An Interview with Delores Rhoads by Gerard Ganaden
Randy Rhoads: Taking Care of The Legend And Legacy
"One and two and three and four..." says the elderly lady sitting at the piano. Her voice sounds kind but very stern. An eight-year-old girl stands to the right of the woman holding a violin and strokes the bow to a succession of five notes. "No, you're going too fast. Try it this way." And the lady repeats the same succession of notes but it now has a resounding melody. There is a cane hanging on the arm of her chair and it is there because she is 75 years old and has begun having problems walking. It's a nice day outside and many eight-year-olds are outside playing. The little girl inside this music recital room would rather practice her violin excersises with Mrs. Rhoads.
She repeats the melody on her violin and now has a grasp of what the melody sounds like. Mrs. Rhoads looks pleased. Going on 5:00 p.m., the girl's father has arrived and it is time to go home. For Mrs. Rhoads, it is the finish of her final lesson of the day. It is time to go home. It is time to close up the school until tomorrow.
The recital room is now quiet for the time being. It is a large room with chairs arranged in neat rows on an aging linoleum floor. Entering the room, there is a large selection of antique musical instruments encased in glass on the right. The display stretches for the entire length of the wall. The entire building is full of rich musical tradition, very conservative and proper. But something more is on display that commands much deeper attention. There are photographs and other artifacts of her son and they are proudly presented to visitors like any mother would. There are lots of photographs of her son and some of his written music transcripts line the bookcases in frames. Some of his old musical equipment sits silent in the corner of the room. A guestbook lies on top of a large, old, tattered guitar speaker cabinet with "Quiet Riot" stenciled on it. Delores Rhoads is the proud mother of a legend, the late Randy Rhoads. She is the keeper of the flame that many young guitarists around the world look to for inspiration. He encompassed the epitome of the all-American rock n' roll boyhood and his memory is forever frozen in time, never to age or become old. Randy Rhoads was 25 when he was killed in a plane crash in March of 1982, leaving behind a legacy that is limited to few recordings and photographs. At the time, he was the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne. Osbourne was just beginning to become successful as a solo artist after leaving the dark, heavy metal band, Black Sabbath. He and Rhoads recorded two albums in 1980 and 1981. They were on a marathon arena concert tour when the accident happened. Rhoads was studying classical guitar and was about to leave the spotlight to go to pursue a masters degree in music before the tragedy. His life was purely music and is remembered by most to have been one of the kindest people to walk the earth. His mom and his closest childhood friend can attest to many more things that illuminate his legend. Most of it started and took place at that school.
This is the Musonia School of Music. It's a modest looking building in the heart of North Hollywood, California. This is where the humble beginnings of Randy Rhoads' short but indelible career took place. Delores and William Rhoads built this place in 1949. During that time, Mrs. Rhoads was a professional musician and was teaching music in the Los Angeles public school system. "We built it from scratch. We really started working here in the early '50s but we didn't build it all at one time, " she explains. "It took awhile, a good number of years." Mr. and Mrs. Rhoads started their family then. The two of them were music teachers who taught in the public schools. They had three children, Randy being the youngest. Randall William Rhoads was born on December 6, 1956 and 17 months later, his father left. "I raised the children by myself," said Mrs. Rhoads. She couldn't afford a television or a stereo at the time so there wasn't a lot of music to listen to at home. For Randy, it all started with an old acoustic guitar that he found when he was a small boy.
"He found this acoustic Gibson guitar that my father used to relax and enjoy. He played acoustic guitar. He was actually a doctor and he just used it to relax and get his mind off his problems," she explains. "Randy grew up right here in my school but when he picked up that guitar, that was his life. That was it from then on. He started taking lessons but that didn't last too long because he wanted electric guitar. I did have a good electric guitar teacher at the time (studio musician and producer, Scott Shelly), so I said, 'Fine, he could switch.' The only electric guitar we had here in the school was an old semi-acoustic Harmony with F-holes. He didn't care, that was just fine, just as long as he could play electric guitar. The guitar was almost as large as he."
Within a year of lessons, Randy was ready to move on. But this is a young little boy. Mrs. Rhoads found it hard to believe that Randy would cover so much ground, even more than his teacher, in that first year. She said, "The teacher came to me and said, 'I've taught him everything I could teach him.' And I said, 'Oh, c'mon...' I thought he was making a joke. He said, 'No, I'm not kidding. I really mean it.'" At that point, Randy was on his own. "Randy took it on his own from that time on as far as electric guitar is concerned. He just played and played and figured things out, sort of made his own style." There weren't any rock n' roll music influences in the Rhoads household at the time because they still didn't own a record player or radio. "He didn't have the records to listen to which was a good thing because he always stressed to make your own style and don't copy."
