Original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has released a statement regarding rumors that he may reunite with his bandmates during their final series of farewell shows in the UK early next year.
“We have seen it reported in the news that Bill will be playing with Black Sabbath on The End tour in the UK,” reads Ward’s comment. “This is incorrect, and we wanted to make sure you heard it from us directly: Bill is not playing with Black Sabbath in the UK or on any other dates of The End tour.
“As always, we thank you for all your support and understanding. Rock forever.”
Despite participating in the initial rehearsals for the “13” album and tour, Ward chose to sit out the Black Sabbath reunion in 2012 over contractual issues while the band claimed the drummer was not physically fit to tour.
A partially-reunited Sabbath – with fill-in drummer Tommy Clufetos – are currently playing dates on the group’s farewell tour.
The band will launch the final series of North American shows at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in New York on August 17 before playing concerts in Latin America late in the year; they’ll begin a final 8-date UK/Ireland run early next year that will wrap up with a pair of shows in their hometown of Birmingham, UK.
Black Sabbath formed in their hometown in 1968 from the ashes of a pair of local acts: Ward and guitarist Tony Iommi from Mythology, and Ozzy Osbourne and bassist Geezer Butler from Rare Breed.
Originally featuring two additional musicians and billed as the Polka Tuck Blues Band, the 6-piece lineup eventually became a four-piece under the name Earth before ultimately becoming Black Sabbath in August of 1969…and releasing their groundbreaking self-titled debut album just six months later in February of 1970.
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