Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward did not want Ronnie James Dio to be in the band

Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward revealed in an interview that he was initially not on board with the idea of replacing Ozzy Osbourne with Ronnie James Dio.

Bill Ward has appeared on a podcast, talking about the history of Black Sabbath and reminiscing of the old days, especially the Dio-era. During the conversation with The Eddie Trunk Podcast, Black Sabbath’s drummer revealed his thoughts about the current ‘Heaven and Hell’ record. He thinks the band has done a good job on that. Ward also talked about the replacement Black Sabbath had to go through when Ozzy Osbourne left the band. He was apparently not fond of the idea of moving on, at least initially.

(Transcribed by, here’s what Bill Ward had to say on the podcast.

Bill Ward on Ronnie James Dio joining Black Sabbath

Eddie Trunk: “Bill, I know it’s difficult for you to see Ozzy leave and to have to deliver that news, but did you feel it was the right thing to do with the time? I mean, the one thing that I’ve gotten this week from Tony and Geezer is that there was really the one thing they felt really strongly about with Ronnie coming in was that there was a new enthusiasm. They felt that Ozzy had really just lost a lot of enthusiasm for the band. Were you on board with that decision at that time?”

Bill Ward: “Umm, no, I didn’t agree necessarily with the decision. But I could understand it was the right thing to do. Sometimes there’s a difference between doing the right thing and doing the right thing that makes any sense. And, so I actually saw it more of the end of the Black Sabbath as we understood it. And I thought it was a very dangerous move. So, that’s how I felt about it.”

After expressing his concerns about Black Sabbath’s decision to move on, Ward went on to say that he ultimately wanted the right thing for the band, which is moving on after Ozzy, and it seems that was not big of a deal for him.

“You know, I’m a musician and so I agreed to the idea of moving on, you know. I found Ronnie to be very friendly, we were pretty good mates, you know. So, there was no problems like that, you know. And I showed up as a musician, moving into something new, and I did what I’m supposed to do, you know. I’m supposed to play drums and be helpful in any other ways that I can. And I tried to do that, the best I could.”

He then expressed his feelings deep inside, not wanting to move on while Ozzy was going through some hardships.

“I had a lot of reservations about the entire idea of moving on because one of the guys was, you know, in battle. He was having problems.”

After answering the question about the replacement of an unwilling Ozzy with Dio, Bill Ward talked about the material of ‘Heaven and Hell’ now.

Eddie Trunk: “What are your thoughts about the ‘Heaven and Hell’ record now, when you listen to it, and the material on it?”

Bill Ward: “I like the dynamics, I think it’s great. I think we did some really good stuff.”

Ward then said that it was not his musically favourite album, though he thought Ronnie did a great job on ‘Heaven and Hell’. Bill Ward also said he did not want to push more negativity, as he thought he had already pushed enough, despite feeling positive.

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