Late guitar virtuoso Randy Rhoads wasn't just a remarkable musician, he was a true innovator. His playing, both with early Quiet Riot and more famously Ozzy Osbourne, was freewheeling and explosive. With an angelic face, blonde hair and a slight frame, he seemed almost otherwordly.
More than 30 years after his death, Rhoads' style and songwriting remain vital and influential, and have inspired the tones and techniques of other guitar heroes, including Black Label Society's Zakk Wylde, the late Dimebag Darrell and Avenged Sevenfold's axe duo of Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance.
Tragically, Randy Rhoads died on March 19, 1982, when a small plane he was riding in clipped the side of Ozzy tour bus and crashed into a mansion garage in Leesburg, Florida killing Rhoads, hairdresser Rachel Youngblood, and Ozzy's bus driver Andrew Aycock, who flew the plane.
Thankfully, Rhoads left a legacy of music for fans and players to enjoy and dissect. Some of his fine moments onstage have been posted on YouTube. Here are 10 of our favorites:
With Ozzy, 'Mr. Crowley,' Chicago 1982
Although the sound and video quality of Ozzy performing 'Mr. Crowley' in Chicago, 1982 are sub-par and marred with glitches, the clip contains iconic footage of Ozzy picking up Randy by the waist and holding him for five seconds as he solos.
Rare Randy Rhoads video interview from MTV
Rhoads receives the 1981 Best New Talent Award from Guitar Player magazine. The minute long clip depicts Rhoads' modesty and playing mastery.
Soundcheck in Texas, 1982
Shot during a sound check in Beaumont, Texas on Feb. 18, 1982, this soundcheck shows Rhoads silhouetted by the daylight ripping out some amazing lead guitar and textural sounds between 3:42 and 4:26. And the guy was just noodling! The rest of the clip is an interview with Ozzy talking about the tour and rumors of him blowing up goats onstage.
With Ozzy, ‘Believer,' 1981
Four months before the release of 'Diary of a Madman,' Ozzy and his band were shot in May 2, 1981 at the Palladium Theater in New York City previewing the track "Believer.' The audio is better than the video, which is overexposed and unfortunately the clip ends at the 2:35 mark, but it's still a valuable slice of history.
Ozzy listens to lost Randy Rhoads Solo
This clip of Ozzy Osbourne listening to newly discovered tape of Randy soloing at the end of a take can be found on DVD in the 'Blizzard of Ozz / Diary of a Madman' collector's box set. It aired as part of the VH1 Classic special 'Ozzy Osbourne 30 Years After.'
Randy solo set with Quiet Riot
During this six-minute clip, Rhoads exhibits his improvisational solo skills with just a monchoromatic bass drum anchoring his masterful playing. Then the drum drops out and Randy lets fly on his own, fingertapping like Eddie Van Halen and soaring like Charlie Parker.
Randy playing on Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid'
It's awesome to see Rhoads playing the Black Sabbath classic 'Paranoid' with the Ozzy Osbourne band. Most of the camera work is distant, so it's hard to see much of Randy, but he can be heard loud and clear as he embellishes the song with harmonic squeals and unbelievable guitar runs.
Quiet Riot Unofficial ‘Suicidal Show’ Video
This clip of Quiet Riot's first single 'Suicidal Show' sounds so good because the music was taken directly from the 1975 45 r.p.m. EP Magic Wand and expertly synched with grainy footage of the band. This is some of the earliest existing footage of Rhoads, but there's no lack of maturity in his playing.
With Ozzy, ‘Suicide Solution,’ Live 1981
The best professional footage of Ozzy and Rhoads in action was shot April 28, 1981 in the Rochester, New York club After Hours. Here, Randy's armed with his trademark Karl Sandoval polka dot Flying V custom guitar as he plays 'Suicide Solution.' The solo, which starts at about 3:45 starts with eerie, string bends and develops into a beautifully contorted entity without reaching mach speed.
With Ozzy, ‘Crazy Train’ Live, 1981
Also shot at the After Hours gig, this clip captured Randy Rhoads at his finest, as he and Ozzy run through their classic song 'Crazy Train.' This is as good as it gets!