“He had a day off, and I said, ‘We’re having a rehearsal, do you want to come?’”: Tony Iommi on how Eddie Van Halen came to co-write this Black Sabbath deep cut

Iommi stayed in contact with Eddie right up until his passing.

[L-R] Tony Iommi and Eddie Van Halen

Credit: Dave Benett/Getty Images [L], Daniel Knighton/Getty Images [R]

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Tony Iommi has recalled how Black Sabbath came to write a song with Eddie Van Halen for their 1994 album, Cross Purposes.

During a visit to Birmingham, UK, Eddie was picked up by Iommi from his hotel, whisked to a music shop for a guitar, and then taken down to a rehearsal where he helped to craft the song Evil Eye. Interestingly, according to Ultimate Guitar, an existing contract with Warner Bros. prevented him from receiving credits.

Joining the band’s former vocalist Tony Martin in a conversation shared to Iommi’s official YouTube channel, the Sabbath guitarist recalls: “He had a day off, and I said, ‘We’re rehearsing, do you want to come?’ He said, ‘Oh yeah,’ and that’s what he’d done, really.

“I picked him up in Birmingham, at the hotel, and then we drove via a music shop, and I said, ‘Do you want to pick a guitar up’, and we did — one of his Eddie Van Halen ones, they had got one in. Then we went down to the rehearsal.”

“I said, ‘We’re working on this song,’” he continues, “and we started playing it. He started playing a solo. We played a couple of old Sabbath songs first, and I said, ‘You’re playing that wrong’ [laughs]. ‘Cause they used to play Sabbath stuff, before they [Van Halen] were known. It was Into the Void or something, I can’t remember. But anyway, that’s the sort of relationship we had. We stayed friends until he passed away; I spoke to him just before.”

Watch the interview below:

On 31 May, Black Sabbath are to release a box set, Anno Domini. The collection consists of four CDs containing newly remastered versions of Headless Cross (1989), TYR (1990), Cross Purposes (1994), and a new version of Forbidden (1995), remixed by Iommi.

You can pre-order it now.


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