OZZY OSBOURNE's backing band on a rendition of BLACK SABBATH's "Paranoid" at this weekend's Queen of England's Golden Jubilee celebration consisted of SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Pino Palladino, and none other than ex-GENESIS mainman Phil Collins on drums. No, we're not kidding.
In related news, BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward gave an excellent interview to the Classic Rock Revisited web site in which he discussed BLACK SABBATH's current status and his future plans. Here are a couple of highlights from that conversation:
On BLACK SABBATH:
"I talked with Tony Iommi about a month ago and we would sure like to make plans [for the band to become active again]. We have a lot of songs or partial songs that we did in the early part of winter and spring of 2001. We wrote a lot of music then. We were back in Great Britain and we went to our rehearsal studios in Wales. The idea was to gather up enough information to possibly release a brand new BLACK SABBATH album. We moved ahead with that but what happened was that Ozzfest came along. We put the tapes away and closed down the writing shop. We went out on tour as BLACK SABBATH. We ended touring in August and no one was sure if we were going to take up another writing session or not. We knew that Ozzy was going to be really busy. We have nothing that I am aware of scheduled and planned but everything is on the back burner and could go if there was an opportunity to move forward. It depends a lot on where everything and everyone is at -- especially Ozzy. He is so busy right now.
"As far as BLACK SABBATH plans are concerned, I will continue to talk to Tony and Geezer. There are other things that we might be able to do. I don't mean forming another BLACK SABBATH with another singer because for me personally, that is out of the question. I am just looking at ideas of what Tony and I could do without compromising Oz or upsetting anything we have established with Ozzy. We have been playing around with a few ideas but there is nothing in the works as far as I know.
"I hope that things will carry on. The only thing that I wish is for everybody to have good health. I am 54 coming on 55 and it is that time when it all becomes about good heath and staying sane. I can't do that fucking crazy shit anymore. One of the beautiful things about BLACK SABBATH is that when we are backstage or in the studio or in rehearsals we will have a cup of tea at about 4:00 in the afternoon and we all sit down and we talk about what is wrong with us. We will talk about needing a new pair of glasses or we will ask 'How's your stomach?' or 'How's your shoulder? Did somebody fix it?' We talk about things like that. When we were 17 years old we would never think about things like that. The first thing on our mind was shagging somebody! Now it is about 'How's the dog? How are the kids?' and stuff like that. That is what BLACK SABBATH is like. That is what BLACK SABBATH does when they get together. We still kick-ass."
On Ward's current activities:
"I just came back from my drummer's studio — I have a drummer in my band and we were recording some new songs for a new album, which I want to release in the future. I don't have a title yet but it is going to be a WARD II album. We did Ward I back in the 1980's and we want to do another. There were a lot of guests on the WARD I album and some were well known and others were not. I have been writing some songs for it today. The major thing that is going on right now is that we are mixing a brand new album that we are trying to get out this year called Beyond Aston. All of the guys in SABBATH — we were all born in Aston. It is basically a reflection of looking back on my life in Aston and the kind of energy that came from there and where we are now. It is kind of a retro thing."
On The Osbournes:
"I am a fan of their courage. I am a fan because of the fact that they were willing to risk and move forward. For that I am going to wave a big fucking banner and say 'Hurrah hurrah!' I think it takes courage to let yourself be absolutely naked and having a hundred cameras going round and round and really seeing you in all of your vulnerability. They are allowing their venerability to be on TV. In that aspect I am absolutely 110% behind the television show The Osbournes. There was a risk involved with it and it paid off. Nobody knew it was going to be a hit series. It could have fell flat on its ass. It could have hurt Ozzy. Ozzy has an incredible career but it could have hurt him. I admire that they had the balls to take the risk. Do I watch The Osbournes? Not really. I have an explanation. For the last four years I have been living with them year in and year out and we have seen all of that all the time. I don't have a lot of interest because I know what is going to happen. It is like looking at a rerun of a day on tour. Ozzy has always been a geek to me. He is a real comedian. He is as funny as fuck, man. I have a good laugh every time I talk to him. It has always been like that since we were kids."