Black Sabbath’s Bill Ward: ‘I missed Ozzy Osbourne so much it was devastating’

Drummer speaks about spat with Sabbath frontman

Estranged Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has admitted that his spat with frontman Ozzy Osbourne left him “devastated”.

Ward did not record with Black Sabbath when they returned with ’13’ in 2013, with frontman Ozzy Osbourne claiming that Ward was too overweight and unable to contribute to the band’s recording and live plans. It was additionally claimed that the band could not come to a financial agreement with the drummer.

Earlier this month, Ward said only a personal apology from Osbourne would tempt him to rejoin the band and criticised their conduct in leaving him out of the reunion. Rather than saying sorry, however, Osbourne responded by telling Ward to “stop playing the victim and be honest with yourself and our fans”.

Now, as music writer Joel Gausten (via Classic Rock) reports, Ward has spoken about a period in May last year when he made public appearances in the US to promote his artwork series. “I was still in a lot of grief. I was grieving the loss of one of my best friends – Ozzy Osbourne,” he said. “I missed him so much it was devastating to me. When I did the presentation of the paintings, there were some things I was describing and I know I was crying.”

He added: “There was my loyalty and love for the band. I was in the grief of recognising that I was no longer part of that. I’m not saying that I’ve been a victim, as I’ve been told just recently. I wasn’t in any self-pity either.”

were previously set to play a “farewell” gig at the Tokyo leg of Ozzfest on November 22, and it had been reported that Ward (far left in the above picture, from 2012) was invited to play at the show. Despite the booking still appearing on the Ozzfest Japan website, it’s since been announced that the show will instead include a set from ‘Ozzy Osbourne and friends’.

Black Sabbath will reportedly release one final album in 2015, after which Osbourne will focus on his solo career. The frontman has said he understands his bandmates’ desire to stop touring but that he is not ready to give up yet. “[This will be] our last hurrah… then it’s no more Sabbath at all. We’re disbanding the name and everything. They don’t want to tour anymore. I get it. But I love it. I’m gonna continue my solo thing,” Osbourne has said. He also revealed that he is “in the process of collecting stuff that I’m writing” for his next solo effort.