Original BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward has released a new video message to mark the third anniversary of the Las Vegas massacre.
A gunman opened fire on October 1, 2017 from the 32nd floor the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino during the Route 91 Harvest festival, killing 58 people and wounding more than five hundred others. The gunman, identified by police as Mesquite, Nevada resident Stephen Paddock, killed himself before police closed in. It was later determined that the 64-year-old retired accountant and poker player planned the attack and acted alone.
On Wednesday (September 30), a judge approved a massive settlement deal whereby more than 4,400 relatives and victims of the Vegas shooting will receive $800 million in payouts from MGM Resorts International, which is the owner of the hotel and the concert venue, and its insurer.
Last year, Ward released a song called "Arrows" to mark the second anniversary of the Las Vegas mass shooting.
Ward was on board for the SABBATH reunion when it was first announced nine years ago, but backed out soon after. The drummer later claimed that he sat out the recording and touring sessions because of unfair contractual terms, although the members of SABBATH have hinted in other interviews that he wasn't physically up to the task.
All four original members of SABBATH were present when the band announced its reunion in late 2011. But Ward split from the group in 2012, citing an "unsignable" contract, and singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler carried on with their Rick Rubin–produced "13" LP and extensive international touring without him.
Ozzy told The Pulse Of Radio during SABBATH's last tour that Ward was not in shape to participate. "Bill Ward has got the most physically demanding job of the lot of us, 'cause he's the timekeeper," he said. "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."
It was rumored that SABBATH wanted to bring a second drummer on the road to share duties with Ward, something that Iommi confirmed in 2017 during a question-and-answer session about SABBATH's "Ten Year War" box set.
Ward in 2015 released his first solo album in 18 years. Titled "Accountable Beasts", the record can be purchased on iTunes.