Bill Ward Admits “I Don’t Have The Chops” Anymore To Tour with Black Sabbath


Black Sabbath’s farewell tour, fittingly dubbed “The End,” celebrated the iconic band’s nearly 50-year legacy without longtime drummer Bill Ward, to the consternation of both fans and Ward himself (Ozzy drummer Tommy Clufetos took his place). Ward was in the press quite a bit at the time saying the reason he wasn’t involved is because he was offered an unfair deal while everyone else in the band claimed he was physically unfit to play a two hour set every night. Ward pushed back heartily on the latter accusation, saying, “I am completely capable of touring.”

Either time has allowed Ward to reflect on his late-in-life drumming abilities more soberly or his health has deteriorated further in the last three years, because Ward has now finally admitted he isn’t in good enough shape for the gig.

Speaking to Eddie Trunk on SiriusXM, Ward was asked if he’s OK with the end of Black Sabbath. He replied:

“Well, I’m not done with Black Sabbath‘s legacy. [Laughs] I haven’t been done. I was made done, but I’m not done. So, the others might be done, but I’m not. But being realistic about that, as far as touring with Black Sabbath, I don’t have the chops, and I don’t have the ability to drive a band like that on stage. I have to be back to 60 years old to be able to do that.”

“I would love to do a studio album with Sabbath, with all the original members. I’m just saying that — I’m just floating that out there. I haven’t talked to anybody about that or anything else. But I’m not done. So, the other three might be done, and I respect that, but no, I’m not done. I think as long as we all exist [laughs] and we’re still breathing in air, I think we have every possibility of making some great music together.”

The point is somewhat moot given that Sabbath’s touring days are over, but it’s unclear whether Ward is simply saying he doesn’t “have the ability to drive a band like that on stage” NOW or if he’s admitting he also didn’t five years ago (when he was 67, not 60, per the above quote).

Either way, new Black Sabbath music (with or without Ward) doesn’t seem likely, but it’s possible. And Ward and the other band members have been on better terms lately, appearing at a Grammy event together in 2019, so at least there’s that. Even so, Ozzy is busy with another new solo album (after releasing one in 2020) so who knows if the interest is there. TBD!

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