“That was a riff that I really liked, and that was Eddie Van Halen’s favorite”: Tony Iommi reveals the Black Sabbath riff EVH was always asking him to play

L-Tony Iommi performs with Black Sabbath onstage at Madison Square Garden on February 25, 2016 in New York City;R-Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen performs at Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on September 19, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia
(Image credit: L-Kevin Mazur/Getty Images; R-Chris McKay/Getty Images)

Over the decades, Tony Iommi has written riffs forever etched in rock history. On the latest episode of Loudwire Nights, he was asked to name his favorite riff he wrote and pick those he instinctively knew were special – and he also revealed which was Eddie Van Halen's favorite. 

“Well, without sounding big-headed, [there were] a few,” he says (as transcribed by Blabbermouth).  “When we'd first done the Black Sabbath riff, straight away I knew – it just had this vibe and a feeling and it was something so different in them days that you'd never heard that sort of thing before. And I don't know how it all happened. It'd just sort of come out. And that was the benchmark for that album.”

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Janelle Borg

Janelle is a staff writer at GuitarWorld.com. After a long stint in classical music, Janelle discovered the joys of playing guitar in dingy venues at the age of 13 and has never looked back. Janelle has written extensively about the intersection of music and technology, and how this is shaping the future of the music industry. She also had the pleasure of interviewing Dream Wife, K.Flay, Yīn Yīn, and Black Honey, among others. When she's not writing, you'll find her creating layers of delicious audio lasagna with her art-rock/psych-punk band ĠENN.