Randy Rhoads died 36 years ago today (March 19). Gone far too soon at the age of 25 in a tragic plane crash, Rhoads will be forever influential to hard rock and metal guitarists for his early work with Quiet Riot and most notably his work on Ozzy Osbourne‘s first two solo LPs, Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman.
Rhoads’ classical music influences helped add artistry to metal in a way that few guitarists did at the time or have since, and it was something Osbourne recognized and cherished from day one.
“When he played my brain went, ‘Either this is the greatest gear ever or this guy really is the best guitarist in the world!'” said Osbourne in a 2011 interview with The Guardian. “It took me a very long time to get over his death…Randy gave me a purpose, he gave me hope. I was fed up fighting people. I just had the greatest respect for him.”
The respect was evident in the video below from the History Channel show Ozzy And Jack’s World Detour which shows Ozzy listening to the master, unmixed tapes of his hit “Crazy Train.” The clip just leaves you wondering what could have been.
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger who once did a presentation in a college public speaking course about why The Rolling Stones were better than The Beatles. (She received an A.)