BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward has issued a statement addressing the rumors surrounding his non-involvement in HEAVEN AND HELL, the new band featuring legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW) alongside original BLACK SABBATH members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, plus drummer Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH).Said Ward: "I have been expecting negative letters, rumors, and general gossip mongering over my not participating in the HEAVEN & HELL project. It's not unusual, as yet I've made only one brief statement to confirm that I would not be involved. "It has been brought to our attention that there is a posting on a few web sites which discloses a supposed statement I made to a Clear Channel personnel. THIS IS COMPLETELY FALSE. Every piece of verbiage therein that posting — supposedly quoting me — is FALSE also. "OK. I'm off to get on with my life. Hopefully there won't be too many shite letters floating around, as I don't think anyone out there — myself included — wants to waste anymore time on complete falsehoods." As previously reported, HEAVEN AND HELL has been confirmed for next year's Sweden Rock Festival, set to take place June 6-9, 2007 in Sölvesborg, Sweden. An exclusive New York City concert date for HEAVEN AND HELL in the spring of 2007 has already been booked but the exact details have not yet been revealed. Additional U.S. dates are being scheduled for late summer 2007. As previously reported, Dio recently revealed to Classic Rock magazine that HEAVEN AND HELL will likely headline next year's Monsters of Rock festival in England. In addition, the group is recording a few new songs for a Dio-era BLACK SABBATH best-of that should come out next year. Ozzy Osbourne has sent his best wishes to HEAVEN AND HELL, while adding that the classic BLACK SABBATH lineup — including drummer Bill Ward — will release a new album and mount a tour late next year. "Heaven and Hell" was the name of the first album Dio recorded with BLACK SABBATH, back in 1980.
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