“[Eddie Van Halen] was such a great guy. They came to our local pub and it was good fun,” Ozzy recalled. “But David Lee Roth, he’s lost a couple of nuts and bolts. When you meet him, it’s like, ‘What’s wrong with him?’ He’s like somewhere else, you know?”
“They were arch enemies,” he said. “Randy didn’t have a lot to say about Eddie. They were very, very similar guitar players. Eddie took that tapping thing to another level. Randy could do that, but he liked people like Leslie West.
“It amazes me that you get Eddie, you get Randy, and you go, ‘No one’s ever gonna top that.’ But there’s a new thing round every corner.”
The rivalry between two guitarists was previously visited in the documentary Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon, which was released earlier this year.
The film contains archive audio of Van Halen discussing Rhoads, saying, “He was one guitarist who was honest, anyway. Because he said everything he did he learned from me.
“He was good,” Van Halen continued. “But I don’t really think he did anything that I haven’t done. And there ain’t nothing wrong with it. I’ve copied some other people, you know?”
Randy‘s friend Kim McNair also spoke about the Rhoads–Van Halen rivalry in “Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon”, reflecting: “This was the years of guitar heroes. To a large degree, bands were judged on their guitar player. I think all the guitar players in town kept up on each other.”
In the same documentary, Rhoads‘s guitar tech Brian Reason reveals how he used to stick a picture of Eddie Van Halen to his wah pedal.
“He wasn’t very excited about [it], but it was in the perfect place, because every time he stomped on his wah wah pedal, he stomped on it as if he wanted to crush it,” Reason recalls.