The legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads was born on this day in 1956

The Quiet Riot founder and Ozzy Osbourne’s band first guitarist defined the Heavy Metal lead guitar playing

The legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads was born on this day in 1956

The legendary guitar player Randy Rhoads was born Randall William Rhoads on December 6, 1956 in Santa Monica, California. Randy was one of the earliest Heavy Metal virtuosos, he gained a reputation fast as the guitarist for the newly formed Ozzy Osbourne band in 1979, after the release of the debut 1980 Ozzy album “Blizzard Of Ozz”. Randy’s career started early, when he began taking folk and classical guitar lessons at approximately age 7 at his mother’s music school. Soon after he gained an interest on electric guitar and during the mid 1970’s he learned how to play lead. At age only 16 Randy was one of the founders of Quiet Riot in 1973, the band became one of the most popular acts on the Los Angeles club circuit, and by late 1976 were signed to CBS, however, their record deal didn’t released any records in the U.S, instead the first two albums were only released in Japan. In 1979, after being fired from Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne was in Los Angeles trying to put a band together for his debut album and that’s when he came across Randy. The guitarist audiotened for Ozzy with his Gibson guitar and a practice amp and started warming up. Osbourne, who was very inebriated on that day, said of the audition “He played this fucking solo and I’m like, am I that fucking stoned or am I hallucinating or what the fuck is this!” Osbourne immediately gave him the job. Rhoads recalled later, “I just tuned up and did some riffs, and he said, “You’ve got the gig”. With the band now formed, Randy recorded “Blizzard Of Ozz” in England, he played a considerable role on developing Ozzy Osbourne’s signature solo career sound with his unique and innovative guitar technique. The album was successful and became Ozzy’s best selling album to this day. Randy recorded also the second abum “Diary Of A Madman” in 1981, another sales success. With his career picking up and being praised and acclaimed by critic as one of the best guitar players in Rock and Heavy Metal scene, Rhoads saw his career and life suddenly cut short at age 25.

Randy Rhoads played his last show on Thursday, March 18, 1982, at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum. he next day, the band was heading to a festival in Orlando, Florida. Osbourne recalls his final conversation with Rhoads that night on the bus involved the guitarist admonishing him over his insane ideas. The last thing Rhoads said to him that night was, “You’ll kill yourself, you know? One of these days.” After driving much of the night, they stopped in Leesburg, Florida, to fix a malfunctioning air conditioning unit on the bus while Osbourne remained asleep.Without permission, tour bus driver and private pilot Andrew Aycock took a single-engine plane. On the second flight he took to the air with Rhoads and makeup artist Rachel Youngblood aboard. At approximately 10 am, after being in the air for approximately five minutes, one of the plane’s wings clipped the top of the tour bus, breaking the wing into two parts and sending the plane spiraling out of control and crashing, bursting into flames. Rhoads was killed instantly, as were Aycock and Youngblood. All three bodies were burned beyond recognition, and Rhoads was identified by dental records and personal jewelry. Ozzy Osbourne never recovered from the loss of Randy Rhoads, he often still mentions him and praises his guitar playing and contribution to his solo career. Rhoadas has influenced countless guitar players over the years, including Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready. Still a relevant and legendary guitarist, his enduring legacy made him being inducted into the Hall of Heavy Metal History for defining heavy metal lead guitar and he is still regarded as the best guitar player that ever played with Ozzy Osbourne.

Watch a compilation of some of the best Randy Rhoads guitar solos/strong>

Watch Randy Rhoads and Ozzy Osbourne music video “Crazy Train”

Listen to the two first Ozzy Osbourne’s albums “Blizzard Of Ozz” and “Diary Of A Madman” featuring Randy Rhoads on Spotify

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