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Rhodes performing at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, Wales; 1980
|Birth name||Randall William Rhoads|
December 6, 1956|
Santa Monica, California
March 19, 1982 (aged 25)|
|Genres||Heavy metal, hard rock, neo-classical metal|
|Occupations||Musician, songwriter, producer|
|Associated acts||Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot|
Rhoads first formed a band with Kelly Garni called Little Women. Kevin DuBrow was recruited into the band and they changed their name to Quiet Riot. The band became popular by playing in clubs in Los Angeles. By late 1976 they were signed to CBS/Sony Records.
Dana Strum contacted Rhoads to see if he was wanted to audition for Ozzy Osbourne's new band. He asked his mother if he should join Osbourne's band since he was still in Quiet Riot. She asked him if he would accept "an offer like this one" and Rhodes replied "Of course!"
He went to audition in Osbourne's hotel room in Los Angeles with his guitar and a practice amplifier. As he started getting ready he was given the job. Osbourne was very drunk, and had fallen asleep during the audition. Rhoads remembered later, "I just tuned up and did some riffs, and he said, 'You've got the gig'; I had the weirdest feeling, because I thought, 'You didn't even hear me yet'".
Rhoads flew to England on the November 27, 1979. He stayed with Osbourne, his wife at the time Thelma, and their two children. After a short while, Lee Kerslake joined the band, which was at the time called The Blizzard of Ozz. The band recorded their debut album Blizzard of Ozz which was released on September 20, 1980 and became a success. Diary of a Madman, their second studio album, was recorded between February and March 1981. It was released on November 7, 1981.
Rhoads died on March 19, 1982. He was touring with his band at the time. While driving in their tour bus, the band stopped in Leesburg, Florida, to fix the bus' air conditioner. Osbourne stayed asleep because he had been drinking heavily earlier in the evening. While stopped, their driver Andrew Aycock noticed an airstrip with small helicopters and planes. Aycock had previously worked as a commercial pilot. He decided to take a small Beechcraft F35 plane registered to a man named Mike Partin. He took it without Partin's permission. He took keyboardist Don Airey and tour manager Jake Duncan for a flight. He took Rhoads and makeup artist Rachel Youngblood on for the second flight. Aycock tried to fly the plane very low over their tour bus, where the other band members were sleeping. He made two close passes but caused an accident on the third one. One of the plane's wings had clipped the top of the tour bus. This broke the wing into two parts and sent the plane spiraling out of control. Both Rhoads and Youngblood were thrown out of the plane's windshield by the initial impact. While traveling at about 150 miles per hour (240 km/h), the plane crashed into a nearby garage. All three passengers were killed instantly. They were burned beyond recognition from the fire of the plane. The only person to witness the accident was keyboardist Don Airey.
- He was voted "Best New Talent" by the readers of Guitar Player magazine in December 1981.
- He was voted "Best Heavy Metal Guitarist" by the readers of Sounds magazine in December 1981.
- He placed #85 on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists.
- He placed #4 on Guitar World magazine's 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists.
- The songs "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" are placed #9 and #28 respectively on Guitar World's 100 Greatest Guitar Solos readers' poll.
- He was named one of the fastest guitar players in Guitar World's 50 Fastest Guitarists list.
- The song "Crazy Train" was placed #51 in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" list.
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- Osbourne, Sharon. Sharon Osbourne Extreme: My Autobiography. p. 118.
- "Randy Rhoads Biography/Timeline". Ozzyhead.com. http://www.ozzyhead.com/randbio.htm. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
- "New biography offers a glimpse into Randy Rhoads’ life". Goldmine Magazine. http://www.goldminemag.com/article/new-biography-offers-a-glimpse-into-randy-rhoads-life. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
- "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-guitarists-of-all-time-19691231/randy-rhoads-20101202. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
- "Guitar World's 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists Of All Time". Blabbermouth.net. http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/guitar-world-s-100-greatest-heavy-metal-guitarists-of-all-time/. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
- "100 Greatest Guitar Solos". About.com. http://guitar.about.com/od/guitaristsatoz/tp/100-Greatest-Guitar-Solos.htm. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
- "50 Fastest Guitarists of All Time". Guitar World. http://www.guitarworld.com/50-fastest-guitarists-all-time?page=0,38. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
- "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. http://web.archive.org/web/20080710142336/http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/20947527/the_100_greatest_guitar_songs_of_all_time/print. Retrieved 2014-01-08.