Ozzy Osbourne Speaks Out on Bill Ward's Departure from Black Sabbath: "He Was So Out of Condition"
Published May 03, 2013Last year, the Black Sabbath reunion got off to a shaky start when drummer Bill Ward quit with complaints of an "unsignable contract." Now, frontman Ozzy Osbourne has shared his side of the story, saying that Ward's drumming wasn't up to snuff.
"When Bill came along, we all had to ask, 'Can he do an hour-and-a-half, two-hour gig? Can he cope?,'" Osbourne told Mojo [via Blabbermouth]. "My suggestion was that we run through a set and see how he got on because he was so out of condition and the drummer is the most demanding job in the whole band. We looked at Bill, and he couldn't remember what the fuck we were doing."
Ozzy further explained that Ward attempted to keep track of his parts using Post-It notes. He said, "His pride was hurt and I get it. I really do get it. The guy will always be a dear, dear friend and a brother to me, but… He can't be surprised that he didn't get the gig... You know them yellow fucking stick-on memo notes? He had them all over his fucking drums. I was like, 'What the fuck's that for, Bill?' He said, 'I can't remember what I'm doing.' I go, 'How are you gonna remember out of those 500,000 bits of paper stuck all over your kit, which one you're looking at, Bill?' [He said] 'I'll know.' Ah, OK great. I'm not gonna give Bill a hatchet job, but at the same time we haven't got the patience to deal with it."
Previously, Ward's split from Black Sabbath was explained as the result of a contract dispute. At the time, Ward claimed that the contract wasn't reflective of his contributions to Black Sabbath and argued, "I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician."
Meanwhile, the remaining members of Black Sabbath have continued on with their reunion with Rage Against the Machine's Brad Wilk behind the kit. Their upcoming 13 album is due out on June 11 via Vertigo/Universal. See the band's tour schedule here.