Tony Iommi Continues to Say Bill Ward’s Physical Condition was the Reason He Didn’t Play Black Sabbath’s Final Shows
If you ask Bill Ward, the reason he didn’t participate in Black Sabbath’s final “The End” tour is because he was offered an unfair deal. If you ask anyone else in the band, it’s because he was physically unfit to play a two hour set every night.
Who to believe? It’s tough to tell. If I had to guess, I’d venture there are important parts of the equation which aren’t publicly known that had a huge impact on it all; there usually are in these types of situations. We’ll probably never know for sure.
In any case, Tony Iommi continues to cite Ward’s physical condition as the reason he wasn’t invited to participate. In a recent interview with London’s Regent Sounds guitar shop [transcribed by Blabbermouth], Iommi offered the following:
“It would have been nice to do these last shows with Bill, but it just didn’t happen. And it’s silly, really, because it was over nothing. Even if he’d have played a couple of shows, it would’ve been great.
“I don’t think he quite realizes how hard it would have been on him. So we wanted to bring another drummer just in case Bill ended up saying ‘I can’t do it’ for a couple of days or whatever. It’s too risky to go out and then have Bill say ‘I can’t do it,’ and you have to cancel on seventy thousand people, or whatever it might be. It’s very hard, and it’s not fair on the fans and it’s not fair on him.”
Which, OK, we can take Iommi at face value… but his comments don’t address the issue of the contract Bill was offered. Again, we’ll probably never know the full truth.
Elsewhere in the interview, Iommi discusses Black Sabbath’s forthcoming Ten Year War boxset — which chronicles the band’s final tour — his own physical condition (after beating cancer) and more. Check it out below.