BLACK SABBATH's Tony Iommi has paid tribute to Eddie Van Halen, calling the legendary VAN HALEN axeman "a fabulously caring human being."
Speaking to Guitar World magazine, Iommi said in part: "I've got two really great friends in the music business — Brian May [QUEEN] is one and Eddie Van Halen was the other. Ed was just fantastic, and his death is a terrible loss. I feel so sad for his wife Janie, brother Alex and his son Wolfgang. It's such a loss for everybody, fans and musicians alike.
"He was a fabulously caring human being. Whenever I was in L.A., I'd call him and we'd go out for dinner with our wives, and it was lovely. He was so easy going and we'd just sit and chat about anything.
"We stayed in contact in recent years through e-mail or phone," he said. "I was going through some of his emails recently and they were really heartwarming. We went through some similar things so we could really relate to each other.
"For example, a few years ago I told him I was having problems with the cartilage in my thumbs, and Eddie recommended that I go to this guy he was seeing in Germany. So, I went there, and I had this form of stem cell treatment like Eddie had. And yeah, it was really good. It's not well known that Eddie struggled with his arthritis. I'm amazed how well he played, really."
Van Halen co-wrote the song "Evil Eye" on BLACK SABBATH's 1994 album "Cross Purposes".
Eddie died in October at the age of 65 after a long battle with cancer.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Van Halen No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.