Black Sabbath and Other Bands That Won’t Reunite Until They Do

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After a series of contract disputes, Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has announced, via an incredibly long public letter posted on his website, that he will not join his old bandmates as the do their middle-aged rocker reunion thing at dates in May, June and August. The band was slated to play a series of shows as well as to record their first album with this line-up since 1978.

The reunion has been marked with troubles since the beginning. Ward has had a very public back and forth with the band about whether or not he would play, mostly centered around contract debates. Meanwhile, guitarist Tommy Iommi was dealing with lymphoma that should have put the squabbling into perspective but didn’t. Now the group is playing shows sans Ward and it seems as though things will stay that way. Still, we can’t help but think of all the bands that claimed they would never reunite and who did just that, sometimes even weeks after making the statement. Let’s take a look.

The Sex Pistols: After years of claiming his infamous punk band would never reunite, Johnny Rotten (who publicly trounced a Police reunion as “soggy old dead carcasses”) did indeed put his band back on the road—and in the studio to record tracks for video games—but at least was self-aware enough to call the comeback shows the Filthy Lucre World Tour.

The Police: Speaking of Sting and company, they’ve denied reunion rumors throughout the years—the Tantric One recently said, "People reacted to The Police coming back as if mum and dad had got together, you could see that emotion in the audience. But who really wants to go and live with the wife you divorced? I won’t do it again”—but in 2007 did reunite, an experience that reportedly left the old men even more bitter and hateful toward one another than they were before the shows.

Hole: Even though her former bandmates are some of the few people Courtney Love never publicly tussled with, after she toured in a band she called Hole in 2010, saying, "Nobody asks Trent: why Nine Inch Nails… I made the [band] name up,” it was assumed that she had moved beyond her old cohorts. Not so! Just last month Love teamed up with the version of Hole that played on the group’s last real album, Celebrity Skin, and did a secret show in Brooklyn.