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Randy Rhoads Biography - Early Years - Randy Rhoads Biography - The Ozzy Years
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Randy got the call for the Ozzy audition just before the last Quiet riot gig. Ozzy Osbourne,
formerly of Black Sabbath, had recently broke from the group and was looking for a guitarist.
Although Randy had not been much of a fan of Ozzy he accepted the invitation and went for
the audition. Mrs. Rhoads talked to Randy before about the possibility of him playing with an
already established band if was offered the chance would he take a gig like this one and Randy
answer was "of course." Now was Randy's opportunity.

Ozzy had gone through scores of guitarists in Los Angeles and New York and the night before he
was scheduled to leave for England Randy showed up at his motel room in Malibu at 2 o'clock in
the morning for the audition. Most of the guitarists before had shown up with Marshall stacks,
big attitudes and one even had black plastic fingertips imitating Ozzy's former black Sabbath
guitarist Toni Iommi. But Randy stood out from the rest by his calm and unimposing demeanor.
He brought in a little amp and plugged in and began to play. 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.'" Randy elaborated later in another interview, "Possibly
he knew a certain sound he was looking for, and all these other players tried to show off too
much. I didn't get a chance to show off. I just started making a few harmonics, and maybe
perhaps it was my personality, because I was really quiet and everybody was too outgoing. I
still don't know."

It took two months for the details to get worked out and then Randy was off to London as the
lead guitarist of the newly formed Blizzard of Ozz. They arrived in England in September of 1980
and began working on their first album. They were in the studio for six weeks writing and
recording the first of two studio albums featuring Randy and by Christmas it was complete.

Ozzy and Randy had a great rapport together from the start. The differences in their respective
musical approaches filled in the gaps in each others abilities and they became an extremely
complimentary writing team. Ozzy had the experience in studios and techniques of song writing
and Randy's fresh approach and creativity added to the unique quality of their first album
"Blizzard of Ozz", an LP of a sort that had never been heard. Randy's patience and solid
musicianship drove Ozzy to a new creative high. "They [Black Sabbath] never had the patience
to try and listen to where I was coming from. Randy Rhoads was the first guy who ever sat
down with me and listened to my humming and worked with it," Ozzy said.

Randy was a patient creator, much the opposite of Ozzy. Ozzy once said, "Randy I'm stumped
on this section and we're gonna need a track for the album and it's driving me nuts." And Randy
would comfort Ozzy with the reply, "Don't worry we'll get one." Ozzy would later attribute the
success of his solo the success and the success of the first two albums to Randy. He later said
of Randy, "I fell in love with Randy as a player and a person the instant I saw him. He had the
best smile in the world. Randy was the best guy in the world to work with. There is no
comparison between him and Tony Iommi, and I can only compare the two because they were
the only guitar players I had ever worked with. I was attracted to Randy's angelic attitude
towards the whole business. I didn't have to teach him anything; all that he was lacking was
guidance. He listened to every word I spoke to him, and we had a great rapport together."

When the first tour began the crowds would cheer for Ozzy, but soon an equal amount of the
audience was coming to see the newest sensation in rock-n-roll - Randy Rhoads. "Together we
were magic." Ozzy said, "...we had a very
special rapport. We were total opposites off stage - he didn't drink and was
quiet, while I've always been [crazy] ...yet on stage we just clicked."

Ozzy's insane stage presence helped Randy open up more and give even a greater performances
than in the past. "Before I met Ozzy I was very insecure on stage," Randy said. "If my amps
acted up, or the sound system wasn't good, it really affected my playing. Being with Ozzy has
given me a great deal of self confidence. He pushed me into trying things and doing things I
never would have done on my own."

Randy never considered himself a rock and roll star. He always felt strange with that label. "I've
always viewed myself as a musician. I never
thought of myself as a star. Ozzy's a star - I'm just part of the band," Randy would say. The
critics opinions didn't matter to much to the new guitar icon. He was quoted as saying "As long
as I'm satisfied with my work, I'm not too concerned with what any critics think. Our type of
music will never be a critical favorite, but when I can stand on a stage and see a lot of smiling
faces in the crowd, it makes it all worthwhile." The audience was the most important critic and
as long as they were happy Randy was.

Their next album, Diary of a Madman was recorded immediately after their Blizzard. "We
recorded Diary quickly," Ozzy said, "I hate being in a recording studio to begin with, but working
with Randy and Bob Daisley was a new and refreshing experience for me. I was working with
guys that didn't have to do it, they wanted to do it. I got that old spark again. Diary was the
better of the two albums as songs go. The mix wasn't too clever but we weren't there for the
mix, we were back out on the road."

On the road Randy was known for his stellar live performances. "Some nights Randy would give
me a spine chill. His playing was so unpredictable live. He wouldn't think about it, he would just
go for it. He wouldn't wonder if it would fit the song structure, he would just play his ideas as if
they were there anyway." Ozzy later said.

Several weeks before his death Randy express interest in leaving Ozzy to pursue a degree in
classical guitar at a University setting. During the Diary tour he said to Ozzy "I want to learn to
play classical guitar." I said, 'You're crazy, just play rock and roll and make some bucks." He
said, "I want to do it." So he started going to these seminars. Every town we'd go into, he'd
look in the phone book for classical instructors. Seven weeks later, the classical stuff he was
playing was unbelievable. Seven weeks. He worked around the clock to get where he wanted."

March 1982:

Associated Press

March 20, 1982, Leesburg, Fla. A small plane crashed into a
mansion here and burst into flames yesterday, killing the lead
guitarist of the Ozzy Osbourne rock group and two other people,
police said.

The crash killed guitarist Randall Rhoads, 25, the pilot of the
Beechcraft Bonanza - Andrew Aycock, 36 - and Rachel Youngblood,
58, the group's makeup artist and hairdresser. The plane's pilot
was also the group's bus driver.

Randy was 25 years old and at the beginning of an illustrious career when a freak accident
ended his life. An unplanned airplane excursion ended in a crash into the Ozzy Osbourne tour
bus bringing to a screeching halt the Diary of a Madman tour and the life of one of the most
innovative guitarists of our time. Ozzy tried to explain what happened in a later interview, "I
was sleeping on the bus. Don Airey saw it. At first I thought the bus driver had fallen asleep at
the wheel, crashed into a truck and run off the road. The plane ripped the bus into a million
pieces. All we've got are fragments. ... It was no prank. It was an accident and that's it. For
God's sake, if I ever hear anybody say it was one of my practical jokes that went wrong, I'll
strangle the bastard. It was an accident, a horrible accident. I was crazy after it happened. I
never spoke, I never went out. ... He was a hero, a true legend. "

"He was a saint," Ozzy said, "He was an angel, and too good for this world. His death's always
on my mind." Every year at the anniversary of his birth and death, fans from all over the world
gather at his grave site to honor his passing. We will never forget him. His musical legacy lives
on in the minds and music of his many fans.


Immortal RR

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RRR Volume 1 CD


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