Bill Ward rules out return to Black Sabbath for final shows

Black Sabbath in 2011
Black Sabbath in 2011 (Image credit: Getty)

Former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has ruled out a return to the band for the last dates of their farewell tour, despite renewed speculation in recent days.

The icons’ The End journey will be completed in their home city of Birmingham in February, three and a half years after final studio album 13 was released.

Ward was originally to appear on the record but bowed out in 2012, saying he hadn’t been offered a contract he regarded as “signable.” That led to a war of words, with the strongest exchanges between Ward and frontman Ozzy Osbourne.

In a Facebook statement, Ward says via a representative: “We have seen it reported in the news that Bill will be playing with Black Sabbath on The End tour in the UK.

“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.”

Last year Ozzy said the band had doubted whether Ward was physically capable of recording or touring, leading the drummer to say there could be no chance of reconciliation without a detailed apology for “insults and false remarks.”

In January, bassist Geezer Butler said Ward had been invited to take part in the final shows but he’d refused. Ward countered by saying he’d asked about involvement and been told “there was no interest.” Butler later apologised.

Black Sabbath hired Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk for 13, with Tommy Clufetos joining them on the road. Ward released solo album Accountable Beasts in 2015, and earlier this year unveiled new band Day Of Errors.

Black Sabbath: The End tour

Aug 17: Wantagh Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, NY
Aug 19: Philadelphia Susquehanna Bank Center, PA
Aug 21: Washington Jiffy Lube Live, DC
Aug 23: Holmdel PNC Bank Arts Center, NJ
Aug 25: Boston Xfinity Center, MA
Aug 27: Uncasville Mohegan Sun Arena, CT
Aug 29: Toronto Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, ON
Aug 31: Detroit DTE Energy Music Theater, MI
Sep 02: Indianapolis Klipsch Music Center, IN
Sep 04: Chicago Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, IL
Sep 07: Dallas Gexa Energy Pavilion, TX
Sep 09: Albuquerque Isleta Ampitheater, NM
Sep 11: Salt Lake City USANA Ampitheater, UT
Sep 13: Portland Sunlight Supply Arena, OR
Sep 15: Oakland Oracle Arena, CA
Sep 17: Las Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena, NV
Sep 19: Hollywood Hollywood Bowl, CA
Sep 21: Phoenix AK-Chin Pavilion, AZ
Sep 24: San Manuael Amphitheatre & Festival Grounds, CA
Nov 08: Oklahoma BOK Center, OK
Nov 10: Houston Toyota Center, TX
Nov 12: San Antonio AT&T Center, TX
Nov 16: Mexico City Foro Sol, Mexico
Nov 19: Santiago Estadio Nacional, Chile
Nov 24: Cordoba En El Orfeo Superdomo, Argentina
Nov 26: Buenos Aires Estadio Velez, Argentina
Nov 30: Curitiba Pedrerira Paulo Leminski, Brazil
Dec 02: Rio Praca Da Apoteose, Brazil
Dec 04: Sao Paulo Estadio Do Morumbi, Brazil
Jan 20: Dublin 3 Arena, Ireland
Jan 22: Manchester Arena, UK
Jan 24: Glasgow SSE Hydro, UK
Jan 26: Leeds First Direct Arena, UK
Jan 29: London O2, UK
Jan 31: London O2, UK
Feb 02: Birmingham Genting Arena, UK
Feb 04: Birmingham Genting Arena, UK

Brad Wilk wishes Bill Ward was on Black Sabbath’s 13

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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, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories 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.