Randall “Randy” Rhoads
b. December 6, 1956
d. March 19, 1982
Santa Monica, California
Randy started playing guitar at age six on his grandfather’s Gibson acoustic. Eight years later, Randy formed a band named after his mother “Violet Fox”, and just two years later help form “Quiet Riot” at age sixteen. Quiet Riot recorded two albums with Randy on guitar, both of them were limited to Japan, and were never released in the U.S. In 1979, Randy showed up to audition for Ozzy Osbourne.
He was still warming up on his white Les Paul when Ozzy told him he got the gig! 1980 was spent assembling Ozzy’s first solo band and recording the first of the only two studio albums Randy would ever release in America. Both Blizzard of Ozz and the follow up, Diary of a Madman were released in 1982.
In less than three years since Ozzy and Randy had teamed up, Randy had created a new style of heavy metal guitar. His background in folk and classical music (from his mother) had led him to places no other guitarists had gone before.
Sadly, on March 19th, 1982 Randy and the band stopped at the home of the tour bus driver in Leesburgh, Florida. In an apparent attempt to “buzz” the tour bus, the plane’s wing clipped the bus and crashed into the garage of bus driver’s home killing all three passengers instantly.
Randy’s Jackson signature “flying V” guitar is still the top selling design in the history of Grover Jackson guitars, and his influence on the instrument continues.