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Emerson, Lake & Palmer Drummer: Tony Iommi Wanted Me to Replace Bill Ward in Black Sabbath

Carl Palmer
Ben Pruchnie, Getty Images

After original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward bailed out of the band’s reunion in early 2012, the seminal heavy metal act were forced to find a new drummer for both the recording of ’13’ and the band’s touring plans. Sabbath quickly locked down their replacements for Ward, but according to drummer Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer / Asia), he was asked to join Black Sabbath.

Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk ended up in the studio with Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler in the studio for ’13,’ while Ozzy’s solo drummer Tommy Clufetos was chosen to man the drums on the road for Sabbath. However, according to a new interview posted on WENN, Tony Iommi spoke with Carl Palmer about becoming Black Sabbath’s newest drummer.

“Tony and I did talk when they were looking for drummers to make the album and he put me forward,” explains Palmer. “I couldn’t do it because I was off with Asia, we were touring and then something else came up. I couldn’t have done it but I would have loved to. It just wasn’t in the cards.”

Palmer adds, “I was classically trained but, basically, I’m a rock drummer and I’ve never been in a true out-and-out guitar band like Black Sabbath, where it’s just big riffs — very simple but very dynamic. It would be extremely invigorating. The older I get, the more I appreciate that music. I was late to come to heavy metal. Asia had a bit of that, but we were a little bit more corporate rock and melodic.”

Black Sabbath are currently tearing apart North America for the band’s long-anticipated comeback tour. For the list of remaining dates, click here.

Ozzy Osbourne Says Bill Ward Was Too Overweight for Sabbath Reunion

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