Thursday, May 2, 2013
1,000,000 Black Sabbath fans say yes to Bill Ward Facebook Page Laid To Rest - Rest In Peace
Today I pulled the plug on a project that started as a bit of a lark, and has finally run its course. Way back in June of last year, there was a huge uproar about the fact that Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward would not be joining the band for their reunion record and subsequent touring. Someone jokingly said, "There should be a page on Facebook - like those 1,000,000 Whoever or Whatever Fans Can't Be Wrong pages." I agreed, being a huge fan of Ward's fantastic drumming for many decade, and I started the Facebook Page.
That title? It was always very tongue in cheek. When the group grew to 25,000 in a matter of days, we were shocked - when it swelled to over 50,000 we were amazed, and we had a bit of a demon child upon our hands ('We' were myself, and two other friends who thought this a great idea).
We quickly learned that there were fiery passions on both sides of the fence - Bill Ward supporters tremendously outweighed that Sabbath side, but it was a Bill Ward support group, so that was to be expected. What I hadn't really expected was the anger, hate, rage, and occasional ignorantly violent outbursts from so many. Sharon Osborne detractors certainly topped this list, but there was no shortage of haters. For the most part? Black Sabbath fans turned out to be an amazingly diverse group of loyal supporters.
I always tried to be fair to the Sabbath side, but I still see their near incompetent handling of this mess to be one of the great missteps in recent rock history. At any point the band could have spoken out and ended the brouhaha, but someone decided it was better to remain mute - a tactic that I think failed everyone - the band, Ward, and most of all, their loyal fan base. I also have never experienced such hate and vitriol being directed at me personally, as the page's administrator. For some, civil discourse was an impossibility, and it is because of the negativity created by this situation that I have elected to shut down the page.
It seems very clear that at no time soon will Bill Ward be behind the kit as drummer of Black Sabbath - we still have no definitive explanation, only vague theories, rumors, and suspicions. The band is on the road, the record is out soon, and in spite of the fact that I still see the situation as a public relations travesty, I truly wish nothing but well for every member of the band. I wish the band every success. Many wish Bill was behind the kit, but that is not the way it is to be.
Many may be dismayed by my discontinuing the page, but I will no longer be a participant to a situation that creates such negativity and hate. There's too much wrong in this world that needs attention to add to the problem. I will not administrate a page that contributes to the dark side of the world. I wish everyone well, as I would wish everyone to wish for me. The war is over, the battle lost, but well fought by both sides.
Good luck, as always, to Bill Ward, good luck to Black Sabbath, and thanks to all the passionate fans who made this journey - it was interesting, fun, and almost endlessly frustrating.