MUSIC NEWS - Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward says he won't take part in the British band's reunion recordings and tour unless he is offered a "signable" contract. The statement on his website casts more doubt on the much-hyped return of the metal rockers, who announced last November that the original line-up were getting back together to write and record their first album in more than 30 years. They've also unveiled plans for a world concert tour in 2012.
With guitarist Tony Iommi diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma the band moved from the USA to Birmingham, UK to continue writing and recording. The founding members of the heavy metal pioneers are Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, Iommi, Geezer Butler on bass guitar and Ward.
"At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour," Ward said on his website. "However, I am unable to continue unless a 'signable' contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band."
He said he worked with the other Black Sabbath members "in good faith" last year and agreed to appear with them at the November press conference in Los Angeles.
"Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another 'unsignable' contract was handed to me." He's said he was looking forward to playing on the new album and tour, and was already packed and ready to leave the United States for Britain to join the group. Ward described feeling "lousy and lonely," but added that he stood to lose his "rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician" if he signed the contract offered to him.
"If I'm replaced, I have to face you, the beloved Sabbath fans. I hope you will not hold me responsible for the failure of an original Black Sabbath lineup as promoted." He's also said his motives were not "greed-driven" and that he was not trying to holding out for more money "like some kind of blackmail deal."