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Testament Guitarist Recalls Sharing ‘Sweet Leaf’ with Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi + Geezer Butler

Eric Peterson
Liz Ramanand, Getty Images

We all love the classic Black Sabbath cut ‘Sweet Leaf’ from their 1971 album, ‘Master of Reality,’ but Testament guitarist Eric Peterson has an entirely different, more in-depth connection with the song — and understandably so, as the guitarist recently reminisced about sharing some ‘Sweet Leaf’ with Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler.

As a part of Metal Hammer’s mammoth 172-page Black Sabbath tribute issue, Peterson was one of the metal legends asked to share his thoughts on metal’s most important act.

“Black Sabbath are one of my favorite bands of all time,” says Peterson. “It’s so hard to pick a favorite track… I guess ‘Into The Void’ is my favorite because it kicks into this high gear and then has all these crazy time changes; it’s where the elements of thrash metal started. I also love ‘Heaven and Hell’ because they really reinvented themselves and made it work. You can’t forget about ‘Symptom of the Universe’ either!”

Peterson went on to describe a cherished memory about meeting Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler while touring Europe as the opening act of Iron Maiden‘s ‘Fear of the Dark’ tour.

“Black Sabbath were so cool,” Peterson dishes. “On the first night, we walked around backstage and bumped into Geezer and Tony. They shared a joint with us! I was literally shaking … I couldn’t believe I was about to smoke the same ‘sweet leaf’ as Tony Iommi. I think I dropped it, got on my knees and told them I wasn’t worthy! [They are] still the coolest guys, really humble and down to earth after all these years.”

Metal Hammer’s super-Sabbath edition will include more tales from bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Pantera, Alice Cooper, Machine Head and many more.

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