HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Ex-Black Sabbath Drummer BILL WARD!!!

Happy Birthday Bill!!!  Bill turns 70 years old today!!!  Bill is a English musician and visual artist, best known as the original drummer of the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He also performed lead vocals on two Black Sabbath songs: “It’s Alright” from the album Technical Ecstasy and “Swinging the Chain” from the album Never Say Die!. Ward is known for his very unorthodox style of playing the drums, often using snare-drills and tempo-drop to match both vocals and riff.

Bill started to play drums as a child, listening to the big bands of the 1940s and his major influences were Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson.  Later he was influenced by drummers such as Larrie Londin, Bernard Purdie, Joe Morello, Keef Hartley, Hughie Flint, John Bonham, Ringo Starr, Jim Capaldi and Clive Bunker.   In the mid-1960s Bill sang and played drums in a band called The Rest.  Tony Iommi & Bill played together in a band called Mythology,  and upon that band’s dissolution joined vocalist Ozzy Osbourneand bassist Geezer Butler, who had played together in a band called Rare Breed.  The new band called themselves Earth, but were soon renamed Black Sabbath.

Ward’s drug and alcohol use increased throughout Black Sabbath’s heyday. By the late 1970s he was drinking during gigs, something he had never done before.  He also began experiencing panic attacks. Ward has said he cannot remember the recording of the 1980 album Heaven and Hell due to his alcohol abuse.  According to Black Sabbath bandmate Iommi, Ward disappeared on 21 August 1980, without saying goodbye, other than a telephone call to then-Black Sabbath vocalist Ronnie James Dio informing him “I’m off then, Ron.”  He then briefly played in a band called Max Havoc.  He sat out one album (1981’s Mob Rules) before returning to Black Sabbath for 1983’s Born Again album. Ward once again left for health reasons before the band toured in support of Born Again. He again rejoined Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s, though the band did not record or tour during this period. Bill Ward is 70 years old!!!

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