Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and Eddie Van Halen were friends since Van Halen toured with Sabbath by the end of the 70’s. Back in 2013 the legendary musicians gave an interview to Guitar World and they discussed the influence Eric Clapton had on them.
Tony Iommi: “Probably because of the whole blues thing. I really liked his playing with John Mayall, which influenced a lot of players back then.”
Eddie Van Halen: “With me it was all about the live Cream stuff. I don’t mean to downplay anything Clapton did, but for me it was also about Cream’s rhythm section. Listen to “I’m So Glad” on Goodbye and adjust the balance to the right. Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were playing jazz through Marshalls. To me that is where Clapton’s style came from. Clapton was the only guy doing that kind of extended soloing back then.”
Tony Iommi: “That’s right. Later on it was Hendrix and everybody else. But Clapton in those days appealed to a lot of people from his work with John Mayall through Cream.”
Eric Clapton was born in March 30, 1945 and he is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and of Cream. Besides that, he has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time and ranked second in Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. Also fourth in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”.
After playing in a number of different local bands, Clapton joined the Yardbirds in 1963, replacing founding guitarist Top Topham. Dissatisfied with the change of the Yardbirds sound from blues rock to a more radio-friendly pop rock sound, Clapton left the Yardbirds in 1965 to play with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, with whom he played on one album.
He has been the recipient of 18 Grammy Awards, and the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2004 he was awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music. Besides, he sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time.
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