I Love Randy Rhoads


In 1985, Eric Fraser (high school friend a year older than me) showed me my first three note per string scale. It was D Minor scale starting on the A sharp note, and it was from Mr Crowley.

Why I love Randy: Randy introduced me to the classical side of things. The diminished stuff. Loved it. I was in 7th or 8th grade in the very early 80’s. I lived in a house with three other boys (my step bros), and if you wanted an album but were a broke ass teen, you’d suggest your parents buy it for your brother’s birthday knowing full well you’d hear that album cranked (when the parents weren’t home). So I got Troy (who also played bass in many of the teenage bands I was in) Diary of a Madman. I LOVED IT. Over the Mountain was my song. I played that song into the ground. And that solo? BAD ASS!! When you hear those opening tritones, you know you’re in for a treat. Triple tracking solos? Crazy shit.

His look also played a part. For a kid in high school whose main dream in life was to have long hair (which I did have for a number of years), and to see a dude with long hair and black clothes kicking much ass on the guitar, that is the Metal dream right there!! The polka dot V didn’t hurt either. I love me a painted up guitar!!

In High School my band Knights (which Troy was apart of) played Believer after school, and I sang it!! There’s even a pic of that:


“I’m a Believer….!!” Still two or three years off from mastering Lynch vibrato. Glad there’s no audio!!

I had and loved both albums, but for some reason I gravitated more toward Diary. I like every single song, which is pretty rare for me. Troy was so captivated by the inner sleeve witch alphabet (or whatever the fuck) that he deciphered it. Pretty cluey guy. And of course, Kerslake and Daisley gave stellar performances on rhythm section, even though Aldridge and Sarzo were in the band pic.

I remember hearing on the radio that Randy died. That was 8th grade. I was on a bus going to school and had my Walkman on. I thought that sucked. My friend Eric Fraser looked a lot like Randy in high school, I’m sure he was devastated. I didn’t really get emotional about it until I was in my 30’s. I cried a few times. Beer did play a part.

I really liked Brad Gillis as a temporary replacement for Randy. He did a great job. That would have been a very difficult time. Hats off to him. I love the tone off Speak of the Devil. Surely Mesa Boogie.

Says Eric: Ha!! Thanks for the mention. You’d have to show me the scale now. I remember seeing that concert with Brad Gillis and being bummed it wasn’t Randy. Also remembered that our friend Anthony Sanchez had a bootleg VHS of those rehearsal videos. Pretty rad in 1982!

I did hear that George Lynch did a few shows using Brad’s gear, yet have never seen any pictures or audio to prove this. Could it be bullshit? Am I straight trippin’? I know Lynch auditioned for Ozzy and Jake E got the gig. But I would have loved to have heard Lynch in Ozzy. I think that would have been a great combo.

I greatly respect Randy as a musician. He gave a cool dark / gothic vibe to Metal. I know he wanted to quit metal and go down the acoustic /classical path..

I wonder what he would have come up with next?

RIP Randy.


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