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Heavy Metal Happy Hour

GENE SIMMONS Says VAN HALEN "Destroyed" BLACK SABBATH On Tour: "Tony Iommi Admitted It, And So Did Ozzy"

There will never be another Eddie Van Halen.

EVH and Tony Iommi on the Never Say Die Tour at New Haven Coliseum

Kiss' Gene Simmons recently gave an interview to Classic Rock where discusses the early days of Van Halen and how exceptional they were as a band—particularly guitarist Eddie Van Halen and singer David Lee Roth.

"I saw them that night and was left incredulous," Simmons said. "I stood at the front of the stage and couldn't believe my eyes and ears. This was one man making all of these sounds with his bare human hands? Everybody in the band was singing and playing live and Eddie was a complete guitar symphony in his own right.

"In those early days Ed would sometimes stand with his back to the audiences because he didn't want to give his tracks away. But even if you saw how he played those licks, how could you possibly emulate them?"

Simmons throws some shade at Ace Frehley and Peter Criss later in the interview, discussing how he wanted to work more closely with Van Halen after helping produce a demo.

"But despite the quality of those tracks that we recorded together," he said. "I could not get interest from my manager at the time, Bill Aucoin, who has since passed away. Paul Stanley wasn't interested either, and of course Ace Frehley and Peter Criss had bigger thing on their minds, they were too busy making bad decisions about life.

"I had wanted to take Van Halen under the wings of Kiss. We should have signed them and taken them out on tour with us. Sadly, nobody else in our organization saw it and of course months later Warner Brothers came by and scooped them up.

"And by the time Kiss went out on tour again they had taken The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" and made it into something that Ray Davies could never have imagined. They became superstars. And when that happened I was able to go back to my own band and say: 'I told you so, you morons.'"

The Kiss musician also recalled when Van Halen opened for Black Sabbath on the Never Say Die tour.

"But the songwriting was just as important as the music, and David Lee Roth deserves his share of credit. Nevertheless, possibly due to Roth's swagger and acrobatics onstage, Van Halen's songs are often overlooked.

"That's a shame as at their absolute peak nobody could touch them. When they went out on tour with Black Sabbath in 1978, Van Halen destroyed that band. Tony Iommi admitted it, and so did Ozzy."

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