Black Sabbath ruled out the option of hitting the recording studio with legendary drummer Ginger Baker because they didn't want to have to deal with "problems" the eccentric former Cream would bring with him. Producer Rick Rubin suggested Baker as a replacement for Bill Ward after contractual issues prompted the band's original drummer to walk away from reunion plans, but guitarist Tony Iommi admits he and his bandmates were not convinced the veteran rocker would be a good fit.
Iommi tells WWeek, "We put a stop on... We didn't want to go into the studio and have problems."
The group eventually decided to hit the studio and record their hit comeback album 13 with Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk, and Iommi adds, "We did try some big name drummers - some very big name drummers. They were great, but Rick particularly suggested Brad. He did work hard; he was thrown into the deep end and he was very nervous. He got used to us, our jokes, the way we prank around."
Last week, former Emerson Lake & Palmer star Carl Palmer told WENN he was considered as Ward's replacement but scheduling issues prompted him to turn the dream job down.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Asia star Carl Palmer insists peer Bill Ward is still one of the top rock drummers in the world, despite Ozzy Osbourne's fears he's past his prime. Ward pulled out of the Black Sabbath reunion last year (12), citing a contractual dispute, and ever since former bandmate Ozzy has suggested the rocker isn't fit enough to keep up with the rock legends.
Ward has taken the high road on the jibes and said nothing, but now ELP drummer Carl Palmer, who has teamed up with Ward on a new percussive art project, has spoken out to defend the former Black Sabbath star he almost replaced last year.
He tells WENN, "It's a shame that Bill's not there. I said to them (Black Sabbath bandmates), 'Bill should be in there...' but I went to the website the other day and I noticed that Bill was removed from all of the photographs... There's not a picture of Bill on there at all, which I thought was weird.
"I've heard he's completely cleaned up from alcohol and he's been straight for many, many years. Maybe he's lost some confidence... but I'm sure that they (bandmates) wish, whatever's happened, that it had all gone the right way and Bill was in the band.
"If they could have had Bill in the band they would have had him there. It was just political and certain managerial things got in the way. Bill's a really good guy, he's still a really great drummer, he still hits really hard and he would have done a great job there."
Palmer recently told WENN that his name was put forward as a possible replacement for Ward when he first announced he would not be returning for the reunion, but he was not available and Black Sabbath hit the studio with Rage Against the Machine's Brad Wilk and then recruited Alice Cooper's drummer Tommy Clufetos for their current tour.
Meanwhile, Palmer and Ward have joined forces with Def Leppard's Rick Allen to create a new art form, using drumming sequences as computerised brush strokes on canvas.
Palmer's drum art has already been a hit all over America and the ELP star debuts his first exhibition in Los Angeles on Thursday (22Aug13) at Hollywood's Mr. Musichead gallery.
The reunited Black Sabbath are planning to record and release another album following the success of 13, which has topped the charts around the world - and they are hoping former drummer Bill Ward will join them in the studio. Ward pulled out of the get together last year (12), citing contractual issues, and he was replaced by Rage Against the Machine star Brad Wilk.
His former bandmates are now keen for him to reconsider his decision not to be a part of the reunion, and despite confessing fears Ward might struggle as Sabbath's drummer, frontman Ozzy Osbourne admits he would welcome his old pal with open arms.
He tells ThePulseOfRadio.com, "We would have loved to have Bill on this album. Maybe we can work things out by the next one... Bill Ward has got the most physically demanding job of the lot of us, 'cause he's the timekeeper. I don't think personally he had the chops to pull it off, you know. The saddest thing is that he needed to own up to that, and we could have worked around it, whether we had a drummer on the side with him or something."
However, Osbourne insists Ward won't have too long to mull over a return, because the band want to get started on a new album as soon as possible: "It won't take another 35 years. I'm 65 now. There's no f**king recording studios in the afterlife."
Red Hot Chili Peppers star Chad Smith was disappointed not to have been asked to join Black Sabbath to work on the band's new album and felt "drummer envy" when the job went to Brad Wilk. The metal legends were left searching for a replacement for percussionist Bill Ward after he was not included in the band's reunion, and producer Rick Rubin gave the drumming job to Rage Against the Machine star Wilk.
However, Smith admits he desperately wanted to join the band to play drums on chart-topping new record 13.
He tells Billboard.com, "When Rick didn't call me for the Black Sabbath thing, I gave him a hard time about it. I was like, 'Come on!' He's like, 'No, I got Brad Wilk from Rage playing on that.' I had to tell Brad I was a little jealous, a little drummer envy that he was playing with Sabbath. But I heard the record. It's really good, f**kin' heavy as f**k. Brad did a great job, I have to say. He did a great job. The band's swingin' (sic)."