Randall William " Randy" Rhoads was born in Santa Monica, California into
a musical family. His mother was a school music teacher and Randy was
playing piano by age 5 and guitar by age 10. (Randy's classically inspired
song, "
Dee" was a tribute to his Mom, Delores as performed here.
As mid-80's LPs, You Said it All and You Looking At Me, Looking At You
became collector's items, a rumor circulated that Randy was leaving Ozzy to
attend UCLA for a degree in classical music after receiving
Guitar Player's
Best New Talent Award". Other guitarists were copying Eddie Van Halen's
unorthodox two-hand tapping technique. Rhoads was one of the first heavy
metal guitarists to incorporate classical music into his playing that have
influenced shredders like Malmsteen and Vai
Randy played his last show on March 18, 1982 at the Knoxville (TN) Coliseum.
Before heading to play the
Rock Super Bowl XIV with Foreigner, Bryan Adams
UFO in Orlando, Florida, he was talked into taking a joy ride in a 1955 Beech
model F35 piloted by tour bus driver, Andrew Aycock. Buzzing the tour bus, they
clipped a wing on the bus, crashed and
Randy was killed instantly. Ironically, In
Ozzy's autobiography,
I Am Ozzy, he writes the night of Rhoads' death, he told
Ozzy "
I don't want to be a rock 'n' roller anymore" and was leaving the band. This
is a clip taken at Randy's
Pg 1
These are the edgy, guitar masters of nasty Rock-n-Roll.  Some omitted from Joel McIver's best seller, The 100
Greatest Metal Guitarists
as listed in our Top 10 Metal Guitarists are at the top of our list here. Obviously, artists like
Hendrix, Page, and Clapton could have also been in this Top 10. To avoid redundancy, we included the best
covered in other chapters. We used guitar mags, forums, reader polls, other lists and our ears to form the Top 10 based
on speed, style, originality, difficulty of solos, overall impact on the genre and influence on other guitarists.
Follow WristRock on Twitter
Randy's signature guitar was a Karl Sandoval polka-dotted Flying V, though he also
later played a Les Paul Custom and endorsed both a black and a white Jackson
"Concorde". Despite his tragically-short career,
Randy's legend has continued to grow
over years. Rumor has it some new Randy material will be released in 2012. Ozzy
Osbourne and Tom Morello have called Randy "the best guitarist they had ever seen".
Disgusted over Quiet Riot I and Quiet Riot II not being released in the US,
auditioned for Ozzy Osbourne's new band, Blizzard of Ozz. In 1979. he
moved to the UK to record Ozzy's first solo album, spawning the hits "
Crowley", "Crazy Train" and "I Don't Know". All have become metal
standards and showed Rhoads' skill set.
Diary of a Madman in October,
1981 was Randy at his best in "
Believer", "You Can't Kill Rock and Roll",
Children of the Grave" and "Suicide Solution", (Nice article on Randy's
Diary effort.)  Note: "Paranoid" was played livebefore its release.
In Randy's honor, a live album, Tribute, was originally to be issued in 1982 but not
released until 1987, much of it from live 1981 shows in Cleveland,and Montreal.
No Bone Movies". Here are some great acoustic outtakes from that album and a
collage of
Randy's best solos.
Visit WristRock Store
Click on Guitar Watch
Now 352 Video Links
Dec. 6, 1956 – March 19, 1982
Despite his relatively short body of work and his youth, Randy is regarded as one of
the greatest guitarists of all time.  Rhoads has influenced many guitar players,
including Yngwie Malmsteen, Dimebag Darrell, Frank Hannon, Doug Aldrich, John 5,
Jake E. Lee, Zakk Wylde, Kirk Hammett, Michael Romeo, John Petrucci, Tom Morello,
Joe Holmes,  Neal Grusky (Takara), Michael Angelo Batio, Brad Gillis, George Lynch,
Alexi Laiho, Mick Thomson,  Paul Gilbert[ and Buckethead. For more on Randy
including details on his legacy,the
Randy Rhoads Foundation, visit his official website.
Quiet Riot (1977)
Quiet Riot II (1978)
The Randy Rhoads Years (1993)
Blizzard of Ozz (1980)
Mr Crowley Live EP (1980)
Diary of a Madman (1981)
Tribute (1987)
Yes, They SaiD It...
  • "America lost one of the greatest, most influential and enduringly important musicians of the century, one who
    had reshaped the course of the blues, set it on a new path and, through the influence he exerted on so many
    other who followed in his trailblazing wake, completely altered the sound, substance and very character of all
    modern popular music." --- Pete Welding, excerpted from 'Gone to Mainstreet',1992
Quiet Riot,  1977 (Randy, second from right)
Footage in this period is rare: "Over the Mountain" from Rosemont,
IL,Jan.1982, and the only known
soundcheck from that tour, February, 1982).
NIKKI SIXX, Motley Crue
By his teenage years, Rhoads had become interested in the Mountain,
Led Zeppelin, and Alice Cooper and his taste in music  and guitrar style
changed. He learned to read music by studying the piano, but switched to
classical, guitar then rock, by age 12. He formed
Violet Fox, his first band,
at age 14 and after playing in several school bands, Rhoads hooked up
with singer Kevin DuBrow and to form the band
Quiet Riot in 1974 with old
friend and bassist Kelly Garni while
teaching guitar at the same time.
Although there is some redundancy in the video footage here (Randy fans won't mind watching certain solos twice), but
collage of Randy's live appearances was produced for You Tube by electricangel23666. It's nice work, Angel.