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Black Sabbath reunion moves forward without Bill Ward

Bill Ward's bandmates in Black Sabbath aren't in the mood to negotiate with the drummer at the moment.

Bill Ward's bandmates in Black Sabbath aren't in the mood to negotiate with the drummer at the moment.

In response to Ward's online missive last week in which he said he would not participate in Black Sabbath's upcoming reunion album and tour until he was presented with a contract he deems acceptable, bandmates Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osborne and Geezer Butler issued the following statement via the Black Sabbath website:

"We were saddened to hear yesterday via Facebook that Bill declined publicly to participate in our current Black Sabbath plans ... we have no choice but to continue recording without him although our door is always open ... We are still in the UK with Tony. Writing and recording the new album and on a roll..."

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Last November, Black Sabbath's original members -- including Ward -- held a press conference in Los Angeles announcing plans for a fall 2012 tour of North America and a new album, to be recorded with producer Rick Rubin. Ahead of the North American tour, plans to play some shows in Europe, and is also scheduled to play the U.K.'s download festival in June.

Word surfaced last month that Iommi is being treated for lymphoma, and as a result Black Sabbath moved production of the planned new album from Los Angeles to the U.K.

Though Ward said he's ready to participate in recording sessions as soon as he's presented with an acceptable contract, he feels he's been given "the cold shoulder."

"At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour." Ward's statement said. "However, I am unable to continue unless a 'signable' contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band."

He added: "Let me say that although this has put me in some kind of holding pattern, I am packed and ready to leave the U.S. for England. More importantly, I definitely want to play on the album, and I definitely want to tour with Black Sabbath."

 

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