Bill Ward Doesn’t ‘Have the Chops’ to Perform with Black Sabbath
Bill Ward has revealed that he no longer has the ability to perform with Black Sabbath.
“As far as touring with Black Sabbath, I don't have the chops,” the drummer admitted during an appearance on SiriusXM's Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk (as reported by BlabberMouth). “I don't have the ability to drive a band like that on stage. I have to be back to 60 years old to be able to do that."
"I'm being honest," Ward continued. "I'll be 73 next birthday [in May], and I know what kind of energy it takes to drive that band."
Though the drummer cannot envision himself touring with Sabbath again, he’s not willing to close the door on recording with the band.
"I would love to do a studio album with Sabbath, with all the original members,” Ward confessed. “I'm just floating that out there. I haven't talked to anybody about that or anything else. But I'm not done. So, the other three might be done, and I respect that, but no, I'm not done. I think as long as we all exist and we're still breathing in air, I think we have every possibility of making some great music together."
Black Sabbath reunited in 2012, with the band touring together in support of 13, their first album with Ozzy Osbourne since 1978's Never Say Die!. Ward was originally on board with the reunion and even appeared at the late-2011 press conference announcing the band’s plans. However, the drummer pulled out of both the tour and the album, blaming his absence on a contract he refused to sign. Meanwhile, Osbourne repeatedly stated at the time that Ward simply wasn’t up to the physical challenge of recording and performing.
The iconic group later embarked on a final tour dubbed The End from 2016-17. Their final show was Feb. 4, 2017 in Birmingham, England. Once again, Ward did not participate in the trek.
Still, Osbourne has expressed a desire to play one last show with the band's four original members, including its drummer and co-founder.
“The four of us started this, and it should have been the four of us ending it,” Ozzy admitted in 2019. “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.”