In Geezer Butler‘s upcoming memoir, Into the Void, the Black Sabbath bassist reflects on the metal legends’ final reunion in 2011. Rolling Stone has shared an expert from the book, in which he explains how original drummer Bill Ward was left behind.
Though Ward was part of the 2011 reunion announcement, Sabbath severed ties with him a year later.
“I don’t know the ins and outs, because contracts and the like were always sorted out between our lawyers,” Butler writes. “However, I suspect Bill was given an ‘unsignable’ contract because Sharon [Osbourne] didn’t think he was up to a world tour. In fact, I know that Ozzy [Osbourne] and Tony [Iommi] didn’t think he was physically able, because of a shoulder problem and heart condition.”
“We suggested to Bill that he come on tour and do a few songs a show, but Bill, proud bloke that he is, insisted it was all or nothing. I was upset that what should have been a triumphant return for the original lineup had turned into a bit of a soap opera – and ended up making it worse.”
Said soap opera included a war of public statements, including one from Butler saying that Ward had demanded to be paid for playing a charity concert.
“I regret doing that, because I’d ended up doing the band’s dirty work,” Butler writes. “Worse, I’d betrayed Bill’s friendship by not believing his side of the story, which was that he’d actually agreed to do the charity gig for free.”
Into the Void is out now. When asked by Rolling Stone if anything in the book might upset his Sabbath bandmates, Butler replies, “Probably, yeah.”
“But it’s things that were happening at the time, and we’ve all grown up and got through it all since then,” he says.
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