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Famous Like Me > Composer > R > Randy Rhoads

Profile of Randy Rhoads on Famous Like Me

Name: Randy Rhoads  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 6th December 1956
Place of Birth: Santa Monica, California, USA
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Randy Rhoads playing his famous Karl Sandoval polka-dot flying-V guitar
For the talk radio host, see Randi Rhodes

Randall William Rhoads (December 6, 1956 - March 19, 1982) was an American musician. He was born at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica, California. When Randy was 17 months old, his father William Arthur Rhoads left his mother Delores Rhoads to raise all three children. Mrs. Rhoads has owned and operated the Musonia School of Music in Burbank, California since 1949. Randy started playing guitar at age 6 on his grandfather's old Gibson "Army-Navy" classical acoustic guitar. According to Randy's mother, he learned to play folk guitar, which was a popular way to learn guitar at the time, although he did not take lessons for very long. Rhoads was always evolving toward a hard rock/metal lead guitar style but he was very influenced by classical music as well. This can be heard on tracks like "Dee" and "Revelation (Mother Earth)".

By the time Randy was 14, he was in a band called Violet Fox (after his mother's middle name, Violet). Randy then taught best friend Kelly Garni how to play bass and they formed Quiet Riot when Randy was about 16 (according to Randy's mother). Kevin DuBrow auditioned for vocalist in Randy's kitchen and was chosen. Then drummer Drew Forsyth came into the picture. Quiet Riot played bars and parties in L.A., often in the same clubs as Mammoth, who would later change their name to Van Halen. The band snagged a Japanese record deal soon after and Quiet Riot's self- titled debut album was released in Japan. In 1978-9 Garni left the band to pursue a career as a paramedic, and was replaced by future Ozzy Osbourne bassist Rudy Sarzo. The band then released Quiet Riot II. Although Sarzo appeared on the cover photo for Quiet Riot II, he didn't play on either of the Japanese releases.

In 1979, ex-Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne was looking to start a new band. Future Slaughter bassist Dana Strum recommended Randy Rhoads to Ozzy. Randy got the call for the Ozzy audition just before the last Quiet riot gig. Randy walked in with a Les Paul and a Fender practice amp and started warming up and Ozzy immediately gave him the job. Randy recalled later, "I just tuned up and did some riffs, and he said, 'You've got the gig.' I had the weirdest feeling, because I thought, 'You didn't even hear me yet.'" Ozzy described Randy's playing as "God entering my life."

They arrived in England in September of 1980 to begin working on their first album. Randy and Ozzy met up with bassist Bob Daisley in an English pub. Ozzy heard good things about Bob Daisley's playing in Rainbow so he asked him to join his band; Bob accepted. Ozzy and company auditioned many drummers but were being pressured by the record company - Jet Records - to start recording. Finally, the last drummer on the list - Lee Kerslake - got the gig. They also hired keyboardist Don Airey who had played with Ozzy a few years prior on the Black Sabbath album Never Say Die!. The new supergroup, known as Blizzard Of Ozz, headed into the studio with ex-Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitar virtuoso Randy Rhoads, ex-Rainbow bassist Bob Daisley, former Uriah Heep drummer Lee Kerslake and Don Airey to record the band's debut album, Blizzard Of Ozz.

They released two singles: "Mr. Crowley" and the giant hit "Crazy Train". Ozzy showed his fans he still had a lot left; the lyrics varied from many subjects, including Ozzy's trademark dark songs. The band toured and recorded Diary Of A Madman. Two singles were released from Diary Of A Madman; "Over The Mountain" and "Flying High Again". Two days after recording was done, Ozzy fired Kerslake and Daisley and hired ex-Black Oak Arkansas drummer Tommy Aldridge and ex-Quiet Riot bassist Rudy Sarzo; this lineup played together for the duration of the Blizzard Of Ozz tour, during which the album Tribute (released several years later) was recorded. Diary of a Madman was released shortly thereafter and Ozzy launched another tour with the same lineup. Randy eventually told Ozzy, Tommy Aldridge and friend Kelly Garni that he was considering leaving rock for a few years to earn a degree in classical guitar.

