One can only begin to imagine the music that Randy Rhoads would have made in current times. His life cut short was as giant a cultural shockwave and theft for humanity as JFK. To many, he was of the same caliber as many of the best guitarists’ all-time greats as a leader, especially in the world of music and guitar innovation.
Four albums total, two with Quiet Riot and two with Ozzy were the announcement of a Virtuoso Guitar Style the world had never seen the likes of before. His Legacy as a teacher is far-reaching, and from all accounts would have continued to kickstart the careers of more Guitarists. His personality, he is held in the highest regard by some of the best guitarist all-time greatest act, unassuming and soft-spoken. His short life touched people from all walks of life.
I personally know people who don’t like the genre he worked in, but are awestruck at his musical ability. There will only be one Randy and he will be remembered as long as there is life on Earth.
Born in 1956 Randy Rhoads began folk and classical guitar lessons at the approximate age of seven at his mother’s music school. He became interested in rock guitar and began lessons at Musonia from Scott Shelly. Shelly soon approached Rhoads’s mother to inform her that he could no longer teach her son, as Rhoads’ knowledge of the electric guitar had exceeded his own. Rhoads also received piano lessons from his mother to help build his understanding of music theory.
He was initially hooked by the guitar skills of Glen Buxton (Alice Cooper) and Mick Ronson of Bowie fame. The Teenage Randy formed “Little Women” which in time became renamed “Quiet Riot”. 1976 The Group was the talk of the town. Quiet Riot quickly became one of the most popular acts on the Los Angeles club circuit, and by late 1976 were signed to CBS/Sony Records. Rhoads’ “polka-dot theme” became an emblem of the band, as many fans began showing up at Quiet Riot shows wearing polka-dot bow-ties and vests, emulating what the guitarist wore on stage.
Quiet Riot with Randy Rhoads 1979-10-26 The Starwood Los Angeles
While the band had a strong following in Los Angeles, The albums “Quiet Riot” and” Quiet Riot II “ were released only in Japan. The relationship between Lead vocalist Kevin DuBrow and Bassist and fellow schoolmate Kelly Garni had also deteriorated completely during the recording of the band’s second album, with potentially catastrophic results.
After drunkenly firing a handgun through the ceiling and engaging in a fistfight with Rhoads, Garni drunkenly hatched a plan to shoot and kill DuBrow at The Record Plant studio while recording the album. Rhoads was left with no choice but to fire his longtime friend and band co-founder.
His Teaching had been ongoing as well as recorded and this is an interesting talk with L.A. Guns Tracii Guns and Harold Friedman.
Part One: behind the mystery Randy Rhoads’s brown Stratocaster
In 1979 Bassist and friend Dana Strum heard Ozzy was building a band after his departure from Black Sabbath and kept bugging Randy to Audition. According to bassist Rudy Sarzo Randy wasn’t really that interested but finally relented and went to get Dana off his back about it.
He would do one more show with Quiet Riot and then he was in with Ozzy. His mother also told him it would be the end of frustrations to move ahead with an established artist and Randy relented.
He had been told by Ozzy he was in already and Ozzy wasn’t going to take NO for an answer. His audition with Ozzy consisted of Rhoades warming up on some licks and a drunk and couchbound Osbourne telling those in the room, “Tell him he’s got the job!” before passing out. They were never formally introduced until after the fateful night had passed.
The Next Day they Met properly and Ozzy was due to return to England and Randy was scheduled to follow. Rhoads flew to England only to return home a couple of days later, being turned away by English customs at Heathrow Airport when he didn’t have the necessary work permit. Rhoads reportedly spent the night in a holding cell before being handcuffed and put on a plane back to the United States the next day.
Osbourne subsequently called him to apologize, and arrangements were made for Rhoads to return to England with the proper paperwork. Rhoads flew Back to England on November 27, 1979
Ozzy Listening to Lost Randy Rhoads Solo
Rhoades reignited the Fire in Ozzy and together they Created the now Solo Ozzy Osbourne’s Debut “Blizzard of Ozz”. It was released in September 1980 in the UK and on 27 March 1981 in the US and the subsequent tour put Ozzy back at the top of the heap.
The Tour for the record found Randy playing a couple of Black Sabbath songs at the end of shows which he was open about never really being a Sabbath fan himself but the audience as well as Osbourne expected it. Randy never seemed to want to let anyone down, no matter his personal feelings.
OZZY OSBOURNE – “I Don’t Know” 1981 (Live Video)
Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne) Live – Mr. Crowley – May 2, 1981 – The Palladium New York NY USA
After the Blizzard Tour, the band went right back in the Studio in Rusper, England in February of 81 and a mere three weeks later had finished “Diary of a Madman”
The Album opener “ Over the Mountain” is still my personal favorite and I find it as fresh now as it was then. A Rock N Roll assault as brutal as the album’s cover art. The madman’s dream came true as it went triple platinum in time, a testimony to the brilliance of the Ozzy/Rhoades writing efforts.
Ozzy Osbourne – Over the Mountain (Live – Albuquerque, NM Jan 7, 1982)
The Diary tour Began after a few weeks of pre-production on the stage show, oddly enough controversy about Osbourne brought the wholesome Television program “Entertainment Tonight” to film stage rehearsals.
OZZY OSBOURNE INTERVIEW 1982
Nov 1st, 1981 to March 18, 1982, the Band tore through Europe and the U.S.
On January 24 at Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois, Osbourne lifted Rhoads up by his right leg during “Mr. Crowley”. A professional photographer managed to capture the moment and the image was used as the cover art for the Posthumous live album, “Tribute”.
As if the Bat Biting incident was not enough…Trouble within the organization began. February 11, 1982 after playing at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, tensions between Osbourne and Rhoads grew as Rhoads refused to play on a live record consisting of Black Sabbath songs That were contractually owed to Don Arden. Randy felt it would be a major step backward in his career.
Randy Rhoads Chicago 1982
On February 19, Sharon hid all of Ozzy’s clothes so that he could not go out and drink anymore. Ozzy who was wearing Sharon’s nightgown, had got so drunk, he urinated on The Alamo, and was arrested.
He was released hours before the show after Sharon warned the police that the concert promoters were worried that not releasing Osbourne from jail would result in the cancellation of that evening’s performance and possibly incite a riot.
Osbourne was released, the band performed at the San Antonio Convention Center Arena. Osbourne became “Public Enemy #1” in Texas and received death threats from parents, religious groups, and political activists.
On February 20, before that evening’s performance at Reunion Arena, Rhoads agreed to play on the live album, one more studio album, and to tour with Osbourne. He would then leave to study classical guitar at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The band performed in front of a sold-out crowd at Knoxville Civic Coliseum on March 18. Then the unthinkable happened. The next day the world learned the news of Randy’s death.
The DEATH of RANDY RHOADS: What the News Didn’t Report ⭐ OZZY Bassist RUDY SARZO Says it was Murder!
Was the death of Randy Rhoads an Accident or Murder? We may never know the answer to this but, the reality is Randy is gone and there may never be anyone to truly fill his shoes. He was as much an innovator as any other from Jimi Hendrix to Eddie Van Halen.
He was respected and loved by his fans and peers in the business. The only negative thing said by anyone was done Jokingly by none other than the great Hawkwind Lemmy..”Randy couldn’t play Asteroids for shit! I beat him right across this country!” If Lemmy says he loved you, well you were loved. I am closing with some long overdue tributes and music. Such music he gave us. R.I.P. Randy