Bill Ward Issues A "Thank You" To Black Sabbath
"Something I didn't say on the night of March 13, 2006 at the Waldorf Astoria, New York, NY. Better late than never. I'd planned to put up a 'thank you' to the band on my web site the week of the [Rock and Roll] Hall of Fame. Finally, several weeks later, here's the thank you:
"I'd like to thank Tony, Geezer and Ozzy for a lifetime of fun, achievements, musical satisfaction, musical progress, unity, love, laughter, wonderful memories, strength to accomplish, and valuable life lessons. I could probably add an infinite list of gifts I've received from them. However, I'll share the March 13th accolades with a short story instead.
"On the morning of March 13, 2006, Walter and I were finishing our walk through Central Park. Heading out of the park near Columbus Circle to go toward 5th Avenue, we walked past several construction workers sitting on benches against the wall of the park. I guess it was around lunch time, and these ruddy-faced workers were on chow break. My eyes met one of the workers, and I half acknowledged a nod to him. After walking past the guy, I sensed someone had gotten up and was coming towards my back.
"'Yo, Bill Ward, Bill Ward!'
"Walter and I stopped, and a bulky guy with a grin from ear to ear asked, 'Bill Ward, right? What the fuck you's doing here?'
"'Hall of Fame,' says I.
"His New York/New Jersey accent bowling me over somewhat, 'Hall of Fame! Congratulations! SABBATH deserves it! I'm with the Iron Workers Union, New York.' He said it with such pride. He deserved immediate respect. "We love SABBATH... all my life... SABBATH.'
"Then he pointed to a building across the street under construction. 'We're on the 7th floor right now, going to 38 stories [I think he said 38].' I glanced at the iron framework, solid and echoing New York's greatness.
"'Bill, so's you know, we play SABBATH everyday in our building," I felt completely honoured as he continued talking, "every day, man, SABBATH on every floor. 'Iron Man', 'War Pigs', all the way to the top.'
"I felt truly moved by the sincerity of this larger-than-life man. We shook hands, and I thanked him. I couldn't have received a nicer compliment or gift that day, even with the Awards still ahead. I felt my day had already been made, and I mentioned as much to Walter as we walked away. I regretted Tony (Tony Iommi) wasn't with us. Tony and I walk regularly in Central Park when we're in New York. I think he (Tony) would have gotten a huge kick out of this New York encounter.
"A new reality awoke inside me, and I saw with much insight the rippling effect of SABBATH's reach — the iron worker playing SABBATH on every floor, to the top of 'his' building in the heart of New York, New York. Again, I want to thank that iron worker and send all my best regards to all the iron workers in that great city and across America.
"This short story I dedicate to Tony, Geezer and Ozzy, who got the most sincere accolades from a SABBATH fan, who builds high. In their absence on that Monday, March 13th morning, I guess I did the 'thank yous' on the band's behalf.
"In summary, these are things you keep close to the heart. These memories and these precious moments somehow make the world go around more easily.
"My sincere thanks to Tony, Geezer and Oz. Without them, there would be no story, and our world surely would be less without them.