Bill Ward was given a chance to play Black Sabbath’s final show.

Posted by on January 25, 2016

blacksabbathfinalLast week, Black Sabbath kicked off their final tour, and as many know, they did so without founding drummer Bill Ward. And whether he’s not playing because of financial concerns (he says) or poor health (Sabbath says), the fact remains that a lot of people would prefer to see Sabbath go out the way they came in: with Ward on drums. And according to an interview Geezer Butler did with Radio.com, that’s almost the way it happened – but only for one show.

Butler expressed the following regarding Ward joining the band:

“It’s been mentioned to him. 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. It’s a shame that Bill won’t be a part of it, but whatever happened, happened. 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.”

This is a different than what we were told about Ward’s health being the reason for him to remain out of the tour. You also have to see this situation from both sides: On one hand, you have Sabbath trying to get Ward to play the actual final show of their career and please the fans who have been waiting to see him behind the kit, so they still approached him with a proposal that wasn’t appealing enough for him to agree; on the other hand, Ward may feel like a this is a move that would benefit Sabbath more than him, if his side of the story is correct and, as Butler mentioned before, he must feel he should be the one doing the entire tour and not just one gig.

Whatever the case may be, it’s sad that things couldn’t get worked out at the end of the run and no one will be able to see the original lineup perform together. Either way, we suggest to catch the tour if you get the chance because, that will be the closest to see the band perform this year for the last time:

1/28 Saskatoon, SK @ Sasktel Centre
1/30 Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Centre
2/01 Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome
2/03 Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
2/06 Tacoma, WA @ Tacoma Dome
2/09 San Jose, CA @ SAP Center
2/11 Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum
2/13 Das Vegas, NV @ Mandalay Bay Events Center
2/15 Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
2/17 Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
2/18 Detroit, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills
2/21 Hamilton, ON @ Firstontario Centre
2/23 Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
2/25 New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden

8/17 Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
8/19 Philadelphia, PA @ Susquehanna Bank Center
8/21 Washington DC @ Jiffy Lube Live
8/23 Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
8/25 Boston, MA @ Xfinity Center
8/27 Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
8/29 Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
8/31 Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theater
9/02 Indianapolis, IN @ Klipsch Music Center
9/04 Chicago, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
9/07 Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion
9/09 Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Ampitheater
9/11 Salt Lake City, UT @ USANA Ampitheater
9/13 Portland, OR @ Sunlight Supply Arena
9/15 Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena
9/17 Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
9/19 Hollywood, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
9/21 Phoenix, AZ @ AK-Chin Pavilion

UPDATE: Bill Ward responded to Geezer’s allegations about offering him to play the last show of the tour via Facebook stating the following:

I must respond once again to inaccurate statements made by Geezer. 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 one only 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.

— Bill

Ward’s statement takes us to the usual back and forth we have seen for a while between him and the rest of the band but the bottom line is that any possibility of having an amicable resolution to this ordeal is dissipating more and more.

[via Radio.com]

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