Ozzy Osbourne said Eddie Van Halen once drunk dialed him and asked the former Black Sabbath singer if he wanted to join Van Halen. Osbourne could not give an exact year for when the call took place, but he said it was after the group's second lead singer, Sammy Hagar, left. Van Halen died on Oct. 6 at age 65, following a long battle with cancer.
"He phoned me up one time and asked me if I wanted to sing in his band — way after Sammy [Hagar had exited the band]. I think he was a bit drunk," Osbourne recalled in this week's episode of the SiriusXM show Ozzy Speaks, reports Spin. "We’ve all done one of them — calling at four o’clock in the morning, going, [intentionally slurs speech]."
Osbourne never ended up joining Van Halen, but the group opened for Black Sabbath in 1978. Even then, Osbourne knew Van Halen was an incredible guitarist. "You think you’ve seen it all … out of the blue someone comes out with such a revolutionized way of playing," Osbourne said on Ozzy Speaks. "To watch Eddie play was, like — his hands would turn into a spider. He was remarkable. He always made it look like it was so easy."
After Van Halen's death, Osbourne wrote an essay on the guitarist's impact. Learning of Van Halen's death reminded Osbourne of the day he heard Michael Jackson died, he wrote. One thing Osbourne always loved about Van Halen was the smile he often had on his face as he played. "Whether it was showbiz bulls— or not — I don’t think it was — he always looked like he was having the best time of his life up there," Osbourne wrote in Rolling Stone. "I could sit and watch Eddie Van Halen play guitar all day. He’s so entertaining as a guitar player. He made it look like it was not difficult. He made it look like it was a natural thing."
Osbourne has gone through his own health struggles. The "Crazy Train" singer and his family revealed he was diagnosed with a form of Parkinson's disease and is still recovering from a neck injury. He was forced to postpone plans to tour in 2020 so he could receive Parkinson's disease treatments in Switzerland, but that trip was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month, his wife, Sharon Osbourne, said on The Dr. Oz Show that he is doing well and was already working on a new album.