According to Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward’s health was one reason Black Sabbath didn’t bring the drummer back for the group’s reunion album and tour.
“I don’t think he could have done the gig, to be honest. He’s incredibly overweight,” the singer told the New York Daily News. “A drummer has to be in shape. He’s already had two heart attacks. I don’t want to be responsible for his life.”
For his part, Ward has told fans contract issues were the problem, explaining he’d been asked to play a single warm-up show with the band before possibly rejoining the group for additional gigs.
“It’s all the gigs or none at all,” he wrote in May.
Which is not to say the original quartet will never reunite.
“The door is always open,” Osbourne told the Daily News. And he had high praise for another Sabbath member, guitarist Tony Iommi, who remains in treatment for lymphoma.
“Doing the album took Tony’s mind off the cancer,” Osbourne added. “He’s a strong guy. He used to smoke cigarettes and just stopped. He’s got tremendous will power.”
The band’s “13” reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this year — its first chart-topper. It’s Black Sabbath’s first release with Osbourne at the helm since 1978’s “Never Say Die!”