Tony Iommi had to warn Eddie Van Halen to “behave” on the 1978 Black Sabbath/Van Halen tour

Tony Iommi and Eddie Van Halen
(Image credit: Pete Still/Redferns / Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

Tony Iommi and Eddie Van Halen had a famously close relationship – the Black Sabbath legend recently told Guitar World, following Eddie's passing, “I've got two really great friends in the music business – Brian May is one and Eddie Van Halen was the other.”

But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some rocky moments between the electric guitar icons, especially in the very beginning. In an interview for the Eddie Van Halen book Eruption, author Paul Brannigan talked to both Iommi and Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler about tensions on their 1978 tour in support of Never Say Die!, for which Van Halen opened some shows.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.