Bill Ward (musician)

Bill Ward

Bill Ward in 1970

Background information

Birth name
William Thomas Ward

(1948-05-05) 5 May 1948 (age 68)
Aston, Birmingham, England

Heavy metal, doom metal, blues rock, hard rock

Musician, songwriter


Years active



Associated acts
Mythology, Black Sabbath, Ward One, Ronnie James Dio, Fire Voltage, High Voltage

William Thomas “Bill” Ward (born 5 May 1948) is an English musician and visual artist, best known as the original drummer for the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. An original founding member of the band, Ward also performed as lead vocalist on two Black Sabbath songs; “It’s Alright”[1] from the album Technical Ecstasy and “Swinging the Chain”[1] from the album Never Say Die!. Ward is known for his very unorthodox style of playing the drums, often using snare-drills and tempo-drop to match both vocals and riff.


1 Biography

1.1 Early years and Black Sabbath
1.2 Pranks
1.3 Solo career
1.4 Later career
1.5 Brief reunion with Black Sabbath

2 Personal life
3 Influence
4 Equipment
5 Discography

5.1 1970s
5.2 1980s
5.3 1990s
5.4 2000s
5.5 2010s

6 See also
7 References
8 External links

Early years and Black Sabbath[edit]
Bill Ward started to play drums as a child, listening to the big bands of the 1940s and his major influences were Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson.[2] Later he was influenced by drummers such as Larrie Londin, Bernard Purdie, Joe Morello, Keef Hartley, Hughie Flint, John Bonham, Ringo Starr, Jim Capaldi, Clive Bunker.[3] In the mid-1960s Ward sang and played drums in a band called The Rest.[4] Ward and guitarist Tony Iommi played together in a band called Mythology,[5] and upon that band’s dissolution joined vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and bassist Geezer Butler, who had played together in a band called Rare Breed.[6] The new band called themselves Earth, soon to be renamed Black Sabbath.
Ward’s drug and alcohol use increased throughout Black Sabbath’s heyday. By the late ’70s Ward was drinking during gigs, something he had never done before.[4] He also began experiencing panic attacks.[4] Ward has said he cannot remember the 1980 recording Heaven and Hell due to his alcohol abuse.[7] According to Black Sabbath bandmate Iommi, Ward disappeared on 21 August 1980, without saying goodbye, other than a telephone call to then-Black Sabbath vocalist Ronnie James Dio informing h