||GEEZER BUTLER CONFIRMS NEW BLACK SABBATH DRUMMER IS TOMMY CLUFETOS
19th May 2012
Bill Ward. Back Stabbath.
Geezer Butler has confirmed in the last few minutes that the new Black Sabbath drummer is indeed Tommy Clufetos from the Ozzy Osbourne band, as foretold by MetalTalk.net back in February.
Click here for the original Tommy Clufetos story.
Sabbath play Birmingham's O2 Academy tonight at the end of a week when they totally soured their amazing legacy by not just airbrushing Bill Ward out of their history, but bulldozing him out by doctoring every image on their official website. We're not providing a link because they don't deserve the hits for treating Bill so shabbily.
The discography was also amended so that it only contains albums up to 1979. This is a shameful thing to do in the week of the second anniversary of Ronnie James Dio's death and there will be much, much more said about this in our review of tonight's gig which we hope to have online Monday morning at the latest.
In the meantime, here's Geezer Butler's statement, titled 'HEAVY HEART', in full...
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"I feel sad to see the Sabbath reunion becoming a bit of a soap opera on the internet. It has been a very tough year for us as a band, having announced our reunion plans, only for Tony to be diagnosed with lymphoma, leaving us no choice but to postpone the proposed Sabbath tour, and then for Bill to go public on his site about an un-signable contract.
"None of us knew how Tony was going to respond to his intensive chemo therapy, and radiotherapy. Ozzy and myself flew to England to be with Tony, and on his "good" days, we'd meet at his home studio and put ideas together for the upcoming album, all sitting down together, no drummer involved, just 3 of us quietly putting together ideas.
"We thought that when we had enough songs together for a full band rehearsal, we'd move back to L.A and put the whole thing together with Bill. Unfortunately, to our surprise, Bill issued a statement on his site saying he'd been offered an un-signable contract. He hadn't told any one of us he was having contractual problems, and frankly those things are worked out between our representatives, and never between the four of us let alone in public.
"We had the idea of keeping just one show in this year, hoping that Tony would be well enough for that show, and that things with Bill would be sorted. As you may expect, a one off show at Donnington Festival (Download) costs an absolute fortune to stage, involving over 50 people, transport, air fares, hotels, meals, agents, promotors, accountants, lawyers etc, so none of us, expected to make much money from it - it was a one off Sabbath show for the fans, before we go into recording the new album.
"Apparently, this wasn't acceptable to Bill's representatives, they wanted an amount that was so unrealistic that it seemed to have been a joke. So we resigned ourselves to doing Download without Bill, hoping he'd change his mind and at least make a guest appearance.
"We started rehearsals a few weeks ago with Tommy Cluefetos, the drummer who will be on the Ozzy and Friends Tour. Brilliant drummer and good bloke.
"It was decided we'd better do a warm up show, to break the ice since we haven't played together live. The O2 Academy was available in Birmingham, where we were rehearsing, so we decided on that, and to make a donation to Help For Heroes Charity, since we'd be ironing out any glitches we may have.
"Then Bill put out a further statement saying he'd been ready to play the Birmingham show , but he was expected to have to do it "for free"- well, I think that's basically how you raise money from gigs for charity – you play them "for free".
"All I am saying is that there are two sides to everything. I do hope to play with Bill again some day. For whatever reason; it wasn't meant to be this time. Bill's made his decision, and I have to respect that. Hopefully this painful year will be worth the wait for the new Sabbath album and end in joy and happiness for all.