BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi has explained to Rolling Stone magazine how Eddie Van Halen ended up co-writing the song "Evil Eye" on the band's 1994 album "Cross Purposes".
"When we were doing 'Cross Purposes', [VAN HALEN] were playing in Birmingham. Obviously, I went to see him, and we were rehearsing. I said, 'You ought to come down to rehearsal if you want.' 'Oh, can I?' I said, 'I'll pick you up from the hotel.' I said, 'Let's go and get a guitar.' We went down to the music shop in Birmingham. I said, 'Can you lend us a guitar for Eddie?' And of course, they went, 'Oh, oh, wha'?' [Laughs] So Eddie came in with me, and we got one of his guitars, his own model. And he came to rehearsal. We played some of the SABBATH stuff for him. One of his favorites was 'Into The Void', strangely enough. We played that and we went back to writing. I think it was 'Evil Eye', and I said, 'Go on, you play the solo on this.' He did and it was really great. When we recorded it, of course, I tried to duplicate that, but I couldn't. [Laughs]"
Asked if he still has a tape of Eddie's solo somewhere, Tony said: "You know what, there is. I don't know where it is amongst my lot, but there is one. I know I've got one. It was a real gem."
Reflecting on Eddie's impact on music, Tony said: "He's had probably one of the biggest influences that you could have on people, from his generation onwards. He came up with something completely different. How hard is that, to come up with something different guitar-wise? I think he's inspired so many people. There's millions of people out there all trying to do that tapping stuff and play like Eddie and play Eddie's solos. I think he's had a huge impression on millions and millions of guitar players."
Eddie died this past Tuesday (October 6) at the age of 65 after a long battle with cancer.
The iconic VAN HALEN axeman passed away from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie Van Halen No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.