In case you haven’t noticed, the current situation between Bill Ward and Black Sabbath is a heated topic within the metal community. Many fans (including one large Facebook campaign) are hoping Sabbath will give Ward the “signable contract” he’s asking for, citing that it’s not a reunion without all four original members. So when rumors about Sharon Osbourne’s involvement in “firing” Ward started to make their way around the web, you can imagine how infuriated fans were.
However, in a tweet made late last night, Mrs. Osbourne (and Ozzy’s manager) shot down the reports, saying the following:
“I am not in any position to hire or fire anyone in Black Sabbath. I don’t manage the band, I manage my husband.”
Even though these rumors were first reported by a website we’ve never heard of previously, it’s understandable why many would first point the finger at Sharon. But as she highlights in her tweet, there’s a big difference between managing Ozzy’s doings and Black Sabbath’s. She may work closely with the other members’ management, but we’d bet that Iommi and his team have an even bigger say in Sabbath dealings than the Osbourne camp.
But what about those who question Bill Ward’s motives in this mess? Well, while most fans have taken sides with the drummer, his son Aron Ward has spoken out in defense of his father against the criticism. You can read the full lengthy statement after the jump, but basically Aron claims that though he tries to stay out of his business dealings, his dad did not quit Sabbath. “To Terry (my godfather), Ozzy (my friend when i was little) and Tony (towering hero), I hope that you will listen to your fans. They want all of you together. As YOU are Black Sabbath so is my Dad. I hope you guys can work it out,” Aron concludes.
Guess we can look forward to this mess surrounding Black Sabbath to get only uglier. Here’s Aron Ward’s entire statement:
“The press is spinning this shit storm to read as if my dad has quit. This is not true. The guys know that. That’s why they said the door is ALWAYS open. My dad hasn’t ‘declined’ playing with Black Sabbath or ‘threatened’ to pull out of this reunion. As he stated, his bags are packed and he’s ready to go. He says it loud and clear, he definitely wants to play on the album and he definitely wants to tour. I know he’s been committed to this project from the beginning all the way to the point everyone else flew off to the U.K. When I saw him over the summer, he had this little CD case with him that had all the rehearsals and song ideas. Each CD was Sharpie scrawled with rough titles and ideas they had been working on.
About a month ago, my dad called me to let me know that Tony had been diagnosed with cancer. He said they were all flying over in the next couple of weeks to continue recording the album in the U.K. and begin rehearsals for the summer tours. He’d been rehearsing more than I’ve ever known him to.
Up ’till about three weeks ago, he was working extremely hard and close with the other three on this album/reunion tour. He was in very good spirits and sounded excited to be writing with Tony, Geezer and Ozzy again. I know if they sort this shit out, you guys won’t be disappointed.
I’ve always stayed out of my dad’s business and would like nothing more than for everything to be worked out swiftly between the guys. Unfortunately, it’s become personal with all these idiots slagging off my dad, so this is for the fucking morons saying, ‘Get over it, Bill’: My dad has ‘gotten over it’ again and again. He’s risen above this bullshit thing called showbiz for the last 30 years. He’s respected because he’s real and honest, not just because he’s a complete bad-ass on the drums. He’s been there for other musicians. In all kinds of circles — punk rock, hardcore, metal whatever. He was one of the first to get his head screwed back on after the ’70s and get cleaned up. He’s given so much support to so many people trying to pull themselves out of the hell called addiction. He tries so hard to stay in touch with the fans. He’ll talk your ear off if you get a chance. He is humbled by your support and loves you.
‘Can’t believe he needs to make this public’ or ‘it’s not the first time’: you’re an idiot and have no idea what the hell’s really going on. Just shut the fuck up and keep the speculation and lies to yourself. What my dad posted was from his heart, on the level and as usual completely honest. He wants you to know what’s really going on. That he has been given a contract that he can’t sign. Nothing more to it. No hidden agenda. Disappointingly, someone else is trying to shroud everything in some kind of X factor ‘yeah, it’s full steam ahead – we have no choice’ bullshit. Of course they have a choice.
‘Don’t be so greedy’: he is by no means greedy, man. If he was, he would have settled with whatever contract given him. It’s kind of obvious someone else is greedy. Wake up. He lives in a modest home in Southern California. Pays rent like the rest of us. In case you’re still blind, look at it this way — sadly, the current ‘SABBATH’ statement reads as if someone would rather see the remaining members play in front of thousands of disappointed, confused and resentful fans then give my dad a dignified agreement. Additionally, the record sales will be severely affected because it isn’t the promised original lineup. All this because of someone’s inability to respect him as the committed founding member he is. This has derailed the fans’ hopes of seeing the original lineup and strongly divided the fans. What a way to fuck up such a powerful, influential and inspirational legacy for the rest of time.
‘Who cares? It’s just a bunch pensioners’: I’m just as cynical about old rock legends getting back on the road ‘one more time’ as anyone, but this is Black Sabbath. They’ve never been a conventional band. Thing is, I know these guys have been rehearsing loads. Over the last couple months. When I’ve caught up with my dad, he’s been talking about how heavy the jams have been and how hard he’s been playing. Do you think people were looking at Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman or Max Roach going, ‘Man, these guys are boring and old?’ No! It’s the music that’s important, played by the masters themselves. That’s what we want. They’re here to teach us, inspire us and make us flip out. I saw the (Captain Beefheart) Magic Band recently on tour and they were clearly the definite article. Legends. Completely schooled any new, hip shiny, processed, hyped out mush you’ve been exposed to in the last couple years. There’s no doubt that there are loads of new heavy as fuck bands out there, but to me, Black Sabbath are still totally relevant. It’s pointless to bitch about their age. They will kick serious fucking ass. Trust.
To Terry (my godfather), Ozzy (my friend when I was little) and Tony (towering hero), I hope that you will listen to your fans. They want all of you together. As YOU are Black Sabbath, so is my Dad. I hope you guys can work it out.”