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Ward grieved for Ozzy friendship

Former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has described how he went through a period of grief over the end of his friendship with singer Ozzy Osbourne.

The pair were involved in a public war of words last week after Ward said he couldn’t consider a return to the metal icons for their farewell tour unless Ozzy performed a “righting of wrongs” over allegations he’d made about the drummer’s abilities.

The vocalist refused to entertain the suggestion and told the sticksman: “Stop playing the victim,” leading to an apparent closure of the door on a reunion.

Now Ward has discussed a period in May last year, after he’d undergone shoulder surgery, when he made a public appearance in the US to launch his artwork series.

He tells Joel Gausten: “I was still in a lot of grief. I was grieving the loss of one of my best friends – Ozzy Osbourne.

“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 continues: “There was my loyalty and love for the band. I was in the grief of recognising that I was no longer part of that.”

But he adds: “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.”

He’s gearing up to release Accountable Beasts, his Bill Ward Band album, and solo title Beyond Aston. But in the year Sabbath’s self-titled debut album reaches its 45th anniversary, he believes the 1970 release has a lot of validity today.

Ward reflects: “The things we were talking about are never-ending. War, hardship, addiction, losing one’s soul… it’s exactly the same story today.

“Things were really bad when we did that; the world was fucking on fire. And it’s on fire now. Put the TV on today – the fucking world’s on fire.”

Sabbath are expected to release their final album and embark on their final tour this year.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.