Bill Ward: I Have Not Declined Black Sabbath Album, Tour

Drummer out of reunion after demanding 'signable' contract

Bill Ward, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath appear at a press conference at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
February 17, 2012 1:40 PM ET

Earlier this month Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward shocked fans when he released a letter saying he would not participate in the band's reunion until he was presented with a "signable" contract that "reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band." Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler responded with their own letter, though they didn't address the issue of Ward's contract. "We were saddened to hear yesterday via Facebook that Bill declined publicly to participate in our current Black Sabbath plans," they wrote. "We have no choice but to continue recording without him although our door is always open."

Many Sabbath fans sided with Ward in the argument, and many pointed their anger at Sharon Osbourne, who went on Twitter to defend herself. "I am not in any position to hire or fire anyone in Black Sabbath," she wrote. "I don't manage the band, I manage my husband."

Ward has refused to grant any interviews about the situation, but he just released a new open letter updating the public on his situation. He wants to be clear that he hasn't quit the band. "At the earliest opportunity, I am prepared to go to the U.K. and record, and later tour with the band," he writes. "Last week, we sent further communication to the attorney handling the negotiations to try to reach an agreement. At this time we are waiting to hear back. I remain hopeful for a 'signable' contract and a positive outcome."

He also addressed the fans' anger towards Sharon and the other members of the band. "While believing in your freedom for expression, keep in mind that Tony, Ozzy and Geezer are still my lifetime friends," he write. "I cannot support comments with an objectifying or derogatory theme toward them or their various representatives."

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