There is a gleam in the eyes of Mrs. Rhoads. These things spark the memories of innocence. You could tell she enjoys talking about her youngest son. She does this often when fans from around the world come to visit the landmarks that Randy left behind. "She feels that the whole world wants to know about Randy, " said Kelly Garni, the best friend who grew up with Randy and became inseparable bandmates.
Randy and Kelly met at the age of 12, in seventh grade. Together, they would launch a music career that Mrs. Rhoads can never forget. The Rhoads' resided in the suburbs of Burbank and Kelly lived just a couple of blocks away. Mrs. Rhoads remembers how Kelly became Randy's adolescent musical partner. She said, "They were just friends in school, they were in the same grade. Randy said, 'I sure would like to have a bass player to jam with. Kelly, I'm going to teach you how to play bass.' Randy taught Kelly how to play bass. They jammed together after school, had a lot of fun until the neighbors complained, of course." In Garni's version, he remembers it just the same way...except the police were involved. "We started this whole thing when we were 12. Yeah, we got in trouble a lot. You name it. Most of it was music related. Cops would come over and tell us to turn down. Cops would always show up if it was his house or my house. We knew every cop in that town on a first name basis!"
Because this was a problem, the boys always wanted to play at the Musonia recital room but Mrs. Rhoads would have to bargain with them just to let them wail away in there for an hour. The two boys were told that the room wasn't free. You had to earn it. Manual labor or errands? What could a pair of 12-year-old boys do to earn an hour to jam on their guitars in a big room real loud?
Mrs. Rhoads had a band of students called "The Six Musonians." This was a collection of some of her finest students who were put up for hire at weddings, formal parties and Barmitzvahs. All she wanted was for the two guys to sit in with them so they could learn the finer side of modern music, not that rock stuff. Kelly recalls the ordeal with calm, as if he's finally had peace with the memory. He said, "They were white shirt and tie kind of guys that were diametrically different than me and Randy in every respect. Randy's mom always wanted him to play with them and they got into huge fights, yell and scream." The Six Musonians had short hair, played saxophones, clarinets or trumpets and they were the same age as the pair of young rockers. "We had long hair and dressed up like Alice Cooper and wore seven inch heels. But the deal was, if you wanted to play in the big room, you had to put in time with the Six Musonians." Still seated at the piano, she looks around the room like it was yesterday. "They said, 'Mom, could we set it up and ask our friends and give a real show?' I said sure," said the musical mom. Lights were brought in and chairs were set up just like the classical recitals. These were kids acting out the fantasy of being in the big-time. The lights came on and it was fun. Kidstuff. Mrs. Rhoads thinks it's more of a treasured experience by saying, "I think that Randy had more fun doing that than big-time stuff."
Randy became attached to the school not long after that. By the age of 15, he became part of the Musonia teaching faculty where he would earn a good living. Kelly and Randy would take things a step further from being in the lights in the big room during that time. Together, they would form Quiet Riot, a local L.A. band that would eventually rival another band called Van Halen. They formed the band with a singer and a drummer and became local celebrities. As he entered his early 20s, Randy also became the most sought after guitar teacher in Los Angeles, having accumulated up to 70 students. Randy had become a naturally gifted musician who was striving for more education with classical guitar. Not bad for a local teenage kid.
Mrs. Rhoads, though not much of a rocker, supported her son in every respect. She showed up at his shows and witnessed some of the frenzy surrounding her son. "They played locally, playing the L.A. clubs many, many times. At that time, he was teaching. He was a good teacher too, by the way. A very good teacher. He was very patient. He could relate to the student and know how to pace them properly. The students would come out on Cloud Nine because they thought they sounded so good. It was really Randy that would make them sound so good."
In 1977, local rival band, Van Halen had gotten a record deal with Warner Brothers Records. Randy and his band had made all the same career moves that the Van Halen boys made and were just as popular but there wasn't an American record deal in sight for Quiet Riot. The only offer that they got was with an overseas record label willing to release their music to the Japanese market. It was better than nothing so they took it. Quiet Riot made two albums for overseas consumption hoping that it would land them a deal at home. It didn't happen. Disillusioned with all of it, Kelly Garni left the band in 1979. The two boys were going their separate ways. Randy stayed with the band. Kelly trained to be a paramedic and moved to Las Vegas, where he still lives today.
