Bill Ward (musician)
Bill Ward in concert with Black Sabbath, 1999
|Birth name||William Thomas Ward|
5 May 1948 |
Aston, Birmingham, England
|Genres||Heavy metal, blues rock, hard rock|
|Instruments||Drums, percussion, vocals, keyboards|
|Associated acts||Mythology, Black Sabbath, Ward One, Ronnie James Dio|
William Thomas "Bill" Ward (born 5 May 1948, Aston, Birmingham, England) is an English musician, best known as the original drummer for the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. In addition to playing drums as an original founding member of the band, Ward sang lead vocals for two Black Sabbath songs; "It's Alright" from Technical Ecstasy and "Swinging the Chain" from Never Say Die!. He also coined the term "downer rock."
Before the formation of Black Sabbath, Bill Ward and guitarist Tony Iommi played in a band called Mythology, and joined vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and bassist Geezer Butler, who had played in a band together called "Rare Breed".
Between 1969 and 1980, Ward played drums on every Sabbath album. He left the band to play in Max Havoc in August 1980 during a tour for the album Heaven and Hell. He sat out one album (1981's Mob Rules) before returning for 1983's Born Again. He once again left the band following the recording of that album, because of ill health. Ward has said he cannot remember the recording of 1980's Heaven and Hell due to his alcohol abuse. He was officially back in the band again in the summer of 1984, but the band did not record or tour then.
According to Tony Iommi, he and the band would often set Ward's beard on fire and perform other harmful pranks on him. On one occasion, Ward even received third-degree burns. In an interview with Guitar World, Tony described it as follows: 'Bill and I were in the studio rehearsing one day and out of the blue I asked him, "May I set you on fire, Bill?" And he said, "Well, not now, not now." And then I forgot about it. Later on when the day ended, he said to me, "Well, I'm going home now; you still want to set me on fire or what?" And I said, "Sure." So I took a small can of lighter fluid and sprayed it on him, lit a match, and whoomph. He was wearing these polyester pants so they burned really quickly and he was on the floor screaming and crying. I could not help him because I was so busy laughing. It actually turned out to be quite serious. I felt really bad for him. He was sent to the hospital. Later on, his mother called me on the phone and said, "You barmy bastard, it's about time you grew up. Our Bill is going to have his leg off." But things like that always happened to Bill.'
Before the full Black Sabbath reunion, Ward and the original Sabbath had re-united twice for short sets, first for Live Aid in 1985 and then at a Costa Mesa, California Ozzy Osbourne show on 14 November 1992. Sabbath, with Judas Priest singer Rob Halford, replacing the recently departed Ronnie James Dio, opening the show for Osbourne. The Ozzy Osbourne band (Osbourne, Zakk Wylde, Mike Inez, Randy Castillo and John Sinclair) then did a full set before Osbourne was reunited with Iommi, Butler and Ward for four numbers.
Ward made a brief return to the band for a South American tour in 1994, before finally rejoining the band for the two shows at the Birmingham NEC, England on 4 and 5 December 1997, which made up the Reunion album. When what was billed as the original line-up reunited for the Ozzfest tour in 1997 Mike Bordin played drums. Ward then had to skip all but the last two band appearances in 1998 while he recovered from a heart attack suffered during the tour rehearsals that May. As was the case in 1980, he was again replaced at short notice by Vinny Appice, although this time it was always intended to be a temporary absence for Ward, health allowing. He was well enough to return for good in 1999 and had remained with Sabbath ever since.
Since mid-2002, Ward has done a monthly internet only radio show named "Rock 50" on radio station WPMD from Cerritos College in California. Ward plays a variety of metal, hard rock, and some classic rock.
In October 2006 news leaked that Ward would be reuniting with Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Ronnie James Dio for a tour though under the moniker Heaven & Hell. However, Ward later decided not to participate in the tour or continue participation in the band because of musical differences with "a couple of the other bandmembers".
