Bill Ward Credits A Beatles Song for Helping Him Get Sober
Ward recalled the incident in a recent interview with Sick Drummer Magazine, explaining, “My youth was always push-and-pull. I remember taking all kinds of risks and being oblivious to danger, of thinking I could really do anything I wanted. If I drove a fast car, I’d have to take it 130 miles per hour or more. I paid the price for that — I’ve crashed a number of cases, and I’m very lucky to still have my life.”
While behind the wheel of a Jensen Interceptor — a V8-powered sports car that’s popular on the collector’s market today — Ward went speeding around the English countryside while listening to ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ and as he remembers now, “I was a bit under the influence, and I was on my down to the pub to get some cigarettes. I was listening to ‘A Day in the Life’ as I left our farmhouse, and I was already doing 90 when I accelerated more. I hit a bump and just went out of control. I ended up in the passenger’s seat and managed to turn the engine off right before I went sky-high and rolled a couple of times.”
When the dust settled, Ward noticed that “the car and I landed exactly on the last note of the song. I couldn’t believe I was still alive, lying upside down in a ditch. It was terrifying — it sobered my ass right up.”
So there’s something to think about the next time you listen to ‘A Day in the Life.’ When it reaches that famous ending, think about Bill Ward and his poor, ruined sports car.