Randall William Rhoads was a guitarist from America. He was the guitarist and co-writer for Ozzy Osbourne’s first two solo albums, Blizzard of Ozz (1980) and Diary of a Madman.
He was the co-founder and original guitarist for the heavy metal band Quiet Riot (1981). 2021 saw the induction of Rhoads into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Early Life, Childhood and Education
Rhoads was the youngest of three children born on December 6, 1956, in Santa Monica, California. Both of his parents were music teachers.
His brother was also a musician who went by the stage name “Kelle.” When Rhoads was 17 months old, his father divorced and remarried. Delores, the mother of the three children, raised them all.
She had a bachelor’s degree in music from UCLA and had previously worked as a professional pianist. To support her family, she founded Musonia, a music school in North Hollywood.
The Rhoads family did not own a stereo, so the children entertained themselves by making their own music at home.  Rhoads grew up listening to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and would imitate their performances in the family garage with his brother Kelle.
Randy Rhoads began taking folk and classical guitar lessons at his mother’s music school when he was about seven years old. He became interested in rock guitar and began lessons with Scott Shelly at Musonia.
Shelly quickly approached Rhoads’ mother, informing her that he could no longer teach her son because Rhoads’ knowledge of the electric guitar had surpassed his own. Rhoads’ mother also taught him piano, which aided in his understanding of music theory.
How Did Randy Rhoads Die?
Rhoads’ final performance was on March 18, 1982, at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum. The following day, the band was off to Rock Super Bowl XIV in Orlando, Florida.
Osbourne recalls his final conversation with Rhoads on the bus that night, which included the guitarist chastising him for his excessive drinking. Rhoads’ final words to him that night were, “You’ll kill yourself one of these days.”
He’d be arrested. Ozzy was not a father figure in the traditional sense. He’d leave home for days or weeks at a time, staying at friends’ houses until they kicked him out.
Rather than going through the divorce process, Ozzy advised her to keep everything. Ozzy and Sharon had reached the point where they decided to marry.
Sharon had hoped that because her father was in charge of the recording and management contracts, this would also get Ozzy a better deal. On March 19, 1982, Ozzy and his band were on their way from Knoxville, TN to Orlando, FL. Foreigner and UFOs were scheduled to appear on the show. Ozzy and Randy had been discussing their recent success. Randy mentioned wanting to leave to pursue a classical guitar degree at UCLA.
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Ozzy has stated that if Randy were still alive, he would most likely still be playing with him. They stopped along the way to repair the tour bus at its base near Leesburg, Florida.
Andrew Aycock (36) of the bus invited some of the passengers to fly in his Beechcraft Bonanza plane (9-10 am). Don Airey and Jake Duncan (the tour manager) were taken for a ride by the bus driver.
Aycock had previously been involved in an accident in which a young boy was killed. When the plane touched down, the pilot took another ride, this time with Randy and Ozzy’s seamstress, Rachael Youngblood, 58.
The plane’s pilot was presumably high on cocaine (which was later discovered in drug tests). The pilot’s ex-wife was standing outside the bus, and it is assumed that the pilot dove the plane into the bus to kill her.
Aycock circled the tour bus three times before colliding with it and crashing into a nearby house, where it exploded. Ozzy dashed into the house and drew out a deaf man who was completely unaware of the fire.
Both Rachel and Randy were killed in the Plane crash. The fire completely destroyed the house and the adjacent garage.