If you’re a drummer and your favorite band is Black Sabbath, then this post is for you!.
Sabbath was a band that once played in the 1970s. They were one of the first heavy metal bands and pioneers of this kind of sound, influencing many other musicians and bands. They had nine drummers over their career:
- Bill Ward
- Vinny Appice
- Bev Bevan
- Eric Singer
- Terry Chimes
- Cozy Powell
- Mike Bordin
- Brad Wilk
- Tommy Clufetos
All 9 are incredible drummers who have put in some work for this iconic Rock n Roll band.
Bill Ward – the first Black Sabbath drummer
Billy Ward, aka the drummer who played drums on Black Sabbath Paranoid. That needed to be said; however, Billy was with Sabbath from its conception in 1969 until 1980 and then again in 1994 and from 1997 until 2012 and played on many of the hit records like “War Pigs.”
This heavy metal classic was highly influential among young drummers like Billy himself.
If you ever listen to tracks “It’s Alright” and “Swinging the Chain” by Black Sabbath, then you heard Billy’s vocals.
They released 10 studio and 2 live albums during his time in Sabbath.
Except for his blast drumming skills, he is known for crazy pranks he barely survived. One time band covered him with a golden chemical while he was asleep. This chemical blocked Ward’s pores, and he had a seizure. It turned out he barely survived.
Is Billy Ward still alive?
Yes, he is. Billy is alive and well and regularly posting on his website.
Vinny Appice – Black Sabbath drummer 1980 to 1982 and on and off until 1997
Vinny and his older brother Carmine are widely known in a drumming community. Vinny played With Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio, Heaven and Hell, Joel Hoekstra and many others. He even hand clapped on “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night” by John Lennon.
Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell tour featured Vinny Appice, a world-renowned drummer who quickly replaced original member Bill Ward. He joined the band for their Aloha Stadium show in Hawaii with his entire kit packed into that car!
The rain that day ruin those hastily written crib notes- but you know what? That didn’t stop him from putting on an amazing performance as usual!
Bev Bevan – Black Sabbath drummer 1983 to 1984 and again in 1987
Although Bevan was a member of Sabbath, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Electric Light Orchestra.
He was short with Sabbath, and from their fan perspective, he is not a memorable member.
Bevan joined them during Born Again Tour and played percussion on the “Eternal Idol” album. You can see him in Black Sabbath videos like “Trashed” and “Zero the Hero.”
After recording The Eternal Idol, he refused to go on tour in South Africa, so they fired him.
Eric Singer – Black Sabbath drummer 1985 to 1987
Although Eric Singer earned his glory as a drummer for Kiss. Before Kiss, he played with Lita Ford and one short period for the Sabbath.
He played on their album “Seventh Star” and left shortly after the recording of The Eternal Idol.
After Sabbath, he joined the Gary Moore band on tour to support his album “Wild Frontier.”
After the death of Eric Carr, Singer became an official member of Kiss in 1991. He played with Kiss until 1996, when the band reunited with Peter Criss, the band’s original member.
He joined Kiss again in 2001 but only for a tour. In 2002 Criss jumped in again, and the band decided to end Singer’s contract.
Terry Chimes – Black Sabbath drummer in 1987
Like many drummers from the list, Chimes was not known as a Sabbath drummer but rather as a drummer for the punk rock band the Clash.
Clash’s original drummer played with them from 1976 to 1977 and again from 1982 to 1983.
He briefly toured with Black Sabbath from July 1987 through December of that year and a one-off gig in May 1988. He also appeared as their drummer for the band’s music video “The Shining” from The Eternal Idol album.
Cozy Powell – Black Sabbath drummer 1988 to 1991 and 1994 to 1995
Cozy was an enormous talent who played with everybody, so to speak. The list goes on, to name a few: Jeff Beck, Rainbow, Gary Moore, Michael Schenker, Robert Plant, Whitesnake and of course, Black Sabbath.
He was and still is a major influence on many rock drummers.
Headless Cross was the album Cozy Played on for Sabbath. They attempted to recover the old sound, but it was impossible without Ozzy on the album.
The tour that followed was not successful either. It was canceled after only 8 shows.
Powell’s death was one of the most shocking and saddest stories. He died on 5 April 1998 during a car crash while driving his Saab 9000 at 104 mph (167 km/h) in bad weather near Bristol.
Mike Bordin – Black Sabbath drummer in 1997
Most famous for Faith No More, Mike Bordin is another kind of monster that played with Sabbath for only one year.
He joined Sabbath on their reunion tour, replacing Ward on tour with original members. Mike already played in Ozzy’s band when he got a call for Sabbath.
He was only there until Ward joined them in December of 1997.
Brad Wilk – Black Sabbath drummer in 2013
Wilk played on Sabbath album “13”. Like many from the list, he was more known as a drummer for Rage Against the Machine than Black Sabbath.
Album was produced by Rick Rubin, a famous producer who worked with Slayer, Danzig, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Johnny Cash, Dixie Chicks and others.
The band won Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2014 with the song “God Is Dead?” from above mention album.
Wilk played with Pearl Jam, Greta, Audioslave, Prophets of Rage and others.
Tommy Clufetos – Black Sabbath drummer 2012 – present
Like Bordin, Tommy first joined the Ozzy Osbourne band that would later lead to joining Black Sabbath.
Although Wilk recorded Sabbat’s album “13”, Tommy played on the tour to support it.
His transition from Rob Zombie to Ozzy caused an earthquake in his relationship with Rob due to the way he just left without saying goodbye.
Tommy joined the Ozzy Osbourne band in 2010, and the tour with Sabbath came in 2012. The whole cooperation still lasts.
In May of 2021, he formed a band with Rob Zombie, guitarist John 5 and Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue called L.A. Rats. Their debut track, “I’ve Been Everywhere,” ended as a soundtrack for the Liam Neeson film The Ice Road.