Earlier this week (March 19th) marked the 30th anniversary of Randy Rhodes’ death.
At the age of 16, Randy Rhodes formed the band Quiet Riot with his friend, Kelly Garni. Four years later in 1979, Ozzy Osbourne (having recently split from Black Sabbath) began auditioning guitar players for his new solo band. According to legend, Osbourne offered Rhodes the job after hearing him tune his guitar and play a few warm-up practice riffs. Ozzy and Randy recorded on two studio albums together, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. Rhodes’ most famous riff was probably the lick from Crazy Train, although it was his intricate work on songs like Dee, Goodbye to Romance, and Mr. Crowley that really set him apart from his contemporaries.
In 1982 while on tour, Randy got into a small plane piloted by the touring bus driver (Andrew Aycock), along with the band’s hairdresser and seamstress, Rachel Youngblood. While buzzing the band’s tour bus, Aycock accidentally clipped the bus, hurling the plane into a tree and causing it to explode. Both the pilot and the passengers, including Rhodes, were killed instantly.
Randy Rhodes’ stylish mix of classical guitar mixed with hard rock changed the face of rock music forever and influenced a generation (now two) of budding guitarists. Randy Rhodes died at the age of 25, long before the world had a chance to experiences his full potential.