Posts Tagged Bill Ward
I was one of 60 lucky people who were able to hear the new Black Sabbath album ‘13’ on Wednesday at its premiere in Hollywood. Ozzy and I have been close since we served together in the Korean War and I often get invited to these big Black Sabbath events. I don’t like to make a big deal about it, but I took a bullet for him as the two of us charged up San Juan Hill. Back then, he liked everyone to call him Sparky.
I introduced him to Tony Iommi at a VFW function in the ‘70s. His father and mine were traveling pudding salesman in Yorkshire. Pudding was a huge industry in those days. Tony and I both had part time jobs at the pudding mill up the road from our high school. When the mill closed, Tony considered moving to Pittsburgh and becoming a professional buffalo hunter. I knew he was a good guitar player and Ozzy used to sing really well in the shower in our bunker, so I put the two together. The rest is history.
The event, which took place at the Herve Villachaize Theatre, was attended by some of the top names in journalism. I was lucky enough to be standing in line directly behind former CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite. Old Uncle Walter was sipping off a mug of paint thinner and orange juice and raving on and on about how it was Bill Ward’s fault that we abandoned the Gold Standard all those years ago. Pretty soon, he had gotten completely out of control and was escorted out by security, but not before he had invited me to an afterparty down in Crenshaw at MC Ren’s house.
We were escorted through a long tunnel into the basement of the building. There we were all strip searched by former Sabbath singer Tony Martin and forced to bathe in ox blood in order to make sure we had no audio equipment and were free of what he called “impurities”. It was all quite weird.
Finally we reached a cavernous room filled with medieval torture equipment and a buffet table featuring all sorts of Black Sabbath themed appetizers. I avoided the Rat Salad. Ozzy was in the midst of an in depth conversation with several reporters about which brands of freezer bags are best to preserve the ear wax of small children when I caught his attention. We talked for a minute or two, then he got that far away look he gets that makes him look like he is receiving signals from the planet Melmac. I knew my time with him was up.
I wandered around for another 15 minutes trying to find Tony, but when I finally caught up with him he was locked in a heated debate with former Happy Days star Tom Bosley over whether aerosol cans were actually a technology created by aliens. Tom was getting pretty heated and said some stuff about the breeding practices of the British royalty and Tony stormed off after threatening to have Tom’s legs broken by a gang of soccer hooligans.
After sitting through some opening comments from Ozzy’s son Jack about the importance of proper dental hygiene and watching Geezer Butler pass out face first into a bowl of tomato bisque, they played the album. The whole thing was terribly awkward. A group of strangers shuffling around in their seats watching other people listening to music. Everyone casting nervous glances at Ozzy, hoping they wouldn’t chuckle when he turned some simple lyric into an incoherent noise that could only be deciphered by a team of top-flight linguists or a pack of geese.
The whole experience took a turn for the worse quickly. The album started off with the pseudo-ironically titled “End of The Beginning”. A catchy song that seems slightly longer than director’s cut of Apocalypse Now. The guy next to me began to doze off and was audibly snoring through the last 12 minutes of the song. Ozzy start walking over with his mouth gaping open, pointing at the guy and looking ominously like Donald Sutherland at the end of the 70’s “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. A security guard instantly grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and jerked him out of his seat. Two other guards pulled him to the back, beating him on the head with a truncheon as they walked.
Next thing I know, the second song lurched forward muffled by wild howling and jeering from the press as the wheezing miscreant was dragged out of the room for some sort of 14th century torture at the hands of Ozzy’s goons. The song was embarrassingly titled “God Is Dead?” and, unfortunately, is not a Carnivore cover. And then came the next song. And the next. And on and on.
It sounds like a Black Sabbath album. What else was it going to be? It’s not like they were going to shift gears in their late seventies and start sounding like England Dan and John Ford Coley. Everything sounds vaguely like Children of The Grave. Tony tunes down to Q flat minor for most of the record and Ozzy’s voice floats its way through hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of production equipment in order to sound like he’s in tune. It’s all assembly line stuff at this point.
The thing about the record that is unique and somewhat horrifying are the lyrics. I was astonished to see a bizarre homage to MC Hammer’s gangsta phase in the song “Age of Reason”. “Pumps and A Bump, I liiiiiiiii-ke the gi-rrrrrrrrls with the Pumps and A Bump” bellowed Ozzy in a hideously uneven chorus that would shame even the most ardent of Sabbath fans. Then, there was the whole part where Ozzy starts mumbling about the dangers of poison sumac in “Damaged Soul”. I can’t begin to explain what he’s talking about there. The albums high point, oddly enough, is the uncredited cameo rap verse that OJ Da Juiceman lays down about halfway through the album’s final track “Dear Father”.
The record ended and a chorus of applause cascaded through the hall. The band said a few things and the press, several members of whom were greedily jamming the remaining trays of bat-shaped chicken fingers into their Sabbath ‘13’ tote-bags, anxiously filed out trying to get home in time for the night’s airing of American Idol. In what felt like seconds the room was empty of everyone but Tony, who sat alone in the corner with his guitar playing notes to no one in particular.
In a move aimed at making Americans forget the achievements and contributions of former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, President Barack Obama has taken the unique step of having his likeness removed from Mount Rushmore. Ward had been on the monument between Roosevelt and Lincoln since 1978.