Randy was already being idolized by many young guitarists in Los Angeles when Ozzy Osbourne discovered him. Some like to think that there would be no Randy Rhoads if there were no Ozzy. Osbourne had been the lead singer of Black Sabbath, the dark, satanic, British heavy metal band that specialized in droning melodies about death, and everything else unpleasant. He was kicked out in 1977 and somehow wound up in Los Angeles. He was looking to start a solo career and was in L.A. to scrounge up some new musicians to take to England. He couldn't find anyone interested in taking the offer because in some ways, it's hard to stomach Osbourne as being a serious musician. He was in the middle of a depressed, alcoholic binge, which made him overweight and drunk most of the time. On the day before he was to return to England, Osbourne caught wind of this guitar teacher who was tearing up the L.A. club scene. Later that day, he called Randy.
Kelly Garni remembers how he and Randy looked at Black Sabbath as a joke, making fun of that band when they were young. "When we were growing up, we thought Black Sabbath was a ridiculous thing. It was something we made fun of. Here were these guys out there, and then there's the devil and all this...it was goofy. We parodied it all the time. We would act all heavy, y'know, do pre-headbanging moves and act all dark and everything. We thought it was funny. It was a joke." No one knew that Randy would have to deal with that seriously.
Randy received the call from Osbourne and Mrs. Rhoads was within an earshot of eavesdropping on the phone conversation. She heard him say, "Oh, I don't think I'd be interested. I'm pretty comfortable here. I'm with my band. I've got my work at my mom's school. I don't think so." She knew that this wasn't just someone offering a job to Randy. She knew that it was someone offering Randy the brass ring. It was someone who would take Randy away. This might be the opportunity for Randy become a star.
Mrs. Rhoads asked what that was all about and Randy proceeded to tell her who Ozzy was. Of course, she had no clue. She told her son, "Randy you know in the music business, it's sometimes very important to know some people. They can perhaps help you or recommend you. It might be worth the trip down to Hollywood to meet Ozzy if nothing else." Later that night, Randy went to meet Ozzy, auditioned, and got the job. Soon, he would be on his way to England. It was an exciting time for Mrs. Rhoads because her son, who'd never left home or went traveling by himself, was going away for the first time. She remembers preparing him for his long trip to England in November of 1979. "Of course, we had to get his passport first and they told him to please get some warm clothes. We picked up the warmest clothes in California that we could. When Randy got over to England, he called and said, "I guess the clothes in California don't match what they need in England. They weren't warm enough so we had to get new clothes over here."
Randy and Ozzy went to work, writing and recording new music. Randy would call home and as Mrs. Rhoads describes it, "Randy was always saying that things are happening so fast, I can't hardly get my thoughts together." This was the big-time that he and Kelly dreamed about and he was in it for real.
The first album, Blizzard Of Ozz was released in 1980. Mrs. Rhoads went to England to visit before their first tour. At the time, Randy and Ozzy were sharing an apartment in London and when Mrs. Rhoads arrived, she couldn't resist cleaning up the place. There were beer cans, cigarette butts and trash all over the place. She would not know that the drunk sleeping on the couch was Ozzy and she would find this out when Randy brought her to rehearsal later.
As she describes it, she, Randy and Ozzy were sitting in the reception room of the studio. Randy was seated on one side of her, and the drunk from the apartment was on the other. She turned to ask Randy, "When is Ozzy coming?" and Randy pointed out that Ozzy was right there next to her. With a laugh, Mrs. Osbourne says, "Ozzy was a good sport about it and he tells this story sometimes too."
While there in London, Randy continued to pursue his classical guitar education. He was studying with one of the professors from the London University, taking private classical guitar lessons. But soon the touring would begin and Randy would be off to see the rest of Europe and then the United States. His pursuit of classical studies began a spiraling rift between he and Osbourne that has not been told to the outside world.
During the tour, Randy was beginning to become unhappy. He really wanted to pursue his degree in music and he had become disillusioned with the music business from what he had seen on the road.
It was during that tour Kelly Garni would see his childhood friend for the last time. He remained in contact with him though their lives had gone their separate ways. Kelly was like Randy's escape from the music world. Talking with him, they were just friends. No music. Just friends.
