Black Sabbath Reunion In Doubt

Birmingham Council’s plans to use the Black Sabbath reunion to trumpet the city’s musical heritage could become unhinged as it’s now being reported that the rockers’ tour is in danger of being scrapped because of a contractual wrangle.

Founding member and drummer Bill Ward is claiming the rest of the band is giving him the cold shoulder because he’s yet to sign up for the upcoming European run that starts in Moscow May 18.

Ward is understood to be in the U.S. and is not working with the rest of the band in Birmingham, while guitarist Tony Iommi receives cancer treatment, nor is he being kept up to date on how that work is progressing.

He says the problem is that he hasn’t been given “a signable contract” and the one on offer doesn’t reflect the “dignity and respect” that an original member of the band deserves.

He’s currently in a “holding pattern,” according to a note posted on his website.

“If I sign [the contract] as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician,” it says.

“My position is not greed-driven. I’m not holding out for a ‘big piece’ of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal. I’d like something that recognizes and is reflective of my contributions to the band, including the reunions that started fourteen years ago.”

Although the contractual dispute is unlikely to wreck the tour plans, Sabbath fans may face the prospect of a reunion that goes ahead without Ward.