Foreword - Original Randy Rhoads
Words alone can never sufficiently describe the essence of an artist. This ultimately must be a one-on-one experience with what he creates and expresses. This is particularly true of an artist as emotional and compelling as Randy Rhoads. Beyond the obvious facade of exceptional guitar facility, exotic coloration’s and tangents, and highly individualized treatments of extant rock and classical clichés, there existed a soul and persona that defies categorization. Randy Rhoads' music combined elements of traditional rock, blues, and heavy metal with classical and ethnic influences and picturesque and evocative sound effects - electric, electronic, and acoustic. His taste and sensibilities judiciously balanced and molded what may seem to be diverse and precarious components into a cohesive and visionary guitar style. Randy was continually refining and revitalizing his musicality (throughout his all-too-brief career) with daring ideas and an eclectic openness fueled by an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a perfectionist attitude toward his own playing. His preoccupation and fascination with classical music and theory produced a "metal-classical fusion" approach to rock which began a "Bach Rock" renaissance in the eighties, spawning dozens of spin-offs and hybrids in the process. His giving nature and innate love of music, combined with a flair for communication, manifested itself in his rapid growth and skill as a musician, composer, and performer. He is sorely missed.
Randy Rhoads had become one of rock's most influential and beloved guitarists at the time of his death (in a private plane crash on March 19, 1982). Born in Santa Monica, California, on December 6, 1956, Randy's earliest musical experiences began at about age six with the help of his mother, Delores Rhoads, a music teacher. From the start, he had an inclination for music. He took acoustic guitar lessons and soon surpassed his teacher! His abilities increased throughout his subteen and early teenage years as he started playing rock, inspired by guitarists like Leslie West and Mick Ronson. Randy joined the local L.A. rock band Quiet Riot in the mid seventies and recorded two Lps for Japan's CBS Sony label. In 1980, he become the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard of Ozz band, and it was then that he truly realized the beginning of his musical potential. Utilizing electric and acoustic guitars, traditional, modern and exotic harmonic/tonal vocabularies; and a compositional/virtuosic approach to guitar soloing, Randy attained guitar-legend status in the short span of two years. His enormous contributions continue to shape the course of rock and metal music to this day.