The Randy Rhoads Grave Site Excursion

Randy Rhoads Grave Site - Closer

Tom and I are in Anaheim, CA on a business trip. Since we were somewhat in the neighborhood, we thought we would initiate a pilgrimage to the grave site of Randy Rhoads, one of my favorite guitarists. This visit, like the Bruce Lee grave visit three years ago was another one of those “things I need to do before I settle down for a dirt-nap” list items.

We did all of the pretravel prep and flew into Anaheim. After checking into the hotel, we hit the road to visit the site.

When we did the initial mapping of our route, we mapped the name “Mountain View Cemetery”, printed out the directions and never had a second thought about it. Until we got to Beaumont, CA, just outside of San Bernardino, CA.

Well, after a lot of driving and asking of directions we finally found the Mountain View Cemetery in Beumont, CA (there is one), but Randy Rhoads wasn’t buried there. We then figured, “well, maybe there is another Mountain View Cemetery in town”, so we asked around, stopping at a fire station (which was empty), and finally querying a local policeman after he finished issuing a ticket.

There was indeed another cemetery, and Tom put the pedal to the metal to get there before we lost daylight for picture taking. We got to the cemetery at the end of a dead end road, and, once again, Randy wasn’t buried there.

At this point, we needed someone with an internet connection so we called my lovely wife to figure out where the hell we went wrong. She confirmed that we were, indeed, in the wrong town. Since daylight was gone, we started the 60+ mile drive back to Anaheim. Needless to say we were a tad disappointed that our quest went unfulfilled.

On Sunday, after the conference sessions, we embarked on another attempt to find the grave site, this time with directions that Jonna was sweet enough to email to me last night. A short 50 minute drive later we pulled into the cemetery in San Bernardino, CA, found the monument (which is right inside the gates) and paid our respects.

The grave was something to behold, most of all because it’s quite obvious as you look around that people visit there pretty frequently. It was reminicent of the Bruce Lee grave visit, as we found incense and fresh flowers there as well. This monument was covered in lipstick left by fans (I’m assuming female), and there was even a note left inside the monument under the bench. It was a very cool experience.

As we were heading back to the car, after taking all of our pictures, a car drove up and stopped in front of the monument. A young couple got out of the car with their small son, and walked up to the grave and also paid their respects. I just had to take a picture of it from the car, I thought it was so cool. After 23 years, people still stop just to pay their respects to this young guy who made such a mark with his playing, and his love of the instrument.

We got some great pictures, which I’ve posted in a photo set on Flickr. We also learned a valuable lesson:

Make sure you know where you are going, EXACTLY, before you print out directions. If you aren’t 100% sure, ask your wife. Left on our own, the original road trip that Tom and I went on was extremely reminicent of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.

Update on August 7, 2005

Find the site on Google Earth.

18 thoughts on “The Randy Rhoads Grave Site Excursion

  1. Pingback: The Material Blog

  2. It’s amazing what one would do to visit the grave of one of the most incredible guitarists of all time! All hail the great Randall William Rhoads!

  3. Thank you so much for this article, it will come in very handy as I am going to the Rhoad’s tomb July 26, 2005.

    R.I.P. Randy

  4. I enjoyed reading your adventure searching for Randy’s grave. For me visiting the grave is also on my “Need to do before I die list.” I’ve always wondered once I got to the cemetary if I would get lost hopelessly trying to find the grave. I never knew that it was just beyond the gates. Thank you for the information and the pictures.

  5. Thanks for posting those Randy’s grave photos. Maybe some day I’ll visit him, but that’s a little far form Spain. Anyway, it would be worthwhile.
    Randy rules!

  6. I’m glad you enjoyed them. Since it was such a big deal for me, I figured it was worth taking pictures for those who it meant as much for that couldn’t make the same trip.

    I’m glad to see from the comments here that I was right.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  7. Pingback: Randy Rhoads Grave Site - a photoset on Flickr

  8. Vc foi e sempre será o melhor guitarrista considerado de todos os tempos. Randy Rhoads my friend!

  9. Mountain View cemetary in San Bernardino, Ca. That’s where my mom is buried! That’s also the town that I grew up in. How cool!I have seen his grave on many a visit to my mom’s grave. 🙂

  10. Many thanks. Randy Rhoads changed my life; hearing Tribute 5 years after he died made me pick up the guitar. Playing, writing, teaching…the guitar has been my life’s steering wheel.

    It’s always awed me how great art can touch people even long after the artist dies. Your pictures are wonderful but I must make the pilgrimage myself at least once, too!

  11. Randy was my guitar teacher and a very charismatic person. I will miss him always.

  12. Excellent Rhoads Tribute of your own! I want to go visit the tomb myself but until then you guys’ site was the next best thing,to say the least… THANX!! P.S. God Bless you Randy Rhoads 4 EVER

  13. I would like to take this chance to thank you for posting a google maps link of the cemetary. I’ve been trying to find it for awhile now.

  14. randy was the best guitarist.

    R.I.P RANDY RHOADS you will inspire my guitar playing for the rest of life.

  15. i am a fan for a long time i called his mom last week we talk for 15 mins she was so nice i hope to get a website up soon i have a lot ov dvd stuff and cd stuff e-maill me if you would like to traded
    thank u randy you are the man you are so missed here

  16. excellent story and pictures.
    can’t believe he’s been gone 24 years. can you imagine the music he would have made? truly one of the most incredible guitarists i have ever heard. i am truly saddened by the fact that i never got to see him onstage, i know he’s jamming in heaven with all the other guitarists that have passed and when i get there-i plan to attend that jam session…..long live the immortal randy rhoads. i wonder if he knew/knows that he inspired millions of kids to pick up a guitar????

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