Black Sabbath reunion under threat

Black Sabbath’s reunion is so bedevilled with setbacks it’s almost as if they are paying the price for meddling with the occult. They are scheduled to headline the Download festival and tour Europe this year.

Bill Ward won’t be joining the party. The original drummer wanted a "signable contract", a request that suggests that trust issues might have been a problem. The other members decided to carry on without him.

Ozzy Osbourne’s wife Sharon had to resort to Twitter to deny rumours that she was behind Ward’s departure. "I am not in any position to hire or fire anyone in Black Sabbath," she tweeted. "I don’t manage the band, I manage my husband."

The other issue that is of major concern is the health of guitarist Tony Iommi, who is battling lymphoma. "He's going to beat it," Ozzy Osbourne said. "What it's down to is determination and believe me, this guy's got more determination than anybody I've ever met. It's going to be fine. It's just one of those trials in life that happen."

The band have relocated their rehearsals to England, where Iommi is receiving treatment. "When the bombshell hit about Tony's cancer problem, I came to England," Osbourne said. "It would’ve been pretty bad if I would've stayed in L.A. He's got so much support, not only from each one of us in the band, but the fan base; it's unbelievable. It's one of them problems you have in life. He isn't going to die, I'm telling you. I told him if he dies, I'm going to kill him."

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