Bill Ward won't be a part of Black Sabbath reunion shows
Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward released an emotional letter to fans, explaining that he has declined to take part in the band's forthcoming reunion outing.
The English musician posted a message Tuesday (5/15) at his website, explaining that he would not be playing at Black Sabbath's May 19 show in Birmingham, England., nor at the band's June 10 appearance at the U.K.'s Download Festival in Donnington, U.K., or the Aug. 3 show at Lollapalooza in Chicago.
"It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news," Ward stated. "I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I'm very, very sorry that it's fallen to this. This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality."
Signs of a disagreement between the band and Ward surfaced in February, when the drummer announced he was waiting to commit to the tour due to a contract dispute. The remaining members -- frontman Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler -- continued planning without him.
In related news and according to his Facebook page, Iommi has completed a round of chemotherapy for lymphoma. The guitarist was diagnosed with the early stages of the disease in January.
23 - Helsinki, Finland - Hartwall Arena (Ozzy & Friends)
25 - Stockholm, Sweden - Stadium (Ozzy & Friends)
27 - Jelling, Denmark - Jelling Festival (Ozzy & Friends)
29 - Bergen, Norway - Bergen Calling Festival (Ozzy & Friends)
31 - Oslo, Norway - Spektrum (Ozzy & Friends)
2 - Malmo, Sweden - Malmo Stadium (Ozzy & Friends)
4 - Dortmund, Germany - Westfalenhalle (Ozzy & Friends)
6 - Prague, Czech Republic - O2 Arena (Ozzy & Friends)
10 - Donnington, England - Download Festival (Black Sabbath)
15 - Vitoria, Spain - Azkena Rock Festival (Ozzy & Friends)
17 - Clisson, France - Hellfest (Ozzy & Friends)
22 - Dessel, Belgium - Graspop Metal Meeting (Ozzy & Friends)
24 - Milan, Italy - Gods of Metal Festival (Ozzy & Friends)
26 - Vienna, Austria - Stadthalle (Ozzy & Friends)
28 - Belgrade, Serbia - USCE Park (Ozzy & Friends)
1 - Athens, Greece - Rockwave Festival Terra (Ozzy & Friends)