Words continue to be exchanged by Black Sabbath members through public statements, rather than amongst themselves.
The mostly-reunited band played their hometown of Birmingham on Saturday, without drummer Bill Ward on hand, following his midweek statement detailing failed efforts to renegotiate the terms of his contract offer for the group’s planned reunion. Ozzy Osbourne’s drummer Tommy Clufetos handled drum duties in Ward’s absence.
Read Ward's full statement here.
Just prior to the hometown show, bassist Geezer Butler responded to Ward’s statement with one of his own, outlining another side of the story and some of the separation between the two camps.
Read Geezer’s note here.
On Sunday, Ward issued a follow-up statement to Geezer’s, as he looks to respond and clarify his position on a few key points…
"Dear Sabbath fans and musicians,
I have read Geezer’s statement of May 19 titled Heavy Heart. Out of respect for the Birmingham gig, I wanted to wait 24 hours before releasing this statement. There are some points he brought up which I want to respond to.
1) I had indeed notified Ozzy, Tony and Geezer, well before my first public statement, that I was having contractual difficulties.
2) I came out into a public forum to be accountable to the fans primarily, and to say at a public level there’s a problem. The band members stopped talking and corresponding with me some time ago, with the exception of a nice letter from Tony on my birthday. Prior to that, Geezer and I were corresponding, but that stopped abruptly in late February after I emailed a specific question to him.
3) In my statement of May 15, I clearly stated I would play Birmingham for free. That was not a problem – charity or otherwise.
4) My Download fee was not an extravagant amount. Originally, when Download was part of a full tour, I had asked for a decent fee. More recently, as we were negotiating just Download/Birmingham and Lollapalooza, I told my attorney that I would accept the proposed small Download fee, but there were other parts of the offer that were unsatisfactory.
I will continue to be honest and respectful towards the band and our fans. I will also confront any untruths about me, and any fault finding missions aimed at me that come to my attention.
I hope the band and the fans had a good gig in Brum.
Stay safe/stay strong."
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O2 Academy – Birmingham, UK – May 19, 2012
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