Kelly, speaking very candidly about his conversations with Randy Rhoads is adamant about this claim: "Ozzy and Randy were not on that great of terms when Randy died. Randy was trying to get out." When the tour came to Las Vegas, Randy and Kelly got together and they did not know that it would be the last that they would see of each other. Randy came to see Kelly's house, a modest ranch style house just minutes from the Las Vegas strip. "Randy's jaw just dropped. He was like, 'Man, I would just give anything to have a place like this. This is so great. It must be so relaxing to be here by yourself, nobody bothering you and all your own things around you.' He was genuinely jealous."
During the visit, several things were revealed to Kelly. Randy told Kelly about all the distasteful things that were going on during the tour. Randy felt stuck and had a hard time telling his old friend that being a star wasn't all that great. "He wasn't happy. He didn't like that whole big huge rock star thing because he was too humble. Without a doubt, he was the humblest person in the universe. He was clearly not cut out to be a rock star. No one was as unprepared for it as him and when it happened, he didn't like it. He didn't like that many people acting that way. He couldn't understand it. It went against everything that was in himself."
Randy had begun to share Kelly's disillusionment with being in the music business. "Even though we grew up together in music, ultimately, I got as far away from it as I could. All our lives, we worked for this rock star thing but finally, he got a big taste of it and it wasn't much fun." Randy would next try to follow Kelly's lead but he didn't get that far.
As Mrs. Rhoads sees it, Randy was only happy when he was playing. While on the road there were days when the band had a day off, "...he did get a bit homesick and he would call and he would say, 'I just wish that we were playing all the time.'"
After winding up the first road trek, Randy and Ozzy would return to England to finish recording the second album, Diary Of A Madman. Touring would begin toward the end of 1981, and they were scheduled to hit every major sports arena in the U.S. and abroad. It would be a much bigger stage production than before because they were touring on the heels of the success of the first album. The stage was set up like a huge castle, complete with towering dungeons on either side of the stage and a drum platform that would sit atop a long flight of stairs. It was very gothic looking but it wasn't much to Randy's idea of a rock show.
Randy continued his classical studies and during the tour, he would go through the phone book, look up music teachers in each town, and go have a lesson. He really wanted to get off the road and start school. The longer he was on the road, the more unhappy he became. He was constantly asking if he could get out of his contractual agreements with Ozzy.
In 1982, a published series of interviews with Randy's bandmates from that tour appeared in the pages of Guitar Player Magazine. They all knew of how Randy wanted out of the band. Drummer Tommy Aldridge said, "He was always asking me about lawsuits, how can I get out of this, how can I get out of that. I felt so much for what he was going through, but I honestly couldn't think of a way that he could get out of his situation." It wasn't a big secret among the people who surrounded him. "Randy felt like he was being 'kept' by Ozzy," as Kelly put it and understandably so.
During that tour, Randy was given the award for Most Outstanding New Talent from Guitar Player Magazine. The Ozzy tour was in San Francisco when he was presented with the award. He was interviewed by MTV and scores of photographs were taken of him. Mrs. Rhoads says that it was Randy's proudest moment. "He was very, very proud and very thrilled. He said the concert itself was so large. The audience was huge and the response was just fabulous."
While out on the road in the western U.S, Randy had three wisdom teeth pulled. Ozzy Osbourne can remember Randy's last trip home to see his mom. "He was in such a state, we had to cancel the tour and take him home. This guy said this won't hurt and before we got back to the hotel, Randy must've shoved four boxes of Kleenex in his mouth! Me and his mother took care of him for awhile," said Osbourne in a recently released interview from International Music Company. Mrs. Rhoads was taking care of her youngest kid at home with a toothache and was starting to get a cold. "He was miserable. Typical Randy, " she says with a grin. He was at home in Burbank for only ten days, kooped up in the same bedroom that he felt safest in. By the end of that week in March of 1982, he had a full-blown cold and he left to go back on the road the following Monday. As Mrs. Rhoads tells about this, her grin fades into a stoic stare. She knows that this is almost the end of the story. "He was so sick. I said, 'Please call me when you get there.' He did and that was the last time I talked to him," she says sadly. Four days later, he was killed.
The Associated Press reported that Friday morning: "March 20. 1982, Leesburg, Fla. A small plane crashed into a mansion here and burst into flame killing the lead guitarist of the Ozzy Osbourne rock group and two other people police said." The pilot of the plane was the tour bus driver for the band. He had a pilot's liscence and on that morning, he decided to take a spin on a rented plane. Randy and the band's wardrobe person, a 58-year-old woman, thought that it would be a great idea to get arial photographs and they went up in the plane with him. The plane circled around near the tour bus but upon approach, it was flying too low. The wing clipped the side of the bus and crashed into the house the bus was parked next to.
