Bill Ward Issues Update on Black Sabbath Situation, Remains "Hopeful"

For those of you unfamiliar with the recent drama surrounding the Black Sabbath camp, let's recap:

• Bill Ward issued a statement saying he hadn't been offered a "fair contract" by the band and would refuse to participate if he wasn't recognized for his contributions to Sabbath

• Black Sabbath issued a statement saying his position was regrettable, but that they would soldier on if he declined to participate

• Rumors surfaced that Ward had been fired and replaced by Ozzy Osbourne drummer Tommy Clufetos

• Sharon Osbourne denied having anything to do with it.

Now that you're caught up, Ward has released a follow-up statement to his official website, saying he remains "hopeful" for an amicable resolution. The message reads:

"I wanted to let you know where things are at, from my point of view, as of today, February 17, 2012.

"As my statement of February 2, 2012, indicated, I have not declined to participate in the Sabbath album and tour. At the earliest opportunity, I am prepared to go to the U.K. 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.

"I want to thank everyone who has voiced and posted their opinions, thoughts, support and love through all media, including the newly constructed sites. I applaud your worldwide reaction in support of the original band. And speaking for myself, your intent and truth will always be respected.

"While believing in your freedom for expression, keep in mind that Tony, Ozzy and Geezer are still my lifetime friends, and I cannot support comments with an objectifying or derogatory theme toward them or their various representatives.

"Many thanks to all of you. You are truly phenomenal.

"Stay safe, stay strong."

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Josh Hart

Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.