RIP Randy Rhoads

Today is the 26th anniversary of the death of Randy Rhoads. What better way to remember him than an 8 minute guitar solo from the Quiet Riot days? You’ll find a lot of familiar pieces in this solo. Enjoy – and RIP Randy.

I also have pictures of the grave site from a trip I took back in 2005. You can find a lot more at the Diary of an Axeman web site – the definitive site on the net for Randy Rhoads “stuff”.

Off The Rails – The Review

I just finished reading Off The Rails by Rudy Sarzo this last week. Overall, I would say I liked it.

I’ve been a fan of Randy Rhoads since first hearing the Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of Madman albums in 1983 or so. He was a unique player for his time and these two albums are of the sort that they sound just as fresh today as they did when they were released.

As a Rhoads fan, I’ve always picked up any and all information I could get on him. Every guitar magazine he’s been in, I probably have or have had it. Each article or magazine never really gave you enough, as a fan, as to what Randy was like.

Off The Rails was written using Sarzo’s daily diaries that he had kept during the Blizzard of Ozz and Diary tours between 1981 and 1982 (at the request of his accountant) and gives you an interesting glimpse of what was going on in the band at the time. While this book is probably the most detailed about Rhoads as a person, the book for me seemed to focus more on how screwed up Ozzy and Sharon were during this time, which is actually the stuff I wound up getting more interested in as the book went on.

After reading this book, you will be amazed that Osbourne has gotten to where he did, and that he actually produced the music he did over the years. Rumors have always abounded about his alcoholism and wild antics, but Sarzo gives you a very detailed glimpse into the amount of abuse Ozzy exposed himself and everyone around him to during the early days of his solo career.

Most interesting to me was the circumstances around the planned live album that became Speak of the Devil and Randy’s resistance to doing the album. Given where the band was at the time, with two albums of solo material, its easy to understand that Randy did not want to do a live album of Sabbath material, but the most telling is how Ozzy reacted and treated Randy when he refused to do the album initially.

Over the last twenty some years, we’ve heard a lot of positive things about the relationship between Ozzy and Randy. This book, if nothing else, gives you a glimpse of the “real life” circumstances on the tour and paints a much less rosy picture of the time that the band spent on the road.

That is not to say at all that Off The Rails is negative. Sarzo manages to detail all of the goings on during this time without giving the reader the feeling of reading a “tell-all” book meant to smear the participants for the sake of making money. Rudy does a great job of reporting what happened in a very balanced way that manages to get the reader to close the book and walk away thinking.

Bottom line, the book is excellent. Sarzo does a good job of reporting the daily goings on in the tour, giving you a glimpse into the life of guitar hero, and doing it in such a way that it does not feel exploitative in the least. I would definitely recommend this book to those who are Rhoads fans, or even those who just want a third party addition to the biographies already out there on Ozzy and his crew.

Off the Rails by Rudy Sarzo Now Available At Amazon.com

I received an email yesterday from someone letting me know that Rudy Sarzo’s long awaited book, Off The Rails is now available at Amazon.com. The book chronicles his time with Ozzy Osbournes Blizzard of Ozz band, featuring the late great Randy Rhoads.

From what I’ve heard, this book is a one of a kind. I actually headed over to Borders yesterday to pick it up, only to find it listed in their computers as out of print. I guess I will have to forego my need for ‘immediate satisfaction’ and wait for Amazon to deliver it.

Rhoads fans have been waiting a long time for this release. I’ll let you know what I think once I get it.

24th Anniversary of Rhoads Death

Plane Crash Kills Rock Guitarist
A small plane crashed into a mansion and burst into flames Friday, killing the lead guitarist of the Ozzy Osbourne rock group and two other people, police said. The plane twice buzzed the house, where the rock group was staying, and on a third pass clipped the rock group's tour bus and a tree, then slammed into the two-story colonial home, officials said. Killed were guitarist Randall Rhoads, 25, pilot Andrew Aycock, 36, and Rachel Youngblood, 58, the group's makeup artist and hairdresser, said Lake County Deputy Sheriff Mike Smalt. All were aboard the plane. Osbourne - known for such stage antics as biting off the head of a live bat - was in the bus but was not hurt, Smalt said. Several other group members escaped unhurt from the mansion before it was gutted by flaming gasoline that spewed from the Beechcraft Bonanza, officials said. Rhodes and Ms. Youngblood were from Los Angeles, Smalt said. Smalt said Aycock lived at Flying Baron Estates, the wealthy, private airport community about three miles east of Leesburg where the crash occurred. The group was staying at the mansion before a concert scheduled for Orlando today. Members of the group quickly left the crash site and it was not known whether they would perform. Jack Barker, Atlanta regional spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the FAA flew an investigator to the scene Friday. He said the National Safety Transportation Board also would investigate. The bus - outfitted with plush chairs, video games and a stereo system - was punctured by the wing of the aircraft.

I found this Behind the Music video on YouTube and thought it was cool.

Notes

Article text courtesy of the Day The Music Died.

Stairway To Heaven – Randy Rhoads

Photo by rbieber

A picture of the Randy Rhoads section of the book "Stairway to Heaven: The Final Resting Places of Rocks Legends"

I found a book called Stairway to Heaven : The Final Resting Places of Rock’s Legends. This is such a cool book of photographs of the grave sites of many of rocks departed.

I had such a kick going through all of these pictures. Not sure why, but this kind of thing has always facinated me.