Contact Us

Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath’s Jam Session Remembered by Bill Ward

Black Sabbath / John Bonham
Michael Ochs Archives / Jeffrey Mayer, Getty Images

Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has opened up about the legendary “Black Zeppelin” studio jam, which featured his band performing together with three members of Led Zeppelin in the studio. Depressingly, he maintains that nobody thought to press “record” on that fateful day.

“It only happened on one occasion… and I think it was in the mid-’70s,” Ward tells BackPage. “I don’t remember what album we were working on — but it all started when Bonzo comes into the studio and sits down at my drum kit and starts playing ‘Supernaut.’ That was one of our songs he really liked.”

He goes on to recount how Bonham enjoyed the heck out of playing on Ward’s two-bass drum setup while leading Sabbath’s frontline — Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler — through a 45-minute session with help from his own bandmates, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, periodically yelling out ‘Supernaut!’ to punctuate the fun.  (Apparently Jimmy Page was off conjuring magic somewhere else.)

Sabbath’s original drummer also credits the tragedy of Bonham’s death with helping him clean up his own addictions: “I’ve always thought of his death as a signal for me that, ‘if you don’t shape up, Bill, you will be the next one drowning in beer or overdosing.’

Anyway, back to more positive thoughts. Can you imagine if this studio meetup had happened in today’s smartphone, YouTube obsessed era? Some engineer probably would have had it tweeted video footage within an hour! Well, at least we can get a glimpse of what this Sabbath / Zeppelin pairing might have sounded like with this, possibly the most awesome mashup that has ever been created: Wax Audio’s ‘Whole Lotta Sabbath.’

Hear The Wax Audio Mashup of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of Ultimate Classic Rock

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Ultimate Classic Rock quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!