Members of Ozzy's band and of Quiet Riot were pall bearers at the funeral and Randy was laid to rest at Mount View Cemetery in San Bernardino. "That's my hometown. That's where I want to be buried so I wanted Randy with me." In the years since his death, Randy's remains have been moved from a simple grave to a tomb. Many people would bother the grounds and they would chip pieces of the gravestone for a souvenir. Inappropriate? Maybe. But it was like having one last memory for a fan to hold onto.
The tomb looks like a big stone house. The name, "RHOADS" is deeply carved in big letters above the gated entrance. Inside, Randy's tomb can be seen under protection from harmful fanatics. It's completely made of Georgia marble and, "..it's a private little building. The gates do open but I don't open them very much because we have fans that like to leave all kinds of things. They even put them through the bars. I would rather not have to have the bars but it was a necessity. They litter it with beer cans, cigarettes...I don't know why they do it," she says sadly. Visits her boy from time to time and says that she's thankful for all he had done with his short life. "Sometimes, I just go just to go."
Ozzy Osbourne very rarely talks about the death of Randy. It is because of the guilt that he carries. Here's this guy who drank himself to oblivion, got high all the time and physically abused himself for several years and the kid with the squeaky clean image was the one who met his demise instead. With a slurred voice, he said, "You go through the 'why him, not me?' angle. The hardest thing of all for me was to face his mother and his family because I felt somewhat resposible and guilty for the fact that that I had taken their son...some foreigner....It's only when you have children yourself that you can understand. If someone were to take your child away and he were to come back in a box..." Kelly Garni was saddened by the death of his friend. Though Randy has been gone for a number years, Kelly shared one last proud moment with Randy via CD. "Quiet Riot: The Randy Rhoads Years" was released by Rhino Records in 1993. It features music from the two records that were never released in the U.S. and have long been out of print. It wasn't easy releasing that CD because it was met with the resistance of Mrs. Rhoads. "She really didn't want it to come out. She believed that Randy would be embarrassed by those recordings. I would disagree with that because he didn't care. That's not a thing that humble and modest person would do. Randy would never say, 'Oh, I'm so great now. I don't want anybody to hear my humble beginnings.'"
As it would seem Mrs. Rhoads would rather keep Randy's personal image intact by not attracting more attention to it in non-musical terms. But Kelly Garni is the curator of what would be the largest Randy collection ever seen. He keeps track of everything that comes out in the legitimate market as well as the illegal black market. He treats fans to rare live videos and gives them a five-hour presentation in honor of his fallen friend in his house. "I'm all hip for keeping his legacy alive. I try everything I can," Kelly said with enthusiasm. He disagrees with Mrs. Rhoads on a lot of aspects of feeding the legend in order to keep it alive. As he explains it, Mrs. Rhoads is afraid that eventually, some unflattering things might turn up from the feeding frenzy. "She feels that there's a legacy, a legend and a reputation to maintain. She is so protective of Randy's reputationand imortality that she's afraid that someone is going to dig up some dirt and tell the whole world. I think that she's very afraid of that. She is afraid that it would call attention to some aspects about Randy that weren't flattering to a very angelic image, which is what he had. She knows I'll never say a word because there really isn't any. She just wants things to stay as just like they are.
Mrs. Rhoads is still very much protective of her son in death as he was alive. She has had to deal with the exploitation of her son. Many have made claims to Randy with forged autographs, personal items and other memorabelia. This would leave the trail of his legacy looking like it was very image laden, not the rich, artistic person that he was. Like many celebrities that have passed away before him, Randy Rhoads has become more famous now than when he was alive.
Mrs. Rhoads simply wants the angelic image of her son to reamain intact but She had to go after someone in Illinois who was trying to sell things to fans. She said, "I think he has been the worst. to try to sell thing and say that 'this is Randy' and it isn't Randy. 'This is Randy's signature' and it isn't Randy's signature. All those kind of things. He was the worst." By the time she and her lawyers found out where he was selling these things, the guy disappeared like a thief in the night. But Mrs. Rhoads does see a positive thing come out of this: it helps keep the name of her son alive. "I consoled myself with those things and I said, well, at least it keeps Randy's name in from of a lot of people and that's what I'm all about.!" she says with a girlish grin and a giggle.