Tama Imperialstar drums
- 15"x13" Tom
- 16"x16" Floor Tom
- 18"x16" Floor Tom
- 14x8" Snare Drum
- 14"x5" Snare Drum
- 26"x14" Bass Drum
- 26"x14" Bass Drum
- 20"x14" Gong Drum
AA and Hand Hammered Sabian cymbals
- 14" AA Rock Hats
- 10" AA Mini Hats
- 20" AA Medium Crash
- 29" AA China (custom)
- 22" Hand Hammered Raw Bell Dry Ride
- 14" Hand Hammered Sizzle Hats
- 22" Hand Hammered Medium Crash
- 14" Hand Hammered Mini China
- 22" Hand Hammered Power Ride
- 21" Hand Hammered Medium Crash
Named as a prime inspiration 
Ward has inspired many drummers including:
- Peter Criss (Kiss)
- Dale Crover (The Melvins, The Men of Porn, Nirvana)
- Les Binks (Judas Priest)
- Chuck Biscuits (Danzig)
- Mike Bordin (Faith No More, Ozzy Osbourne)
- Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam, Soundgarden)
- Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Them Crooked Vultures)
- Vinnie Paul (Pantera, Hellyeah)
- Lars Ulrich (Metallica)
- Alex Van Halen (Van Halen)
- Sim Cain (Rollins Band)
- Igor Cavalera (Sepultura)
- Jean-Paul Gaster (Clutch)
- Patrick Carney (The Black Keys)
- 1970 – Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
- 1970 – Black Sabbath – Paranoid
- 1971 – Black Sabbath – Master of Reality
- 1972 – Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath Vol. 4
- 1973 – Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
- 1975 – Black Sabbath – Sabotage
- 1975 – Black Sabbath – We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll
- 1976 – Black Sabbath – Technical Ecstasy
- 1978 – Black Sabbath – Never Say Die!
- 1980 – Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell
- 1981 – Black Sabbath – Live at Last
- 1983 – Black Sabbath – Born Again
- 1990 – Bill Ward – Ward One: Along the Way
- 1993 – Ozzy Osbourne! – Live & Loud
- 1994 – Nativity in Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath
- 1997 – Bill Ward – When the Bough Breaks
- 1997 – Ozzy Osbourne – The Ozzman Cometh
- 1998 – Black Sabbath – Reunion
- 2000 – Tony Iommi – Iommi
- 2002 – Black Sabbath – Past Lives
- 2002 – Bill Ward – "Straws" (single)
- 2002 – Black Sabbath – Symptom of the Universe: The Original Black Sabbath 1970-1978
- 2003 – Dio – Stand Up and Shout: The Dio Anthology
- 2004 – Black Sabbath – Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978)
- 2006 – Black Sabbath – Greatest Hits 1970-1978
- 2007 – Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath: The Dio Years
- 2008 – Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath: The Rules of Hell Disc 1:Heaven and Hell
See also 
- "Bill Ward's official website-Discography". Retrieved 15 February 2009.
- Sleazegrinder (March 2007). "The Lost Pioneers of Heavy Metal". Classic Rock.
- "AllMusic Bill Ward biography". Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- "AllMusic Geezer Butler biography". Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- "Bill Ward: From Jazz to Black Sabbath". Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- "Tony Iommi Burning Bill". Heavy—The Story of Metal. VH1 Classic. Retrieved 24 October 2009.[dead link]
- "Bill Ward—Rock 50". billward.com. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
- Bill Ward not participating in Heaven and Hell[dead link]
- Russell, Tom (20 February 2010). "Ward On Quitting Heaven & Hell: I Was Uncomfortable With Some Things Surrounding The Project". Blabbermouth. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
- Bill Ward Says He May Be Forced To Sit Out Black Sabbath Reunion
- Black Sabbath: 'We Have No Choice But To Continue Recording Without Bill Ward'
- "Bill Ward Drum Equipment, CDs, DVDs & Books". BehindTheDrums.com. 5 May 1948. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
- "Bill Ward on Answers.com". Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- "Bill Ward's biography Allmusic.com". Retrieved 27 November 2010.