Original BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward, who celebrated his 74th birthday on Thursday (May 5),has taken to his social media to thank his fans and fellow musicians for their well wishes.
He wrote: "Thanks Salutations to the energy, incredibility, insanity, wonderful and creativeness of you all who sent me birthday greetings.
"May 5th was an overwhelming, busy, reflective, and teary and uplifting day, so many Happy Birthdays, thank you, it was fantastic.
"74 years old, man yesterday spinned me around, lot of memories some of them melancholy, some of them fantastic, like when I was a kid leaving school to go to band practice at the parochial hall next to Slade Road School, Carlisle, Hamburg, Henry's Blues House B'Ham, first time leaving for America, arriving in N.Y., first time in L.A., Hollywood, crazy times.
"I got lots of nice messages from fellow musicians, family members and old and dear friends, I got some t-shirts, one with a huge moon and silhouette of a 747 flying towards me, a book of stories about the Lake District, I went to bed done for. In gratitude for such a huge embrace, to everyone thank you so much.
"Rock forever and ever and ever. Be good to yourselves, Bill Ward".
Earlier this year, Ward told Metal Hammer in an interview that he no longer holds a grudge against his BLACK SABBATH bandmates over the circumstances that led to him bowing out of the group's reunion a decade ago. "I love the you-know-what out of those guys," he said. "I've come through the angry bits that happened in 2012 and arrived in a place of being at peace with myself and with them. I'm glad we did what we did and often go down memory lane with the early work we did in Copenhagen and the Reeperbahn in Hamburg. I love those guys and all the imperfections that go with that. It's a great feeling, having come as far as we have, and I'm happy just being able to write or talk to them if I want to."
Bill was on board for the SABBATH reunion when it was first announced more than 10 years ago but backed out soon after. The drummer later claimed that he sat out the recording and touring sessions because of unfair contractual terms, although the members of SABBATH have hinted in other interviews that he wasn't physically up to the task.
All four original members of SABBATH were present when the band announced its reunion in late 2011. But Ward split from the group in 2012, citing an "unsignable" contract, and singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler carried on with their Rick Rubin–produced "13" LP and extensive international touring without him.
In March 2021, Bill admitted to SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" that he no longer had the "chops" and the "ability" to perform with BLACK SABBATH. "I have to be back to 60 years old to be able to do that," he said.
"I would love to do a studio album with SABBATH, with all the original members," he continued. "I'm just saying that — I'm just floating that out there. But I'm not done. So, the other three might be done, and I respect that, but no, I'm not done. I think as long as we all exist [laughs] and we're still breathing in air, I think we have every possibility of making some great music together."
Ozzy told The Pulse Of Radio during SABBATH's last tour that Ward was not in shape to participate. "Bill Ward has got the most physically demanding job of the lot of us, 'cause he's the timekeeper," he said. "I don't think personally he had the chops to pull it off, you know. The saddest thing is that he needed to own up to that, and we could have worked around it, whether we had a drummer on the side with him or something."
It was rumored that SABBATH wanted to bring a second drummer on the road to share duties with Ward, something that Iommi confirmed in 2017 during a question-and-answer session about SABBATH's "Ten Year War" box set.
In February 2017, SABBATH finished "The End" tour in Birmingham, closing out the quartet's groundbreaking 49-year career.
"The End" was SABBATH's last tour because Iommi — who was diagnosed with lymphoma in late 2011 — can no longer travel for extended amounts of time.
In 2015, Ward released his first solo album in 18 years. Titled "Accountable Beasts", the record can be purchased on iTunes.
In November 2017, Ward's band DAY OF ERRORS released its first two songs, "Day Of Errors" and "Blaspheming At Creation", via iTunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3 and Google Play. Two more tracks, "Dark" and "Ghost Train", followed in 2019.