We recently reported that Bill Ward sent out an open letter stating that he would not be participating in Black Sabbath’s reunion tour unless met with a “signable” contract. As reported by the Rolling Stone, there still is hope that Ward will fly out to the U.K. and join Sabbath in the studio if the contractual dispute is remedied.
Although you might assume that fans would blame Ward for letting a silly contractual dispute impede the band’s reunion plans, this hasn’t been the case. The majority of Sabbath fans have sided with Ward and have pointed to Sharon Osbourne as the cause of the problem. She recently responded to angry fans on Twitter by saying, “I am not in any position to hire or fire anyone in Black Sabbath, I don’t manage the band, I manage my husband.” Although the blame-game certainly doesn’t resolve any of the issues at hand, it causes us to ask the question: If this reunion was purely about the music, why are we spending so much time talking about contracts?
Although it certainly didn’t appear as if Ward was going to be involved in any of the reunion plans at one point, a little optimism is trickling through the cynical climate. He has been very clear that he refuses to participate unless he sees a “signable” contract, but is ready to join Sabbath in the U.K. at any moment if they choose to honor his demand. In a new open letter, Ward wrote, “Last week, we sent further communication to the attorney handling the negotiations to try to reach an agreement. At this time we are waiting to hear back. I remain hopeful for a ‘signable’ contract and a positive outcome.”
This contractual dispute has angered many fans who were excited about the news of the reunion and has definitely served as bad publicity for Sabbath. Ward has attempted to remedy the situation however he can, which might explain why he is being publicly perceived as a victim in this ordeal. “While believing in your freedom for expression, keep in mind that Tony, Ozzy and Geezer are still my lifetime friends,” he wrote. “I cannot support comments with an objectifying or derogatory theme toward them or their various representatives.” Fans can rest assured that there isn’t any bad blood between band members and that the situation could potentially be remedied.