Original BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward will perform on Tuesday, March 19 at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California as part of a tribute to Randy Rhoads‘s last concert. The free “Ultimate Jam Night” show will be broadcast live worldwide via RYouLive.
Ward will play alongside an all-star lineup that includes bassist James LoMenzo (MEGADETH, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY), guitarist Ira Black (DARK SKY CHOIR, I AM MORBID, METAL CHURCH) and vocalist Dewey Bragg (KILL DEVIL HILL, DAY OF ERRORS).
Also appearing on the bill are Phil Sandoval (ARMORED SAINT), Steve Smyth (TESTAMENT, NEVERMORE, ONE MACHINE), Derek Abrams (MINISTRY), “Ultimate Jam Night” founder Chuck Wright (QUIET RIOT), Monte Pittman (PRONG, MADONNA) and Matt Starr (Mr. BIG, ACE FREHLEY). They, along with many other surprise guests, will pay homage to Rhoads and his final setlist. The program will be hosted by THE SWEET‘s Paulie Z.
Admission is free for adults 21 and over, and a live broadcast of the event will be available via a free download at iTunes, Google Play or by visiting RYouLive.com.
Ward was on board for the SABBATH reunion when it was first announced more than seven years ago, but backed out soon after. He later claimed that he sat out the recording and touring sessions because of unfair contractual terms, although the members of SABBATH have hinted in other interviews that he wasn’t physically up to the task.
All four original members of SABBATH were present when the band announced its reunion in late 2011. But Ward split from the group in 2012, citing an “unsignable” contract, and singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler carried on with their Rick Rubin–produced “13” LP and extensive international touring without him. The final BLACK SABBATH tour, which concluded in February 2017 in Birmingham, saw the founding member replaced by session drummer Tommy Clufetos.
It was rumored that SABBATH wanted to bring a second drummer on the road to share duties with Ward, something that Iommi confirmed in 2017 during a question-and-answer session about SABBATH‘s “Ten Year War” box set.
Back in June 2017, Ward told Rolling Stone magazine that he had “gone through a lot of tears” over his split with SABBATH. “I’ve grieved the loss of three of my best friends,” he said. “I’ve grieved the loss of their company, their words, their laughter, their joy, and above all, their music… I’ve grieved the loss of the fans, and I’ve grieved the pain of what all this has created.”
But he claimed at the time to have come out the other side. “I can’t afford to have resentment,” he explained. “I can’t afford to be angry. I can’t afford these things spiritually or physically. So I knew I had to be rid of them.”