Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has posted a very public decree on his website that he is not going to be part of the Sabbath reunion until he gets a good deal.
At first it seems petty but who knows what Sharon Osbourne has put under his nose? Remember how Michael Anthony had to sign his rights away to all future Van Halen royalties when he signed up to do the Van Hagar tour?
For all we know, Ward is being presented with something equally bogus. Or he just isn't going to get paid enough, or as much as the other guys. We don't know.
What I do know is, they better sort it out. Iommi has cancer for God's sake. Bury the hatchet here, get Ward some reasonable deal and get on with it while you can.
Here is some of Ward's post:
At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour. 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.
...Let me say that although this has put me in some kind of holding pattern, I am packed and ready to leave the U.S. for England. More importantly, I definitely want to play on the album, and I definitely want to tour with Black Sabbath.
...The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, I also have to stand for something and not sign on. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician.
...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. Without fault finding, I want to assure everyone that my loyalty to Sabbath is intact.
...My position is not greed-driven. I’m not holding out for a “big piece” of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal. I’d like something that recognizes and is reflective of my contributions to the band, including the reunions that started fourteen years ago. After the last tour I vowed to never again sign on to an unreasonable contract. I want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract that will honor all that I’ve brought to Black Sabbath since its beginning.
Dang - OK now let's get this sorted out, people...