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Randy Rhoads

He is one of the greatest guitarists the metal world has ever known. In such a short period he managed to influence many good guitarists, while assimilating his training in classical music into metal. Let's tell you some interesting facts about Randy Rhoads:

(Photo: Paul Natkin)

1. He was born Randall William Rhoads, on December 6, 1956, in Santa Monica California.

2. Rhoads is the third of three children, the youngest son of two music teachers.

3. When he was a year and a half old his parents divorced and his mother Dolores raised him and his brother and sister by herself.

4. To help support the family, his mother, who was a professional pianist with a music degree from UCLA, established a music school called "Musonia", which is still active today.

5. Rhoads began learning to play classical guitar at age 7 at his mother's music school.

6. Randy Rhoads later took electric guitar lessons. The teacher soon informed Rhoads' mother that he could not continue to teach him, since Rhoads was already surpassing him in his playing.

7. The influences on Randy Rhoads from the rock genre included Leslie West, Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, and Gary Moore.

8. In addition to his guitar studies, Randy Rhoads took piano lessons with his mother, as well as music theory studies.

9. In middle school, Randy Rhoads met Kelly Garni. He taught him to play bass guitar and the two formed their first band "The Whore", with which they played at parties and events.

10. Later when Rhoads was only 14 years old, the two formed the band "Violet Fox", with Rhoads' brother Kelle on drums. The band played covers of the Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, and more.

11. On July 11, 1971, Randy Rhoads and his brother attended Alice Cooper's show. This was a turning point for Randy Rhoads who from that moment on decided that music was what he wanted to do.

12. Rhoads graduated from high school at the age of 16 after studying in a special and abbreviated program for outstanding students.

(Photo: Fin Costello)

13. That same year Rhoads and Garni formed "Little Women". Randy Rhoads taught guitar at his mother's school during the day and performed with the band at night. Rhoads gave private lessons to only one student at a time, for half an hour, and sometimes taught 12 students a day and then performed on stage at night.

14. In 1973 Randy Rhoads and Garni were joined by Jewish singer Kevin DuBrow and drummer Drew Forsyth, then changed the band's name to "Quiet Riot".

15. The band gained popularity in the Los Angeles clubs scene and in 1976 "CBS / Sony Records" signed them on a recording contract.

16. The band's debut album named - "Quiet Riot" was released in March 1977. The album was in glam rock style and Rhoads participated in it writing all but one of the songs on it.

17. The band's second album "Quiet Riot II" was released in December 1978. During the recordings of the album, heavy disagreements arose between singer Kevin DuBrow and bassist Kelly Garni. At one time Garni fired a gun at the ceiling of the rehearsal room. This started a fistfight between Garny and Randy Rhoads. As a result, Randy Rhoads was forced to fire Garny and recruit Rudy Sarzo in his place.

18. In 1979 Ozzy Osbourne came to Los Angeles to locate musicians for a band that would accompany him as a solo artist, after being fired from "Black Sabbath".

19. Randy Rhoads' friend Dana Strum, who would later become the bassist of "Slaughter", convinced Rhoads to audition for Ozzy Osbourne. Rhoads initially refused but after much persuasion on the part of Storm did the audition

20. There are a few versions of the location of Ozzy's audition for Randy Rhoads. Some say it was done in the studio and some talk about the hotel room where Ozzy Osbourne stayed.

21. What's very clear though, is that Randy came to the audition with a Gibson Les Paul and a small guitar amp and while warming up, even before he actually started the audition, Ozzy was so amazed by the sound and playing technique, that he accepted him to the band on spot.

22. Ozzy Osbourne recruited Bob Daisley, who had previously played in "Rainbow", as the bass player. The keyboardist selected for the album Don Airey also played "Rainbow". He also played on Black Sabbath's "Never Say Die!" album. The last to join the band was drummer Lee Kerslake from "Uriah Heep" and the name chosen for the band was initially "The Blizzard of Ozz".

23. The band entered the studio to record their debut album "Blizzard Of Ozz", most of which was written by Ozzy, Randy, and Daisley. Ozzy and Daisley gave Rhoads full musical freedom and encouraged him to play as he pleased without any restriction. The result was absolutely amazing.

24. Rhoads combined classical music that he devoutly studied in his youth, into heavy metal and created an amazing mix of genres, influencing young guitarists.

25. Years later Ozzy recounted that Rhoads told him that most of the heavy metal songs are based on the chord structure of A and E. Rhoads sought to create songs that would not be played in the same structure and so it turned out that almost all the songs on the first album were different and unique.

26. The band's debut album "Blizzard Of Ozz" was released on September 20, 1980. Rhoads had a decisive influence on the sound and style of the album, starting with immortal riffs and solos in the songs like "I Don't Know", "Mr. Crowley", "Crazy Train" and "Suicide Solution", to classic tracks like "Dee" and "Goodbye to Romance".

27. Following his incredible performance on Ozzy Osbourne's debut album, Randy Rhoads won the 1981 MTV Award in the "Best New Talent" category.

28. In November 1981 Ozzy Osbourne released his second album "Diary of a Madman". Also in this case Randy Rhoads co-wrote most of the songs and had an impact on the album's unique sound.

29. That same year Randy Rhoads considered leaving Ozzy Osbourne and the rock world for a few years to study for a degree in music at UCLA.

30. On March 18, 1982, Randy Rhoads made his last appearance with Ozzy Osbourne at the Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, Tennessee.

31. The next day the band made their way by bus to Orlando, Florida, where they were to perform at the festival. The bus broke down on the way and the band parked near a small airport in the estate of the travel company manager, to fix the malfunction.

32. The bus driver who was also a certified pilot Andrew Aycock, took one of the small planes for a tour, without permission. Keyboardist Don Airey and the tour manager were on the plain. He passed very close to the bus in an attempt to wake up drummer Tommy Aldridge, who was sleeping inside. In the second round, the bus driver took Randy Rhoads and the costume designer and tried to do the same pranks, the plane circled several times over the bus, only this time the plane wing touched the bus and caused it to crash into the mansion. Randy Rhoads' died on the spot.

33. Randy Rhoads' last words to Ozzy before his death referred to Ozzy Osbourne's drinking and alcohol problems. He told him: “You’ll kill yourself, you know? One of these days”.

34. Randy was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in California. On his coffin were placed two photos, one of himself and one of him along with Ozzy Osbourne, in a performance from San Francisco.

35. On the fifth anniversary of his death, Ozzy Osbourne released the album "Tribute", in honor of Randy Rhoads.

(Photo: Louder)

36. Randy Rhoads' mother perpetuated his legacy in a small museum she established at the music school where he studied and taught. Unfortunately on Thanksgiving Eve 2019, an unknown person broke into the museum and stole all the guitars. Ozzy Osbourne offered a $ 25,000 prize to anyone who would have information about the whereabouts of the instrument. Fortunately, in May 2021 the guitars were found.

37. Randy Rhoads' playing has influenced many great guitarists, including: Dimebag Darrell, John Petrucci, Zakk Wylde, Paul Gilbert, and Mike McCready.

38. Rhoads' list of achievements and accomplishments includes: Sounds Magazine's 1981 Best Heavy Metal Guitarist, No. 4 on Guitar World's 100 Greatest Guitarists, No. 9 on Heavy Metal's Greatest Solos List for "Crazy Train" And more.

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