Bill Ward On Black Sabbath Dispute: “I Was Never In A Position Where I Was Never Able To Drum”


Estranged Black Sabbath drummer was again on the offensive recently, once again dispelling claims made by his former bandmates in regards to his health. There’s been numerous hurdles in recent years keeping the band from reuniting their ‘classic lineup’. Among them are Ward having yet to be offered a ‘signable contract‘, arguments with Ozzy Osbourne and his own health. Osbourne himself bluntly called out Ward‘s health for sidelining him from the bands “13” tour, previously telling him “physically, you knew you were fucked.”

In a new interview with, Ward explains his past medical woes, while perhaps lending a bit of credence to Osbourne‘s assertion in the process:

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“I was never in a position where I was never able to drum. It’s really sad that those statements made about me that inferred that I wasn’t able to drum. When I’m in the studio, I can play in the studio. I was laying down tracks. We settled in 2011. By August 2011, I was already training and getting trained. You have to ramp up to go out on tour so that takes a different attitude. I started getting into shape for a tour. Touring is completely different to me than being in the studio. So I was already doing that work. Never at any time was my drumming impaired, my health impaired or my ability to play drums. I’m so angry about those suggestions and that was going on.”

“The one thing that did stopped me of course…it stopped everything…was in 2013 when I had something called perforated diverticulitis, which is a very, very serious illness. That came out of the blue. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had to have a couple of surgeries. I was on death’s door and I died. There was no way I could have played drums or sang or done anything else. I couldn’t even stand up. I actually had a lot of people helping me at that point. I’m very grateful I had a lot of love in my life and good doctors and everything, and they pulled me through.

As soon as I was able to come through the perforated diverticulitis, I started playing again. The only issue that I had with my health at that time was that I had a shoulder operation. Four days before I had the perforated diverticulitis, I had a shoulder operation!

The shoulder operation was something that’s pretty common with drummers, as we’re getting older like me. It was basically an outpatient – you go in, take care of some things, come out and that was it. It wasn’t a big deal, but because I had the perforated diverticulitis, which was life threatening; they couldn’t do much about the shoulder. Normally you go ahead and look at the shoulder and do all of these exercises I couldn’t do that because I was in the hospital dying. So when I came back to life in February of 2014, we had to deal with the shoulder getting back into shape as well. I’m doing very well with it.

The other thing was with my core. I play 26 inch bass drums and one of the things I had to do [was] we had to minimize the bass drums size. I’m actually playing 22 inch bass drums instead of 26 inch because they cut my stomach open.”

There’s more from Ward on the matter over at