During the question-and-answer portion of his March 3 spoken-word show at at Palace Of Fine Arts in San Francisco, California, IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinsonwas asked if BLACK SABBATH can exist without its founding drummer Bill Ward. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I'm a massive lover of Bill Ward's drumming style; I think it's inspired. 'Cause he's not really a rock drummer; he's more like a jazz drummer playing rock. And I love that kind of style; it's kind of like drums that kind of wander around the rhythm and everything else. But he's on it; he's brilliant. And I met him. He's a lovely bloke as well. Slightly mad, but very nice. But then aren't we all? All of us are on the madness spectrum a little bit."
Circling back to the original question, Bruce said: "Does BLACK SABBATH exist without Bill Ward? Well, it's not a matter of… I don't think BLACK SABBATH exist at all now." He then took a swipe at Sharon Osbourne, the wife and manager of SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne, saying: "I think Sharon's made sure of that."
Back in 2005, Sharon allegedly arranged eggs to be thrown at IRON MAIDEN while they played at the Ozzfest, supposedly because Dickinson had made some comments on stage that she disliked. Sharon reportedly took exception to comments that Dickinson had allegedly made about the Osbournes' MTV reality series. And ordered interference with MAIDEN's PA system and delayed the stage entrance of the band's mascot Eddie.
Five years ago, Dickinson downplayed the incident in an interview with NME, calling it "a complete storm in a teacup. I grew up listening to early SABBATH with Ozzy. Ozzy and SABBATH are icons, so that's that, end of story. The fact that I don't like reality TV shows. Well, I'm not gonna offer an olive branch to the Kardashians either."
Ozzy addressed the supposed feud with Dickinson in a 2010 interview with The Quietus. At the time, he said: "Unbeknown to me, every night [Bruce] was going on stage slagging me off. And that wasn't fair. If he didn't like the fuckin' tour, he should have said 'I'm jumping [off] the fuckin' tour,' but to go on stage and fuckin' slag me off for no reason… I'd never said a fuckin' bad thing to him. The bass player [Steve Harris] came round at the last gig and said, 'I'm sorry about Bruce,' and I'm, like, 'What the fuck are you talking about?' Nobody had told me, you know. I said, 'You know what? I don't understand what the fuck you're talking about here.'
"And so, I mean, Sharon got pissed off… it was nothing to do with me. I suppose Sharon got pissed off. I'll back my wife up to the hilt, but I didn't know what was going down. But you know what? [MAIDEN were getting] a few fuckin' quid out of that Ozzfest. If you've got something to talk to me about, be a man. Come to my face and say, 'I think you're a fuckin' asshole.' Don't be a fuckin' idiot. It's so pathetically childish. Unfortunately the rest of the band had to suffer: I suppose they were pissed off with him. But it's wrong: I've never, ever, ever spoken to the guy… No, I tell a lie, one night they were about to go on stage and I didn't know anything was going down, and I said to them, 'Have a good show, guys.' But I don't like all that shit going down. If you don't like me, just say, 'I don't like you, I'm doing this festival but I think you're a cunt.' That's all right. But to go on my stage and start slagging me off — that ain't fair. They weren't fucking slagging me off when they got paid every fucking night.
"To this day, I don't understand what the fuckin' beef was," Ozzy added. "I just don't get it. To go on the Ozzfest and slag [people] off, that's crazy. I really think he needs a fuckin' psychiatrist if he does that, he's fucking nuts. It's an irresponsible fuckin' thing to do. Sharon must have got pissed off with this cunt, you know."
The original lineup of SABBATH came together in 1969 with Osbourne, Ward, Tony Iommi on guitar and Geezer Butler on bass. That lineup recorded and toured through 1978, and periodically reformed through the '90s and 2000s for live work.
They regrouped again in late 2011 for a new album and tour, although Ward dropped out after a few months over financial issues. SABBATH used Ozzy's regular touring drummer Tommy Clufetos since then for live work. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's Brad Wilk laid down the drum tracks on "13", which came out in June 2013.
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 cancer in 2012 and is currently in remission, can no longer travel for extended amounts of time.
Coming to the @palaceoffineartstheatre Thursday Mar 3, 2022~
Bruce Dickinson is considered one of the world’s most...
Posted by Palace of Fine Arts Theatre on Thursday, November 4, 2021