Black Sabbath bandmates Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler met with once-estranged drummer Bill Ward in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 11th to take part in a special "Grammy Salute to Music Legends" where hard rockers Rival Sons churned out several Sabbath covers and presented the godfathers of heavy metal with the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award.
"Another Grammy! Great performance from @RivalSons yesterday, thanks guys," Iommi said in a tweet that included a photo of the three friends and musical colleagues. When Sabbath reunited seven years ago for 2013 album 13 and the subsequent promotional tour, Ward was noticeably absent despite early rumors he'd signed on. Conflicting reports about financial disputes and health concerns ensued, but thankfully that seems to be water under the bridge for the old mates these days.
Ozzy Osbourne did not attend the event. While he hasn't officially commented on his absence, the singer has been recovering from a series of pneumonia-related injury, which led to his postponement of all 2019 touring dates.
"What an experience," said Rival Sons drummer Mike Miley in an Instagram post following the event, where his band performed a medley of Sabbath classics "War Pigs", "Changes" and "Paranoid." "I got to sit down with @billwarddrummer for a few precious moments; talking about jazz, feel, and rhythm, and other life stuff. What a treat. What a legend and what a sweetheart 'Wardy' is."
Butler also posted some images from the reunion, keeping things casual with the brief caption, "Last night at the #grammy #LifetimeAchievementAwards #TonyIommi #BillWard." Delighted fans poured in their excited commentary, telling the bassist it was great to see them all together once more. The last time the three were all in one room together was in May 2015 when they came together to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ivor Novello Awards in London.
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What an experience. We @rivalsons got to present a @recordingacademy Lifetime Achievement Award to @blacksabbath last night, AND perform a medley of their songs, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM, and a vast array of other stars and legends, at the @dolbytheatre In Hollywood. I got to sit down with @billwarddrummer for a few precious moments; talking about jazz, feel, and rhythm, and other life stuff. What a treat. What a legend and what a sweetheart “Wardy” is. Thanks to @allthetrulyblessed and @mikenielanddrums for the opportunity.