In an interview with Britain's Classic Rock Magazine, Ozzy Osbourne bluntly explained why original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward was pushed out of the band when the founding members reunited for their first album since 1978. In short: Someone decided he was too overweight to do the job.
"Here's the bottom line: Being a drummer is the most physical part of any band," Osbourne said. "And when Bill [Ward] turned up [at rehearsals], he looked like an old guy. I don't think he had the stamina to play for an hour or so on stage. If I'd had a heart attack like Bill had, I'd go, 'F--k, I'm going to lose some weight.' I train. I work my arse off. So you can't expect someone who's been sitting on their f--king arse, eating sh-t, to come along and go, 'Equal split.' It's insane."
Despite that harsh assessment, Ozzy isn't ruling out Black Sabbath welcoming him back into the fold "if he gets his sh-t together."
For his part, Ward explained his surprise ejection from the metal outfit in an open letter last year, characterizing it as a contract dispute. According to Ward, the band wanted him "to play only three songs" during concerts and then allow another drummer to finish the show, a condition he found unacceptable.
Despite the booting last year, Ward wasn't angry. "I love them," he wrote. "I'm frustrated with them… [but] my fight has never been with them." Osbourne echoed that sentiment in this latest interview, saying, "Bill is a very dear friend of mine and he will always have a place in my heart."