015)
The origin of heavy metal is a very fuzzy thing, but most historians and fans can agree that Black Sabbath’s eponymous 1970 debut was the first true metal album. Its thunderous drums, sinister riffs and downright evil lyrics left little to be d...
Robots Play Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" — Video (10/15/2015)
Is this the band of the future? Let's hope not. Below, check out a video of a band of robots performing Black Sabbath's "Iron Man." It doesn't sound very good, but it's still semi-cool. I read a story this week about how robots are taking over a...
Pre-Teen Rockers Under The Radar Cover Rush and Black Sabbath — Video (5/18/2015)
Sure, in 2015—and on GuitarWorld.com—we've gotten used to videos of 8-year-olds shredding Racer X tunes and 14-year-olds who effortlessly knock out Yngwie solos. But there's still something fascinating about watching a band of pre-teens tackle—a...
Ozzy Osbourne Recruits Slash and Tom Morello for Voodoo Music + Arts Show (6/19/2015)
Ozzy Osbourne will headline the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience in New Orleans October 31. For his performance, the Black Sabbath singer will be supported by band that includes guitarists Slash and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, plus Os...
Ozzy Osbourne and Billy Morrison Talk New Single and Black Sabbath's Final Tour (10/30/2015)
Last week, U.K. musician Billy Morrison—who plays in guitar for Billy Idol—released a solo album, God Shaped Hole, via his own King Mob Music label. On the disc, Morrison is joined by Idol bandmates Steve Stevens and Erik Eldenius, plus Jane's A...
Mac Sabbath: Black Sabbath Parody Band Play "Pair-a-Buns" ("Paranoid") — Video (8/13/2015)
So, yes, there's a Black Sabbath parody band called Mac Sabbath, and they sing about McDonald's. You can watch a not-quite-pro-shot video of the band performing "Pair-a-Buns" (their version of "Paranoid") below. They've also reworked "Iron Man" ...
Keith Richards Calls Metallica and Black Sabbath "Great Jokes" (9/3/2015)
In a new interview with the New York Daily News, legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards slammed the current rock scene—and, to some degree, Metallica and Black Sabbath. Of rock in 2015, Richards said, "It sounds like a dull thud to me...
Hear Randy Rhoads' Isolated Guitar Track from Ozzy Osbourne's "Flying High Again" (10/30/2015)
Another isolated guitar track has captured the attention of the guitar-loving masses! This time it's "Flying High Again," a song from Ozzy Osbourne's 1981 album, Diary of a Madman. The isolated track shines the spotlight on the brilliance of a y...
Gus G Talks New Solo Album, 'Brand New Revolution,' and His Beginnings with Ozzy Osbourne (7/21/2015)
Gus G. is best known as the guitarist in Ozzy Osbourne’s band—the latest addition to an esteemed lineage that includes six-string legends like Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee and Zakk Wylde. But prior to joining up with Ozzy in 2009, the Greek guitar...
Did Black Sabbath Steal the “Paranoid” Guitar Riff? — Video (7/23/2015)
Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” is one of the legendary U.K. metal band’s most famous tunes, distinguished by Tony Iommi’s guitar riff that opens the track and propels it along to its chugging verses. As it so happens, the riff from that 1970 hit see...
Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi to Appear on New British Talent Show, 'Guitar Star' — Video (6/4/2015)
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi is set to appear as a mentor on Guitar Star, a new U.K. talent show that focuses on guitarists. The show, which will feature Iommi alongside other six-string masters including Rodrigo y Gabriela and Lee Riteno...
Black Sabbath's 'The End' Tour Extended to Fall 2016 with Additional North American Shows (10/27/2015)
Due to overwhelming demand, the road to 'The End' just got longer. On the heels of their performances in North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, Black Sabbath will end the epic journey they began nearly 50 years ago with another run o...