Estranged BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward says that "never received an offer to play the final show" of the band's farewell tour, despite claims by BLACK SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler to the contrary.
Asked if there is a possibility that Ward could join them for a few songs at their final U.S. concert on September 16 in Phoenix, Butler told Radio.com: "It's been mentioned to him. But he doesn't want to do it. He wants to do the whole tour or nothing. We'd love him to come on at the very last gig and be part of the whole thing, but he didn't want to do that. And I understand: I wouldn't want to be asked to come out just for the last gig. It's a shame, but that's the way it is."
A short time after Butler's comments were posted on BLABBERMOUTH.NET earlier today, Ward released the following statement: "I must respond once again to inaccurate statements made by Geezer. I never received an offer to play the final show of 'The End' tour with BLACK SABBATH. When the tour was confirmed, my management reached out to the BLACK SABBATH management to inquire as to whether or not they would like to discuss my participation in the tour. We were told there was no interest. That is last conversation we had with them regarding the tour."
He added: "I will say that I wouldn't want to play only one gig when I am completely capable of touring. I would not validate their untrue statements about my health by playing one only gig. Also, I wouldn't want to show up for only some of our fans and not for all our fans when I could have played multiple shows."
Butler told Classic Rock Revisited earlier in the month about why SABBATH was unable to come to terms with Ward in order for the drummer to participate in the group's farewell tour: "It's beyond the money thing. It is not really anything to do with that. It is whether he's capable of touring or not. On the '13' tour, he was not on that tour. About a week after we started, he had to go into the hospital for major surgery. We would have had to cancel the tour if Bill was still with us. He hasn't been well for a long time. He's had a couple of heart attacks."
Butler continued: "You have to face facts, when you get to our age and you're not in great, great health, whether you can go out on the road for two years, or whatever. It is a hard life to do. The easy part is when you're on stage playing. It is all of the traveling and everything else that comes with it that is the hard part."
Ward has insisted that his health is good and that he has been capable of performing, but was not offered a "signable" contract by SABBATH.
Osbourne's solo drummer, Tommy Clufetos, is again handling the drums on the farewell tour, which kicked off on January 20 in Omaha, Nebraska. Clufetos also played on the "13" tour, although Brad Wilk was behind the kit for the CD.