Black Sabbath’s Bill Ward discusses inspirations growing up in Aston


Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward was inspired by Boys’ Brigade drummers marching on the streets of Aston in Birmingham, it has been revealed.

The vivid memories were recalled by Bill in an exclusive vidcast produced with commentary from Jim Simpson, the first manager of Black Sabbath.

The new vidcast of Bill’s early memories of growing up in Birmingham can be watched and listened to here:

Bill remembers his first visit to an Indian restaurant, how big American jazz stars like Count Basie and Tommy Dorsey inspired his musical development, and how he bought his first set of drums from a shop on Broad Street.

Five pictures of Black Sabbath taken in their early days that have never been seen before are also featured in the vidcast. These pictures belong to Jim Simpson, who has waived his copyright to allow them to be used in the new vidcast.

The vidcast has been produced by Westside Business Improvement (BID), which has close links with Black Sabbath and was behind the launch of the now famous Black Sabbath bench on Broad Street.

In the podcast, Bill says: “Most of my early childhood was spent in Aston … and there was always music on Saturday nights [with] the Boys’ Brigade, and that was fantastic, listening to the drummers in the Boys’ Brigade …

“I was influenced by those Boys’ Brigades marching on every Sunday morning, coming around the corner, off the Lichfield Road onto Grosvenor Road. And I was fascinated by the colour of drums, and the ropes attached to the drums, and everything that makes a drum look incredible.”