Bill Ward Has Allegedly Declined to Play the Last-Ever U.S. Black Sabbath Show
Update, 4:23 p.m.: Bill Ward has now denied Geezer Butler’s claim:
I must respond once again to inaccurate statements made by Geezer. I never received an offer to play the final show of…
Posted by Bill Ward on Monday, January 25, 2016
So… one of these men is lying.
Original story follows:
Black Sabbath’s official final show ever in the United States will take place on September 16 in Phoenix, AZ… but their real final show ever in the United States was on September 4, 2005 in West Palm Beach, Florida. That was the last show all four founding members of the band played together on U.S. soil (as part of Ozzfest); their current farewell tour will be forever tainted by the fact that it doesn’t feature drummer Bill Ward, who remains absent from the line-up either due to insurmountable conntract disputes or physical handicaps (depending on who you believe).
Now bassist/barroom brawler Geezer Butler claims that it didn’t have to be this way. He tells Radio.com that Ward was asked to make an appearance at the Phoenix show in September:
“It’s been mentioned to [Ward]. But he doesn’t want to do it. He wants to do the whole tour or nothing. We’d love him to come on at the very last gig and be part of the whole thing, but he didn’t want to do that. And I understand: I wouldn’t want to be asked to come out just for the last gig. It’s a shame, but that’s the way it is.”
Whether Ward isn’t part of the farewell tour due to financial issues being too old to rock, it’s clear that he wanted to be a part of the trek. So this invitation must feel like a really condescending slap in the face to the drummer; it’s as though his bandmates are saying, “We don’t feel like we need you badly enough to get you back in the band permanently, but we’ll take pity on you and let you stand on stage with us one last time, thereby making us look cool.” Swell.
Still, it’s hard not to hope that they’re somehow (don’t a$k me how!) able to work it out with Ward for this gig. Like I said: without Ward, the whole thing is just kinda tainted, and “Black Sabbath’s final show” will have happened ten years after Black Sabbath’s final show.
P.S. This is fucking ridiculous. I hope it wasn’t paid for using money that could have been used to compensate Ward.
I love my new dressing room rug! pic.twitter.com/iK6kOAKjGK
— Tony Iommi (@tonyiommi) January 25, 2016