Ozzy Osbourne sat down with co-host Billy Morrison for another episode of “Ozzy Speaks” on SiriusXM‘s Ozzy’s Boneyard. During the episode, Ozzy and Billy remembered Eddie Van Halen and played some of their favorite VAN HALEN songs.
Speaking about Eddie‘s guitar-playing skills, Ozzy said: “You think you’ve seen it all. Then out of the blue, somebody comes out with such a revolutionized way of playing. To watch Eddie play was, like — his hands would turn into a spider. It was remarkable. He always made it look like it was so easy.”
Asked if he and Eddie ever had a chance to work together beyond just sharing the stage on various tours and festivals, Ozzy said: “No, no, no. He phoned me up one time and asked me if I wanted to sing in his band — way after Sammy [Hagar had left the band]. I think he was a bit drunk. We’ve all done one of them — calling at four o’clock in the morning, going, [makes unintelligible sound].”
The “Ozzy Speaks” episode, which premiered on SiriusXM‘s Ozzy’s Boneyard on Thursday, October 22, is available On Demand on the SiriusXM app and will rebroadcast on Ozzy’s Boneyard throughout the weekend.
Eddie died on October 6 at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. His wife, Janie, was by his side, along with his son, Wolfgang, and Alex, Eddie‘s brother and VAN HALEN drummer.
The day after Eddie‘s death, Ozzy paid tribute to the iconic axeman, telling Rolling Stone: “The last time I spent any serious time with Eddie was on the last official BLACK SABBATH tour I did in ’79, when they opened up for us. They were such good guys to be around. We had such fun. Every time I ever saw Eddie Van Halen, it was fun.
“I remember seeing Eddie do that finger-tapping thing, and that was the first time I’d ever seen anyone do that. Just when you think nobody can make guitar playing exciting, somebody like that comes out. He was one of them.
“That thing with finger-tapping in the 80s, with the hair bands, everybody was doing that finger tapping. Once you’ve seen the master do it, everyone else comes second. Anybody after Eddie Van Halen was in second, as far as I’m concerned.”
Osbourne went on to say that the “one thing I loved about Eddie was he always had a big grin on his face, and he looked like he was enjoying every second he was up there. Whether it was showbiz bullshit or not — I don’t think it was — he always looked like he was having the best time of his life up there.”
Describing the late guitarist “a force to be reckoned with,” Ozzy recalled one show they played with VAN HALEN in San Antonio where “they went on and blew the roof off. And we had to follow them. I mean, it was such a hard gig for us. To follow VAN HALEN, you’d go, ‘Oh, fuck. No.’ And after that tour, they took off.”
Osbourne said that he “could sit and watch Eddie Van Halen play guitar all day. He’s so entertaining as a guitar player. He made it look like it was not difficult. He made it look like it was a natural thing. Everybody else was trying to be Eddie Van Halen, but there is only one Eddie Van Halen. I thought he was brilliant. God only knows, what you have to do to get that good.”
Eddie died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.
VAN HALEN was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie Van Halen No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.