BLACK SABBATH Issues Statement Regarding Plans to Play Upcoming Shows Without Bill Ward

BLACK SABBATH, currently comprised of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler, have released a statement in response to drummer Bill Ward‘s online statement regarding his absence from the upcoming SABBATH shows and reunion as a whole:

“We have decided not to make any  detailed  comment  on Bill‘s latest statement. There are two sides to every story. We have been working hard at rehearsals making excellent progress after Tony‘s treatments and we have engaged a substitute drummer for the forthcoming shows. See  you at Download.

“–BLACK SABBATH, 5/17/12″

On May 15th, 2012, Bill Ward posted the news on his website that he would not be apart of the upcoming SABBATH reunion shows scheduled in Birmingham  on May 19th, 2012, Download Festival on June 10th, 2012, and Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012.

Here is his statement:

“Dear SABBATH Fans and Fellow Musicians,

“I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming SABBATH shows a failure to agree has continued. At this time I have to inform you that I won’t be playing with BLACK SABBATH at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012.

“It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news. I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I’m very, very sorry that it’s fallen to this. This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality.

“To express my thoughts about you, the SABBATH fans, I’m going to speak to you all through an experience my brother James had recently. My brother Jimmy lives in the U.K. When speaking with him a couple of days ago, he told me that an acquaintance had stopped him on the street and confronted him, “is your brother playing Birmingham? What’s going on? I waited in line with my son and paid x amount for the concert tickets…”

Read the whole statement here.