Her top goal is to promote Randy's name "as much as I possibly can for as long as I possibly can. She would like Randy's name to live forever in the public eye like a flame that will never blow out. One way that she has found to do that is through endowment scholarships. Currently, there are two memorial scholarships in the name of Randy Rhoads that have been established at UCLA and at California State University in Northridge (CSUN). The Randy Rhoads Endowed Memorial Scholarships were established in 1993. They are scholarships in the classical guitar department in the memory of Randy. "Since it's an endowment, it will go on forever. They use only the interest of each year. I go out there every year for the auditions and help decide who will get the award. Amost 20 students participate."
CSUN is also working on another project with Mrs. Rhoads which will enable students to research all the holdings of the music library at the school. This will allow for the development of the Randy Rhoads Library to contain the music Randy left behind. CSUN has the largest guitar library in the world and is associated with the Getty Museum. This project keeps her working with her son in certain respects. She says that it is one salvation that keeps her chin up. "All of these projects take a lot of time but I feel as if I'm working with Randy every minute of everyday, which is so wonderful. I feel there's a real purpose, a real reason.
For the past 15 years, people gather at Randy's tomb twice a year to pay their resepects to the American rock guitar hero. They congregate on his birthday and on the anniversary of his death. Mrs. Rhoads is there to greet all who come to celebrate the life of her son. Kelly attends them and has not missed the events since they started. A lot of people come from all over the world to be near Randy and to meet others who share the same interest in him. They are mostly guitarists. The cemetery puts up a tent and chairs are arranged next to the tomb. A television is set up so that visitors can see rare glimpses of Randy performing live. Mrs. Rhoads looks forward to meeting everyone so that she can talk about Randy with fans who remember him. By all means, it is not a sad occasion.
"I bring picrtures or whatever I can show them, talk to them. There are so many loyal fans that come here. We had people here from South America this year. We have boys who come from New Jersey, they're some faithful ones that come every year. The Japanese people are so faithful. There's been a lot of visitors from Japan at those gatherings," Mrs. Rhoads said. Kelly is jaded at times about these gatherings because of devout Randy fanatics who show up every year, making a circus out of the affair. The finds a sickness about it by saying, "I think it's wonderful that they love Randy that much but I really think they need to get a life. It's kind of like those Star Trek conventions. I mean, that's great, you like my friend, but it's too much. They make a big production out of it. The throw up pictures all over the place. They wear these coats with tem million patches and sh*t written all over themselves. I'm like, c'mon! I hate to say it, but if Randy saw it, he'd say it was ridiculous."
"I went more for Mrs. Rhoads to show her that I'm still around and that I still care and to help herfrom being hounded with all kinds of questions. If I show up, it takes a lot of the pressure off her a bit." This year, Kelly is thinking about not attending anymore because he thinks it might be time to keep his peace with Randy privately. "My grief has always been a public thing. Maybe I'll just go there when nobody's around. Even still, I don't really need to do that. I believe that his spirit is omnipresent. I don't think Randy's sitting there in his tomb going, 'Thanks Kel, you didn't even show up.'"
Many believe that Randy's story should be immortalized in books or movies because it is such a somber story about a guy who left a hell of an impression with the people he touched. He wanted more for his life but was not in a big hurry to get it. "I think his story should be told," says Mrs. Rhoads. She will not authorize books to be written about her son because she wants to be the one who tell his story. "I would like to have it like a movie or something more lasting for a lot of people that maybe do not know about Randy. Because after all, 15 years...some fans today were too young as far as the band and guitar is concerned. They would have been like three years old then," says Mrs. Rhoads. As it would seem, Randy could be reduced to the same status as Peter Green, former guitarist for Fleetwood Mac; obscure to some but only known to guitarists. This is why the legend needs to be fed, as Kelly put it. If not, "...in five to ten years, nobody's going to care." A book or a movie are the only things that Kelly Garni and Mrs. Rhoads seem to agree on.
It's been 15 years since the death of Randy Rhoads and Mrs. Rhoads keeps herself together with the loss of her son. Even in death, she busies herself with the care of his memory. She does feel the sadness and anyone can see that on her face but it is covered with the pride that she has had for her son. This is the deepest mark he left behind. "Well, you never feel the same after such a tragedy. It'll never be the same. You just don't respond to things the same way. The best way I can explain it is that you have to keep busy. And talking is good, and that's why I've always talked to the fans. That's good therapy for me."