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When Tony Iommi and Brian May Kept Jamming, So Black Sabbath Left

Tony Iommi was once having so much fun jamming with Brian May that his Black Sabbath bandmates grew bored and walked away.

The moment took place at a rehearsal studio, and it’s one of many occasions on which the old friends have traded licks, Iommi told BBC Radio 2.

“It was in the early ’70s we first met,” Iommi said, admitting he couldn’t remember some specific details. “We had a very fast connection and we used to talk to each other at all hours of the night in the early days. Now I’m in bed – but in them days, if he knew I was in the studio in London, he’d come over.

“We’ve jammed a few times,” he added. “He’s come up on stage and played with me, and we’ve done some album stuff together on different people’s albums. He played on my solo album a couple of times.”

During this particular jam, Iommi said May “came down to one of [Black Sabbath’s] rehearsals, when we were rehearsing in London, and we started playing with the band and the band gradually left, and Brian and myself were were just left playing there. All the gear had gone except for our gear, and we were still playing!”

Iommi added that May always had a guitar close to hand, “and when he comes to my house, I’ve always got a guitar there for him so we can have a little play.” The friendship was built on a foundation of respect, going back to the first time Iommi heard May’s playing in Queen.

“A guitar player is always into other guitar players, and he [had] a sort of unique sound – and the way that he played, I just liked it. It was appealing,” Iommi said. “He’s just got a certain character that you didn’t really hear from anybody else – he’s got something very ‘him.’ And as soon as you hear Brian … anybody can pick him out.”

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