Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler has admitted that the band's estranged drummer, Bill Ward, was not actually invited to perform with them at the final stop on their The End Tour — and has now apologized to him for inadvertently perpetuating a false impression.

As previously reported, Butler had been under the impression that Ward turned down the chance to play at last show. "He doesn’t want to do it. He wants to do the whole tour or nothing," said Butler. "We’d love him to come on at the very last gig and be part of the whole thing, but he didn’t want to do that. And I understand: I wouldn’t want to be asked to come out just for the last gig. It’s a shame, but that’s the way it is."

Ward quickly disputed that version of events, using his social media profiles to let fans know he'd never received an offer to play at the last show — and that in fact, when he'd reached out to inquire about participating in the tour, he'd been told there was "no interest" from the band.

Without mentioning where he'd gotten that information, Butler later took to Twitter to inform followers that he'd been misled, and tagged Ward to say he was sorry for his earlier remarks.

The public back-and-forth between Sabbath and Ward has cast an unfortunate pall over an otherwise triumphant few years of renewed activity. Many fans were unhappy about Ward's absence from the band's most recent album, 13, and hoped that since this is reportedly Black Sabbath's last round of live dates — and the audience's last opportunity to see Ward performing with Butler, Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne — cooler heads might somehow prevail.

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