Rudy Sarzo ‘Left Ozzy Because it Was Too Painful’ Without Randy Rhoads
Bassist Rudy Sarzo only spent a brief time with Ozzy Osbourne, but he got to share the stage with the legendary Randy Rhoads during his stint with the group. He and Rhoads grew close quickly and after the tragic plane accident that left the young guitarist dead, Sarzo couldn’t deal with the pain of returning to the stage each night without him.
Talking about his entire career, which includes time spent in Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Dio, Blue Oyster Cult and more, Sarzo reflected on his time in Osbourne’s band with Headlines and Global News. Opening up about first joining and his relationship with Ozzy, he said, “It was great. He was tremendous. He and Sharon [Osbourne], they were fantastic. We all traveled on the same bus, stayed in the same hotel, we all did it together. As a matter of fact, when we were on break, I would stay with them at Sharon’s family home, so I got to spend a lot of time with them.”
As close as the four-stringer was to the Osbournes, he felt an even better connection with axeman Rhoads. When asked about the guitarist’s death and how he coped with it, Sarzo offered his final memory of seeing him alive, saying, “The last time I saw Randy, our tour bus was parked outside this home where there was an airplane hangar, and they took a plane out for a little ride. Randy invited me to join him, and I was still in my bunk and I didn’t want to get out of the bunk – it was actually the only time we didn’t do something together, we were always hanging together and doing these little adventures – and I went back to sleep, and I wake up with the plane clipping the bus.”
“It was bad enough that I actually left Ozzy because it was too painful to go onto stage every night without Randy being there,” Sarzo stated. “We didn’t have time to mourn. We went back on the road maybe a week and a half after going back to L.A. not only to rehearse and audition the new guitar player but also to attend the memorial services and funerals for Randy and Rachel (makeup artist Rachel Youngblood who was also killed). It was incredibly painful.”
After leaving Ozzy Osbourne, Rudy Sarzo joined Quiet Riot, who were virtually unknown at the time and even counted Rhoads in their ranks before he left to join Ozzy. Upon the bassist’s arrival, the band went on to record Metal Health, which has the distinction of being the first metal record to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
Delores Rhoads, mother of Randy, passed away at the age of 95 on November 11, 2015 and Sarzo, who has remained close with the Rhoads family over the years, was even asked to be one of the pallbearers at the funeral service.
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