Ozzy Osbourne insists the real reason behind Bill Ward departing as drummer in Black Sabbath is because he was ''out of condition'' to reunite with the band as he struggled to remember their sets.
The 64-year-old frontman has reunited with his band for their upcoming album '13' and insists the real reason their former drummer left the original line-up was down to his struggle with remembering their sets, not because of a dispute over his contract.
Ozzy told Mojo magazine: ''When Bill came along, we all had to ask, 'Can he do an hour-and-a-half, two-hour gig? Can he cope?' My suggestion was that we run through a set and see how he got on because he was so out of condition and the drummer is the most demanding job in the whole band.
''We looked at Bill, and he couldn't remember what the f**k we were doing. But he didn't come clean and say, 'I can't cut this gig, but can we work something out, guys, where I'll come on but with another drummer backing me up?' Or, 'I'll come and play a few songs.' That would have been cool.''
Despite sympathising with the musician, who had a heart attack in 1998 before Black Sabbath's European Tour, Ozzy feels he and his bandmates - Geezer Butler and Tommy Iommi - will be fine without Bill.
He added: ''I get where he's coming from, though. His pride was hurt and I get it. I really do get it. The guy will always be a dear, dear friend and a brother to me, but ... He can't be surprised that he didn't get the gig.
''You know them yellow f**king stick-on memo notes? He had them all over his f**king drums. I was like, 'What the f**k's that for, Bill?' He said, 'I can't remember what I'm doing.' I go, 'How are you gonna remember out of those 500,000 bits of paper stuck all over your kit, which one you're looking at, Bill?' ''
The heavy-metal rockers have since replaced Bill with Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk for their new record and Tommy Clufetos for their live shows.