Ward bowed out of the Sabbath’s reunion in 2011 – just months after it was announced. He reported that he hadn’t been offered a contract he regarded as “signable” which led to a war of words, between him and the frontman, who at one point suggested the drummer wasn’t healthy enough to play his role.
But reflecting on Black Sabbath’s final shows in their home town of Birmingham in 2017, Ozzy tells Kerrang (opens in new tab) that it was “bittersweet” for him, as Ward wasn’t there to share the experience.
Ozzy says: “I didn’t like the fact that Bill Ward wasn’t there, for a start. People put that down to me, but it wasn’t me, honestly. We didn’t have the fucking time to hang around, we had to get going. But I’m sorry it didn’t work out with Bill.
“Tommy Clufetos did great, but the four of us started this, and it should have been the four of us ending it.
“Those final gigs in Birmingham were bittersweet because you think of how far we came, and how much we did, and it would have been good to have shared that together. Maybe one day there’ll be one last gig, I don’t know.”
Both Ozzy (opens in new tab) and guitarist Tony Iommi (opens in new tab) have expressed an interest in Black Sabbath possibly reuniting in 2022 to mark Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games, but nothing has been said about the idea since last summer.
Last month, Ward, Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler came together to receive a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in Los Angeles (opens in new tab).
Meanwhile, Birmingham’s Black Sabbath 50 Years exhibition is set to open its doors next month (opens in new tab). The event has been brought together by Home Of Metal in conjunction with Birmingham's Museums Trust and has been organised in celebration of the band’s 50th anniversary.
It’ll run from June 26 until September 29 at the city’s Museum & Art Gallery.