On March 19, 1982, the band was headed to a festival headlined by Foreigner in Orlando, Florida when they stopped at the bus driver's house in Leesburg, Florida. The driver (Andrew Aycock) was also a licensed pilot. Andrew Aycock, Randy Rhoads and hairdresser Rachel Youngblood climbed into a plane and took off. Apparently, Aycock tried to make a mock divebomb at the bus but the plane clipped the bus and went flying into a house. Rhoads, at just 25 years of age, was killed instantly. Aycock, 36 and Youngblood, 58 were also killed. It was found later that Aycock had an expired flying license and had cocaine in his system. Ex-Gillan guitar Bernie Torme replaced Randy for a few shows but Brad Gillis was brought on for the remainder of the tour. In 1987, five years after Randy's death, Ozzy was finally ready to pay tribute to Randy and released Tribute the only official live album with Ozzy and Randy. Tribute contains outstanding performances by the whole band, including a jaw-dropping two-minute guitar solo by Rhoads which features maybe the fastest shredding ever heard. He is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in San Bernardino, California. Randy has influenced countless guitar players over the years, despite having a relatively small recorded catalogue; notable players include: Zakk Wylde, Dimebag Darrell, Jake E. Lee, Brad Gillis, Yngwie Malmsteen, Chris Impelliterri, George Lynch, John Petrucci, Tony MacAlpine, Wolf Hoffman, Akira Takasi, Matthias Jabs, and many, many more.

Career with Quiet Riot

1975-1976: Rhoads first joined Quiet Riot with Kelly Garni, Kevin DuBrow, Drew Forsyth.
1977: The band signs a contract to Sony Records
1978: The band released its first album. Released only in Japan
1979: The band released the second album. Released only in Japan
1980: Rhoads starts playing with Ozzy Osbourne
1981: Rhoads quits Quiet Riot so he can stay focused on his work with Ozzy Osbourne, releasing Diary of a Madman.
1982: Rhoads dies in a plane crash at Leesburg Florida.
1983: The band releases Metal Health with a new guitarist, Carlos Cavazo. The song, Thunderbird, is dedicated to Rhoads' memory.

Career with Ozzy Osbourne

1980: Randy Rhoads' first gig with Ozzy Osbourne, and the recording of Blizzard of Ozz.
1981: Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary of a Madman were both released.
1987: Ozzy Osbourne releases Tribute to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Rhoads's death.

The live recordings on Tribute were originally intended to be released as Ozzy's first live album, Speak of the Devil (Talk of the Devil in the U.K.), but when Rhoads died, Osbourne shelved the tapes. Instead, Ozzy made a live recording of songs from the Ozzy-era Black Sabbath catalogue, playing with his usual live ensemble (Rudy Sarzo on bass guitar and Tommy Aldridge on drums) and guitarist Brad Gillis of Night Ranger substituting for Rhoads. The intended name of the live album, however, did not change, and consequently Speak of the Devil is sometimes erroneously ascribed to Rhoads's discography.

Discography with Quiet Riot

  • Quiet Riot I (1977)
  • Quiet Riot II (1978)
  • The Randy Rhoads Years (Greatest Hits of 1977-1981) (1993)
  • The Greatest Hits (Greatest Hits) (1996)

Discography with Ozzy Osbourne

  • Crazy Train (Single) (1980)
  • Mr. Crowley (Single) (1980)
  • Blizzard Of Ozz (1981)
  • Live EP (No Longer Available - Out of Print) (1981)
  • Over The Mountain (Single) (1981)
  • Flying High Again (Single) (1981)
  • Diary of a Madman (1981)
  • Tribute (Live 1981) (1987)
  • The Ozzman Cometh (greatest hits) (1997)
  • Essential: Ozzy Osbourne (greatest hits) (2003)
  • The Prince Of Darkness (box set) (2005)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Randy Rhoads