Tommy Clufetos tapped to replace Bill Ward Black Sabbath recruit Ozzy Osbourne's solo band drummer Tommy Clufetos, who's currently drumming with Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne's solo band, has been tabbed to replace original sticksman Bill Ward for Black Sabbath's reunion shows set for this summer.

According to a statement by bassist Geezer Butler, the band started rehearsals a few weeks ago with Tommy Cluefetos, the drummer who will be on the 'Ozzy And Friends' tour. Geezer called Tommy "a brilliant drummer and good bloke."

Earlier this week Black Sabbath's original drummer Bill Ward issued a public statement in which officially announced that he will not be taking part in any of the reunion shows. Bill claimed he'd been offered an unsignable contract. Referring to the past year as "a bit of a soap opera", Geezer had the following response to Bill's publice letter:
"Bill hadn't told any one of us he was having contractual problems, and frankly, those things are worked out between our representatives, and never between the four of us, let alone in public. (...) [Bill's representatives] wanted an amount that was so unrealistic that it seemed to have been a joke. So we resigned ourselves to doing Download without Bill, hoping he'd change his mind and at least make a guest appearance."

Black Sabbath's warm-up show for charity at the O2 Academy in Birmingham, with Help for Heroes as the beneficiary, complicated the situation with Bill even more. Continues Geezer:

"Bill put out a further statement saying he'd been ready to play the Birmingham show, but he was expected to have to do it 'for free.' Well, I think that's basically how you raise money from gigs for charity - you play them 'for free.' All I am saying is that there are two sides to everything."

Watch drummer Tommy Clufetos with Ozzy Osbourne's solo band performing the Black Sabbath classic War Pigs in San Antonio, Texas on January 24, 2011:

Meanwhile things got further awkward since Bill Ward has been removed from most of Black Sabbath’s official Web site. The drumer is still there in both name and image in the history section. But his absence pervades most of the site, including the site's home page and in its gallery section.

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