Monday, January 25, 2016
The feud between Black Sabbath members over failed attempts to fully reunite ahead of their farewell tour continues.
Things flared up last week when bassist Geezer Butler said that drummer Bill Ward was not healthy enough to tour behind the group’s 2013 album “13”, which prompted an immediate denial from Ward.
Now, Butler claims Ward has been invited to perform at the band’s final US show in Phoenix, AZ on September 16.
“It’s been mentioned to him,” the bassist tells Radio.com. “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.”
"If he’s there, he’s welcome," says Ozzy Osbourne. “But I don’t really want to talk too much about Bill Ward! Because every time I do, he starts getting pissed off at me! Things are quiet between us right now, you know?”
“It’s a shame that Bill won’t be a part of it, but whatever happened, happened,” adds Butler. “It’s great that at least the three of us can end it on a high note and be friends together. I still get on with Bill, I saw him last year at some award show. We got on great, we had a laugh together. It’s not personal, as Bill would say, it’s business.”
Ward denies the invitation and has stepped up to issue his side of the story.
“I must respond once again to inaccurate statements made by Geezer,” writes Ward on Facebook. “I never received an offer to play the final show of The End tour with Black Sabbath. When the tour was confirmed, my management reached out to the Black Sabbath management to inquire as to whether or not they would like to discuss my participation in the tour. We were told there was no interest. That is last conversation we had with them regarding the tour.
“I will say that I wouldn’t want to play only one gig when I am completely capable of touring. I would not validate their untrue statements about my health by playing only one gig. Also, I wouldn’t want to show up for only some of our fans and not for all our fans when I could have played multiple shows.”
Black Sabbath launched its farewell tour in Omaha, Nebraska on January 20.
The first North American leg of the trek wraps up with two shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden at the end of February.
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