The de-Wardization of Mount Rushmore comes at the end of a traumatic week for Ward, who has seen his image removed from the moon landing picture, the painting of Washington crossing the Potomac and even the website of his former bandmates Black Sabbath. Ward has remained mostly silent on the matter, but many insiders believe that there is an ongoing conspiracy in place to make the American public forget that Bill Ward ever existed.
Ward’s contributions to America are nearly unmatched. Who invented penicillin? Ward. Who was the first person in space? Ward. Who was the 23rd President of the United States? Ward. What President made the treaty with aliens from the Uhreih Galaxy and began a period of unmatched peace and prosperity? Ward. Who eliminated the use of anti-matter death rays? Ward. Who infiltrated Satan’s dark underworld and ended his grip on the souls of all mankind? Ward.
However, if you asked most Americans, they wouldn’t even know these significant events had taken place. A few might remember he was the drummer from Black Sabbath and little else.
Obama’s decision to wipe out the final link to Ward runs deeper than most people even know. The Obama administration has taken the rare step of removing all mentions of Ward from history as well as any pictures or paintings. They have even gone so far as to remove him from his own baby pictures.
When asked for comment about the matter in a press conference on Friday Obama remarked “Bill Who? I’m not aware of the person you are speaking of. Wasn’t he a drummer or something?”
Black Sabbath have also denied knowledge of the existence of Ward. Their official website now claims that Vinny Appice played drums on all of their early records. Singer Ozzy Osboune claims he knew an auto mechanic named Bob Ward once back in Yorkshire, but hasn’t spoken to him in 30 years. The rest of the band have denied even knowing that a person with the last name Ward has ever walked the earth.
No one seems to know why Ward’s existence is being hidden from the human race. It is impossible to get an answer from anyone because the minute Ward’s name is mentioned, people who should have known him for years pretend they don’t know what you are talking about. Even his children now deny he existed.
The sudden disappearance of Ward’s image has led many to speculate that sinister plans are being made to completely eliminate Ward from the minds of people. Known conspiracy theorist and Ron Paul for President National Spokesman Art Bremer claims that the U.S. government is currently in development of a biological weapon that, once released, will wipe out all memory of Bill Ward.
Update: I wrote this article last night, but for some reason I can’t remember who this “Bill Ward” person is. I fell asleep at my keyboard and woke up with some strange story about a guy I’ve never heard of and all of his amazing achievements along with a terrible headache. I think he might have been a character I made up or something like that. Everyone knows that Vinny Appice was Black Sabbath’s first drummer and Benjamin Harrison was America’s 23rdPresident.
Posted by Keith Spillett in Articles I Probably Shouldn't Have Bothered Writing on February 9, 2012
I’d like to take this opportunity to set the record straight. The firing of Bill Ward from Black Sabbath was my decision and my decision alone. You all are creations that exist only in my mind. Bill Ward and Black Sabbath are mere hallucinations that I invented. I have been alone here on earth since those terrible months back in 2004. I invented all of you. None of what you know to be reality is actually real.
People have taken his firing as an opportunity to smear the impeccable character of Sharon Osbourne. Sharon is a warm and wonderful woman. When I created her, it was based on a memory of a loving Sunday School teacher I had as a child. Blame me, the creator of this sick and twisted world for the firing of Bill. She doesn’t deserve your scorn.
Honestly, I was bored. I’m really running out of things to do here on earth since the plague wiped out the rest of the human race. I spend most of my days scrounging for food, but when I need entertainment, I make up ridiculous stories about “your world” in my mind. I’m so good at it that you, my illusions, have begun to think you are real and that the fantasies I create for you are the truth. I sit here for hours in my cave making up things like President Obama or the taste of new kinds of orange sodas or LeBron James or designs for Nike running shoes as I await my death and the end of the human race.
Please understand that I have big plans for Bill. There is a scenario I am working on know where Bill is forced to fight off a swarm of three-headed dragons that emerge from behind the sun next year. His firing might give him the time he needs to prepare to save your fictitious little universe.
Sharon and Ozzy are to be treated well. One or two more bad words about them from any of you and I’ll think you away completely. It will be as if you never were. You may awaken in an endless maze with minotaurs in it or you may not awaken at all. No one will even have a memory of you. Am I clear?
Anyway, please make a point to go out and support one of the greatest metal bands ever on this year’s reunion tour. You won’t be sorry you went!
(as partially formulated by psychologist and poet RD Laing in his book “Knots”)
They are playing a game about Bill Ward.
They are playing at not playing a game about Bill Ward.
If I show them I see they are,
I shall break the rules and they will tell me I’m not metal.
I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.
They are not having fun playing the Bill Ward game.
I can’t have fun if they don’t.
If I get them to have fun when playing the Bill Ward game, then I can have fun with them.
Getting them to have fun, is not fun. It is hard work.
I might get fun out of finding out why they’re not.
I’m not supposed to get fun out of working out why
But there is even some fun in pretending to them I’m not
having fun finding out why they ’re not.
Sharon comes along and says: let’s have fun, but without Bill.
But having fun is a waste of time, because it doesn’t
help to figure out why they’re not having fun.
How dare you have fun when Ozzy died on the Cross
Was He having fun?
Is Sharon having fun?
Is this fun?
Is it fun that Bill Ward is not having fun?
Is it fun that we are having fun about Sharon not having fun?
Is Ozzy having fun not having fun because Sharon is not having fun making Bill Ward not have fun?
Where are we anymore?