Bill Ward’s Opinion On Cozy Powell

Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward, Geezer Butler, and Tony Iommi were there when Black Sabbath was formed for the first time. These initial members were true legends, they helped the band gain fame in the mainstream and make Black Sabbath known to the worst as one of the best rock bands.

During the late 70s, Ozzy became the first member to leave the band. He was fired from the group and since then nothing remained the same. Geezer left the band in the 80s followed by Ward. Only Tony remained in the group as the original member of Black Sabbath.

The legendary drummer, Bill Ward left the band and joined again in 1984 to work on a record with Donato and embarked on his solo career once more in the late 80s. Ward has been a legendary drummer for a long time now, he surely knows some of the best drummers, but what’s his opinion on the former drummer of Black Sabbath, Cozy Powell?

What’s Bill Ward’s opinion on Cozy Powell?

We can probably say that Cozy Powell was a great substitute for Bill Ward. His playing style was perfect for the band and even Ward respected him. He even stated that Cozy was a great drummer.

Unfortunately, Powell died in 1988 due to a car crash as he was rushing to his girlfriend’s house. This was a great loss in the rock society. Many musicians paid tribute to Powell and so did Ward. In 2008, during the 10th anniversary of his tragic death, Ward shared his opinion on the late drummer on his official website.

“It’s been ten years since Cozy died. I think about him from time to time. I’ve always been grateful that our last phone conversation ended on a high note. I felt we were both sincere with each other, sharing mutual respect when touching on our individual histories in Hard Rock/Metal.”

“Over the years, death has sometimes come quickly to old friends, and I’ve felt the pain and dilemma of not returning a phone call as I would have liked to, but didn’t; not being able to say a proper goodbye in life; being upset, or undone, or unresolved from the last conversation, then feeling the loss of that end,” Ward stated.

Ward adds, “With Cozy, I felt we had the perfect ending conversation. We talked from the heart. In hindsight, our conversation seems gift-like, fitting perfectly into the great order of things. Cozy died about ten days after he and I spoke, maybe sooner, I’m not sure.

“OK. Drum students – listen to this man. Check out the band Rainbow. Listen to “Stargazer.” Cozy is a master. Listen to the top of the song – that’s Cozy Powell playing. Discover this giant of Rock drumming. He lives forever on records and in our hearts. Thanks, Coze – nice work,” Bill Ward said.

Bill Ward once had to learn the songs Cozy Powell recorded with Black Sabbath

In 1994, the original members of the Black Sabbath reunited together and performed a few shows together in South America. Although Ozzy Osbourne refused to sign the contract and show up at the reunion, Iommi, Geezer, and Bill Ward joined Martin during that moment Ward learned some songs that Cozy Powell recorded.

During an interview with Black Sabbath in 2009, he revealed about the song that Cozy Powell originally recorded and he had to learn it, “(After Ozzy quit) there was this offer on the table: The ‘Tonys’ (Tony Martin and Tony Iommi. Those who had been called Sabbath), had an opportunity to go to South America to tour.” 

He adds, “I hadn’t played for a long long time. I knew some of the Sabbath songs but I didn’t know all the other songs on which Tony Martin and Tony Iommi had been working on. So there were some songs on which I had absolutely no clue. I worked real hard to study them and get them into shape for that tour.”

The track was even hard to legend like Ward himself. he even stated that learning Cozy’s playstyle was challenging but also a great opportunity.

“I think I failed pretty miserably in getting the songs the way that Cozy had played them… I play like Bill, I can’t play like anybody else! And that was an unexpected opportunity. I wasn’t able to put all my things together at time for those first gigs. So I really had to feel my way through those songs.”

“I tried to learn them with the amount of time that we had. I tried to learn them to the best of my ability. And guess what? When I was doing those gigs, as much as I like Tony Martin who’s a real nice guy, the same thing happened again. I was onstage with a singer that wasn’t Ozzy. And just as it had happened before in 1984 with David Donato. It just didn’t feel the same,” Bill Ward said.

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