Tuesday 21 February 2012


Black Sabbath's upcoming reunion tour has been rebranded as an outing for 'Ozzy And Friends', as guitarist Tony Iommi's ongoing cancer treatment means he is unable to commit to the dates and drummer Bill Ward remains out of the reunion entirely due to an ongoing contract dispute. The band will still release a new album and play the Download Festival as Black Sabbath (minus Ward) as planned, but five dates on the tour have been cancelled altogether, while the remaining fourteen will essentially be Ozzy Osbourne solo shows.

Osbourne will be joined by Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler and longtime collaborator Zakk Wylde, amongst other "special guests", for what are optimistically being billed as the "first ever" Ozzy And Friends shows.

Meanwhile last Friday, Ward issued a new statement informing fans that he still hoped to join Sabbath in the studio and on tour, and was continuing to negotiate his contract. He wrote via Facebook: "I have not declined to participate in the Sabbath album and tour [as a statement by the band claimed]. At the earliest opportunity, I am prepared to go to the UK and record, and later tour with the band. Last week, we sent further communication to the attorney handling the negotiations to try to reach an agreement. At this time we are waiting to hear back. I remain hopeful for a 'signable' contract and a positive outcome".

If Ward and the band can come to an agreement, it's not clear if the drummer would now join in with the Ozzy And Friends shows or just the Download performance, though it would mean that the new album could go back to its original billing as the original line-up's first for 33 years.

Source: http://www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk/

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