According to the unofficial BLACK SABBATH web site Black-Sabbath.com, the band’s Bill Ward paid tribute to SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi on the February 25, 2011 edition of the drummer’s “Rock 50” monthly radio show, which airs between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. PST on WPMD, a college radio station at Cerritos College in California. Bill talked about Tony’s recent 64th birthday and played several SABBATH songs, personally selected by Ward to showcase Tony’s different playing styles. After the tracks were over, Bill reminisced a little about a few of the songs.
To listen to a “replay” of the program, go to this location.
BLACK SABBATH will play one U.S. date sometime this summer, according to a VH1 Radio Network interview with Sharon Osbourne, wife and manager of SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne. Sharon revealed, “They’re gonna be doing one show in America this summer but I can’t say yet because we can’t announce it, the promoters have to, but they are doing one show in August here together.” The news follows the cancellation of all SABBATH tour dates abroad except for a headlining slot at the U.K.’s Download Festival in June, due to Iommi’s battle with lymphoma.
As for whether original Ward will participate in the U.S. show, Sharon said, “We don’t know yet, we really don’t know. It’s up to Bill. The door is open for him to join us, so it’s up to him.”
Meanwhile, Ozzy, Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler are in London continuing to record their first album together in 33 years, although without Ward it is not the original SABBATH reunion announced last November.
Sharon said about the recording sessions, “It’s going good. They’re doing really well in the studio. Gosh, they must’ve written 15 new songs already and it’s going great.”
She also denied that she was responsible for Ward’s current absence from the project, saying, “Everybody’s got their own manager, so we have an independent group of people that have come in to manage the project, and I don’t, and I get the blame because Bill doesn’t want to play with the band; he doesn’t like his deal and I get the blame. It’s like, ‘All right, I’m a big girl, I can take it.'”
Ward has been sitting out the sessions due to being offered what he called “an unsignable contract” in an open letter to SABBATH fans.
Ward posted an update on February 17 in which he said he “remains hopeful” for a positive outcome to the situation.
The rest of SABBATH’s scheduled European summer gigs will be replaced by “Ozzy And Friends”, at which the singer will be joined by Butler, former Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde and other special guests, including Slash on selected dates.