BLACK SABBATH members Tony Iommi (guitar) and Geezer Butler (bass) reunited with their estranged drummer Bill Ward at last night's (Saturday, May 11) "Grammy Salute To Music Legends" awards ceremony and live tribute concert at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
RIVAL SONS performed a medley of "War Pigs", "Changes" and "Paranoid" for Iommi, Butler and Ward at the event, where SABBATH was honored by The Recording Academy with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Earlier today, Iommi wrote on Twitter: "Another Grammy! Great performance from Rival Sons yesterday, thanks guys."
Butler tweeted: "Last night at the #grammy #LifetimeAchievementAwards #TonyIommi #BillWard."
RIVAL SONS drummer Mike Miley wrote on Instagram: "What an experience. We @rivalsons got to present a @recordingacademy Lifetime Achievement Award to @blacksabbath last night, AND perform a medley of their songs, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM, and a vast array of other stars and legends, at the @dolbytheatre In Hollywood.
“I got to sit down with @billwarddrummer for a few precious moments; talking about jazz, feel, and rhythm, and other life stuff. What a treat. What a legend and what a sweetheart 'Wardy' is."
The Recording Academy produced "Grammy Salute To Music Legends" in partnership with Thirteen as part of the "Great Performances" series on PBS, set to air later this year.
The Lifetime Achievement Award honors performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording. The award is determined by a vote of The Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees.
Prior to Saturday night, the last time Iommi, Butler and Ward were all in a room together was back in May 2015 when they accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ivor Novello Awards in London, England.
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, Iommi and 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."
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What an experience. We @rivalsons got to present a @recordingacademy Lifetime Achievement Award to @blacksabbath last night, AND perform a medley of their songs, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM, and a vast array of other stars and legends, at the @dolbytheatre In Hollywood. I got to sit down with @billwarddrummer for a few precious moments; talking about jazz, feel, and rhythm, and other life stuff. What a treat. What a legend and what a sweetheart “Wardy” is. Thanks to @allthetrulyblessed and @mikenielanddrums for the opportunity.