Bill Ward Reunites With Black Sabbath Band Mates At GRAMMYs Tribute
By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta
May 13, 2019
Three of Black Sabbath's co-founders reunited over the weekend in Los Angeles to be honored with the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, who was famously excluded from the band's final tour (for reasons still in dispute), joined Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler at the Saturday event.
Long Beach, California-based rock band Rival Sons performed a special salute to the heavy metal icons with a medley of "War Pigs," "Changes" and "Paranoid."
Both Iommi and Butler posted photos to social media showing them with Ward, celebrating their reunion and the addition of another Grammy to the band's resumé.
While Ward was initially slated to be in the lineup for Black Sabbath's final go-around, including the band's last album, 13, and its farewell tour, he parted with the band after a dispute over his contract. Sabbath recorded 13 with Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave drummer Brad Wilk and then hired Ozzy Osbourne drummer Tommy Cluefetos to perform in Ward's stead on the final tour.
Ward described his issues with Sabbath as heartbreaking and "damaging," but following the band's final concert in 2017, he released a statement re-affirming his affection for his former band mates and their work together.
Iommi lamented Ward's absence from 'The End' tour, explaining that he wasn't really sure what cause the rift with the band's management — although there were questions about Ward's health and ability to perform.
Questions about Iommi's own health and his battles with cancer prompted the band to feel like it had only one chance to retire on its own terms.
Photo: Getty Images