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Bill Ward

On 05/05/1948: Bill Ward was born in Aston, Birmingham, England. His full birth name was William Thomas Ward. Ward would start playing the drums as a child. His early major influences were Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson.
In the mid-1960s, Ward would sing and play drums in a band called The Rest. He would join a band called Mythology which included guitarist Tony Iommi.
After Mythology disbanded, Ward joined Iommi in a new band called Rare Breed with vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and bassist Geezer Butler. The band renamed themselves as Earth and then became known as Black Sabbath.
Black Sabbath would become a hugely successful band who pioneered heavy metal music. Ward would increase his drug and alcohol use with the band. By the late 1970s, Ward was drinking during gigs, which he hadn't done before and he was experiencing panic attacks. Ward would also be subject pranks from the band. For example, he would often have his beard set on fire. In 1972, Ward almost died after the band covered him gold spray paint after finding him naked and unconscious. Ward became violently ill and had a seizure as the paint had blocked all of his pores.
In 1980, Ward would not be able to remember recording the Black Sabbath album "Heaven and Hell" due to alcoholism.
Ward would briefly play in the band, Max Havoc. He would miss the Black Sabbath album "Mob Rules" in 1981.
In 1983, Ward returned to Black Sabbath for the album "Born Again". Ward would leave the band again for health reasons before the band toured. He would rejoin Black Sabbath again in the mid-1980s.
In 1985, the original Black Sabbath lineup reformed to play at Live Aid.
In 1990, Ward released his debut solo album called "Ward One: Along the Way". The album also featured Ozzy Osbourne and Zakk Wylde.
In 1992, the original Black Sabbath lineup reformed again to play at an Ozzy Osbourne show in Costa Mesa, California.
In 1994, Ward rejoined Black Sabbath for a South American tour with Tony Martin fronting.
In 1997, Ward released the solo album "When the Bough Breaks". Also in 1997, Ward rejoined Black Sabbath again for two shows at the Birmingham NEC which made up the "Reunion" album. Mike Bordin would replace Ward for the Black Sabbath appearance at Ozzfest.
In 1998, Ward had to skip all bu the last two band appearances after suffering a heart attack during tour rehearsals.
In 2002, Ward released the charity single "Straws". Also in 2002, Ward would start a monthly internet only radio show called "Rock 50".
In 2006, it was announced that Ward would reunite with Iommi, Butler and Ronnie James Dio for a tour as the group Heaven & Hell. Ward decided not to participate in the tour.
In 2011, it was announced that Ward would reunite with the original Black Sabbath lineup to record a new album which was later named "13". Ward left the project before the work commenced.
In 2013, Ward underwent gastrointestinal surgery.
In 2015, Ward released the album "Accountable Beasts". Also in 2015, Ward, Iommi and Butler received the Lifetime Achievement award at the Ivor Novello Awards.
Since the 1980s Black Sabbath heydey, Ward has quit smoking, given up alcohol and no longer uses drugs.

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
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