Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has revealed he could pull out of the Birmingham band’s reunion tour because of a contract wrangle.
The 63-year-old posted a message on his website saying he may snub the comeback unless he was offered a “signable” contract.
Writing to fans, he claimed the current proposed deal had not shown him ‘respect’ and that he had been given the ‘cold shoulder’ over a production move to the UK, following Tony Iommi’s cancer diagnosis last month.
Ward said: “I am packed and ready to leave the US for England.
“I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour.
“However, I am unable to continue unless a ‘signable’ contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band.
“I’ve tried to find out what’s going on with the UK sessions, I’ve realized that I’ve been getting ‘the cold shoulder’ (and, I might add, not for the first time).
“Feeling somewhat ostracized, my guess is as of today, I will know nothing of what’s happening unless I sign ‘the unsignable contract’.”
The rock legends announced their reunion last year. It will involve a new studio album and tour, including a date at the Download Festival at Donington in July.
However, Ward’s statement suggests fans may not see the band’s original line up.
He finished by saying: “I lay my truth down before you. I’m good to go IF I get a ‘signable’ contract.
‘‘I don’t want to let anyone down, especially Black Sabbath and all the Sabbath fans. You know I love you. It would be a sad day in Rock if this current situation fell to the desires of a few.
“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 14 years ago.
“I want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract that will honour all that I’ve brought to Black Sabbath since its beginning.”