Black Sabbath’s Bill Ward Hospitalized With Heart Problems
Former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has been hospitalized after suffering unspecified heart problems, and as a result has been forced to cancel an upcoming United States tour with his new group Day of Errors.
Happily, Ward reports that he is "OK and in good recovery at this time." However, the seven December west coast dates he had planned with his new group have understandably been called off.
Ward explained the situation with a post on his Facebook page: "It’s with great, great sadness that I must tell you I have to cancel the Day Of Errors tour dates scheduled in December. I wound up in hospital this past weekend with heart problems. I am OK and in good recovery at this time. However, I’ve never experienced this particular type of heart problem before, and due to its nature, I had to make the decision to cancel the dates. I want to send my sincere apologies to everyone who was planning to come out to the shows. I’m so sorry we won’t be making it – I was looking forward to seeing you all and sharing this music with you. I’ll be in touch soon."
Ward drummed with Black Sabbath from their formation in 1968 until 1980, and then reunited with the pioneering metal band several times in the '80s and '90s. A mild heart attack in the spring of 1998 forced him to miss Black Sabbath dates in Europe. He was initially set to participate in their 2012 reunion tour, but soon opted out after claiming he wasn't offered a "signable" contract.
A war of words between Ward and his former bandmates quickly erupted. Among other things, singer Ozzy Osbourne claimed that Ward wasn't in shape for the tour: "He looked like an old guy. I don't think he had the stamina to play for an hour or so onstage." In an interview with the New York Daily News, Osbourne added: "He’s already had two heart attacks. I don’t want to be responsible for his life."
Ward continually contested these health claims, most recently in a Facebook post this past August. "What they believe is quite opposite from my experience," Ward said, "especially in 2011 when no one spoke to me of being alarmed by my playing or my health."