The world was so close to having an Eddie Van Halen guitar solo on a Black Sabbath song, but unfortunately it never made the final cut. According to Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi in an interview with Rolling Stone, Van Halen wrote the original guitar solo for Black Sabbath‘s 1994 track “Evil Eye”. Iommi tried to replicate Van Halen’s playing but said he ultimately couldn’t do it.
Well, when we were doing Cross Purposes, they were playing in Birmingham,” he said. “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].”
Iommi later added that the tape of the original Van Halen solo still exists, but “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.”
Eddie Van Halen passed away earlier this week after a lengthy battle with cancer.
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Metal Injection – Tony Iommi Discusses Eddie Van Halen’s Involvement on BLACK SABBATH’s “Evil Eye”
Author: Greg Kennelty
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October 10, 2020