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Bill Ward


Bill Ward (born March 5, 1948), was the drummer for the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He was with the band throughout its entire tenure from the late 1960s to its eventual demise during about the mid-1980s. Ward was stricken by depression after asking his best friend Ozzy Osbourne to leave the band. He had a severe drinking and drug abuse problem, and it is rumored that he consumed LSD everyday for one year straight. After leaving the band, Ward tried to commit suicide three times but failed. In 1997, Black Sabbath had a reunion tour with all four original members. In early June 2004, he agreed to return to the band for another reunion tour featuring all the original members.

Worked With: Geoff Nichols, Dean Friedman, Jim Beard, Zakk Wylde, Bob Daisley, Mike Butcher, Robin Black, Bill Evans, Billy Ward Holiday Band, Mark Payne, Blues by Nature, Eric Singer, Don Sarlin, Randy Rhoads, Lori Perry, Patrick Meehan, Bob Marlette.

From 1968 to 1985, Bill Ward was the drummer for Black Sabbath, one of the most popular bands in all of rock history. During that time, Sabbath recorded eleven albums, all of which went gold (three went platinum). In their day, Black Sabbath was known as the band that defined the term "Heavy Metal" and Ward himself was voted the best drummer in rock for three consecutive years. In 1985, Bill Ward left Sabbath because of "bitter experiences both in and out of the band." We talked with Bill Ward about his life recently, and all that's happened to him.
Bill Ward joined Black Sabbath, after he and Tony Iommi saw an article put in the newspaper by John "Ozzy" Osbourne. Iommi was reluctant to join the band, though, as he was a bully to Osbourne during high school, and often beat him up.

Ward is a very talented drummer, and unlike most bands at the time, Black Sabbath did not always keep a steady rhythym going on the drums. Instead, Ward often played the same thing as Iommi or (bassist) Terry "Geezer" Butler on his drums, and would almost always play fills and drum rolls in between riffs. A song to hear a good example of Bill Ward's skill is "Rat Salad" off the album Paranoid.

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