In a lengthy posting on his website, Ward said he would “love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour.” But, as with all good things, there is a catch.
“However, I am unable to continue unless a ‘signable’ contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band.
“Last year, I worked diligently in good faith with Tony [Iommi], Ozzy [Osbourne] and Geezer [Butler]. And on 11/11/11, again in good faith, I participated in the L.A. press conference. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another ‘unsignable’ contract was handed to me.”
Ward doesn’t actually say why the contract was “unsignable." Instead, he focused on what might happen if he signed the contract offered to him.
“The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, I also have to stand for something and not sign on,” Ward wrote. “If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician.”
If you’re thinking Ward’s objection to the contract offered him is all about the money, the drummer says he’s not “greed-driven.”
“I’m not holding out for a ‘big piece’ of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal. I’d like something that recognizes and is reflective of my contributions to the band, including the reunions that started fourteen years ago.
“After the last tour I vowed to never again sign on to an unreasonable contract. I want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract that will honor all that I’ve brought to Black Sabbath since its beginning.”
Ward’s essay is the second speed bump to emerge for Black Sabbath’s reunion tour. Last month the band announced guitarist Tony Iommi had been diagnosed with lymphoma but did not say whether the illness would impact the tour.
So far, Black Sabbath has only announced Euro dates for its global outing. The reunion tour is scheduled to be in Moscow at Olympiiski May 18.