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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tribute to Randy Rhoads

RRD006In 1979, ex-Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne was forming a new band. Future Slaughter bassist Dana Strum recommended Rhoads to Osbourne. Rhoads got the call for the audition just before the last Quiet Riot gig. He walked in with a Les Paul guitar and a Fender practice amp and started warming up; 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.' I had the weirdest feeling, because I thought, 'You didn't even hear me yet.'" Osbourne described Rhoads' playing as "God entering my life." Rhoads subsequently recommended his friend Greg Leon, who also taught guitar at Musonia for Rhoads' mother, to replace him in Quiet Riot, as Rhoads packed his bags and headed off to the UK.

RRD005They arrived in England in March 1980 to begin working on their first album. Rhoads and Osbourne met up with bassist Bob Daisley in an English pub. Osbourne heard good things about Bob Daisley's playing in Rainbow, so he asked him to join his band; Daisley accepted. Osbourne and company auditioned many drummers but were being pressured by the record company, Jet Records, to start recording. Finally, the last drummer on their list, former Uriah Heep drummer Lee Kerslake, got the gig. They also hired keyboardist Don Airey who had played with Osbourne a few years prior on the Black Sabbath album Never Say Die!. The band headed into the studio to record the band's debut album, Blizzard Of Ozz. Propelled by Rhoads' inspiring neo-classical guitar work and highlighting Daisley's contemporary lyrics, the album proved an instant hit with rock fans, particularly in the USA.

RRD003They released two singles from the album: "Mr. Crowley" (inspired lyrically by occultist Aleister Crowley) and the hit "Crazy Train". The band toured extensively and then quickly wrote and recorded the follow-up Diary Of A Madman. Two singles were released from Diary Of A Madman; "Over The Mountain" and "Flying High Again". Two days after recording was done, Osbourne fired Kerslake and Daisley, and he hired ex-Black Oak Arkansas drummer Tommy Aldridge and ex-Quiet Riot bassist Rudy Sarzo. Diary of a Madman was released shortly thereafter and Osbourne launched another tour with this same lineup. Around this time Rhoads remarked to Osbourne, Tommy Aldridge and friend Kelly Garni that he was considering leaving rock for a few years to earn a degree in classical guitar. RRD004In the documentary Don't Blame Me, Osbourne confirmed Randy's desire to earn the degree and stated that had he lived, he didn't believe Randy would have stayed in his band. Friend and ex-Quiet Riot bassist Kelly Garni has stated in interviews that if Randy had continued to play rock, he might have gone the route of more keyboard-driven rock, which had become so popular through the 1980's.

Live at Long Beach Arena June 27th 1981 60 min.

Live in Montreal 28-07-81         New-086

Live In Chelsford 1980     New-086

the day the music died website … one of my favorite live recording resource

Randy Rhoads forum

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