32 years ago today heavy metal music lost one of it’s greatest guitar heroes, original Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot guitarist Randy Rhoads. His combination of guitar pyrotechnics, classical flourishes, flashy rhythm guitar fills and peerless technique has influenced players since he was first widely heard on Osbourne’s 1980 debut solo album Blizzard of Ozz and continues up to this very day. We’ve already discussed the bizarre circumstances of his tragic death in our article Live Fast, Die Weird: The Most Bizarre Deaths In Music History but more important than how he died is how he lived and how much he accomplished in his short 25 years on this Earth.
Emerging from the same talent rich Southern California hard rock scene as Van Halen and Motley Crue, Randy Rhoads paid his dues as a member of the pre-fame Quiet Riot, playing on their first two Japan-only releases, before joining up with former Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne in 1979. His work on the first two Ozzy albums, 1980’s Blizzard Of Ozz and 1981’s Diary Of A Madman, set the guitar playing world abuzz though just as important as his shredding abilities was his songwriting contributions to such metal classics as “Crazy Train,” “Mr. Crowley” and “Flying High Again.” Check out our exclusive interview with Night Ranger and Trans-Siberian Orchestra guitarist Joel Hoekstra about his lasting influences and hear what band-mate Rudy Sarzo and the That Metal Show boys have to say about one of the true legends of heavy metal guitar playing.
Hear Joel Hoekstra discuss Randy Rhoads tremendous impact on his guitar playing.