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Bill Ward Details Recent Health Setbacks, Current Recovery and Future Projects

Bill Ward
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has struggled with a few health issues lately, but the man is healing up and will soon sit behind the kit once again. In a new update from Ward himself, the drummer writes about shoulder surgery, contracting perforated diverticulitis, rehab and when exactly he plans on being back.

It’s been two years since contract negotiations between Bill Ward and the rest of Black Sabbath went south, leading to Ward’s departure from one of metal’s most anticipated reunions. Since his leave, Ward has kept himself busy by hosting a radio show and delving into the art world. Unfortunately, Ward has been away from his radio show since August 2013 in order to have surgery on his right shoulder, but further setbacks turned what was supposed to be a short break into a six-month hiatus.

Bill Ward explains on his Facebook page:

H! Everyone,

I hope you’re well. I’m re-starting the radio show on Saturday, February, 15, 2014. As many of you know, I’ve been in hospital for a while (our last radio show was in August 2013). I had a final operation on January 7, 2014, and I’m very pleased to say that a positive outcome has prevailed. I’m healing slowly and surely. On September 18, 2013, I thought I’d take advantage of the down time and have a right shoulder repair surgery. Four days after that surgery, I had the perforated diverticulitis. I’m mentioning the shoulder surgery because approximately two weeks ago, we finally started the shoulder rehab. It’ll be about six weeks before the frozen joints can be workable again. I’m hoping to be playing drums by mid-March 2014. I want to start back in with jam sessions with a jazz quartet, something softer before I start slamming again.

On January 23, 2014, I received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the NAMM Bonzo Bash. Again, multiple thanks to everyone who made that award happen for me. Special thanks to all the drummers at the bash, and it was great to be among the families and fans, and so many kick-ass drummers. My heart is with the students and the old-timers.

This year on our radio show I intend to feature some of my favorite drummers. We’ll have our very best of Metal, but we’ll also focus on hopefully surprising the listener with recordings from drummers, well-known and lesser-known. I’m trying to find rare jams, drum solos – it’ll be about drummers all year long.

Our first drummer to be featured will be the amazing Dave Lombardo. Dave is quite brilliant, and his music will be worth listening to. I also hope to feature a couple of tracks from the early Zeppelin era with the one and only John Bonham. Metallica, Motorhead and Phil Anselmo will be played on the show, and I just picked up Light Up and Live by Harsh Toke, hoping to find something nice to play. Further, we’ll be playing our Buddy, Ritchie and Big Bopper memorial. Happy 50th Birthday, Beatles.

It’s exhilarating to be back with the living! Check out the show if you can.

Stay safe. Stay Strong.


Get well soon, Bill. Stay tuned for further developments on Ward’s progress and his upcoming projects.

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