Nuno Bettencourt (EXTREME, RIHANNA), Marty Friedman (MEGADETH), Gus G. (OZZY OSBOURNE, FIREWIND), Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT), Phil Demmel (MACHINE HEAD), Brad Gillis (NIGHT RANGER), Kiko Loureiro (ANGRA), Rowan Robertson (DIO), Tracii Guns (L.A. GUNS) and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (GUNS N' ROSES) are among the musicians who performed at the "Randy Rhoads Remembered: A Celebration Of A Legend" event, which took place last night (Saturday, January 25) at The Observatory in Santa Ana, California. Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be seen below.
Brian Tichy and Joe Sutton, the creators of "Bonzo Bash" (the celebration show for LED ZEPPELIN's John Bonham), in conjunction with Randy Rhoads' brother Kelle Rhoads; the Rhoads family; "Bonzo Bash" guitarist/former student of Randy's, Brent Woods; as well as one of Rhoads' dearest friends, rock bass legend Rudy Sarzo, came together to put on the ultimate tribute celebration in honor of one of the the most influential and brightest stars the world of rock guitar has ever seen; Randy Rhoads, the legendary guitarist who revived Ozzy Osbourne's career with two iconic records. Sadly, Randy's future was cut short on March 19, 1982 when he died in a plane crash. He was only 25 years old. His songwriting, solos, technique and tone on the albums "Blizzard Of Ozz" and "Diary Of A Madman" permanently placed him at the top of rock's most influential guitarists polls.
The idea to give Randy a night of honor came together within the hundreds of hours of "Bonzo Bash" preparation and phone conversations between Brian Tichy and Joe Sutton. The two would often talk about other musicians that had made a huge impact on them growing up. The name that would come up and excite them the most was always Randy Rhoads.
Sometime in 2013, Tichy threw this idea at Brent Woods, a student of Rhoads' from the pre-Ozzy era, when Randy was not only the most popular local guitarist at the time, but an extremely popular teacher at Musonia, his mother Delores Rhoads' (Dee) music school. Brent has stayed very close with the Rhoads family as well as producing Kelle's classical music. Brent ran this idea by Kelle Rhoads, who had already been to a "Bonzo Bash". Kelle expressed interest in this and soon after, Woods and Tichy met with Kelle at Musonia. After a tour of the school and hours of hanging, Kelle gave the show his blessing and preparation began.
Tichy contacted legendary bassist Rudy Sarzo; his friend and bandmate from the recent Geoff Tate QUEENSRŸCHE tour they did together. Sarzo, bassist for QUIET RIOT, OZZY OSBOURNE and WHITESNAKE, also gave his blessing and agreed to play bass alongside Tichy, making up the night's rhythm section!
Sarzo, one of the few people that had so much history alongside Rhoads and watched this amazing talent take over the world of rock guitar firsthand, said, "'Randy Rhoads Remembered' is a unique celebration of his compositions and trail blazing guitar techniques.
"Randy Rhoads Remembered" included an array of the world's best guitarists as well as special guests all coming together to honor the man that we all wish was still here writing and performing.
Every song from "Blizzard Of Ozz" and "Diary Of A Madman" was performed; each song by a different guitarist. Some guitarists tie into Randy's history, others are icons that were themselves hugely influenced by Randy Rhoads.
Tichy, ex-drummer for WHITESNAKE, FOREIGNER, BILLY IDOL and OZZY OSBOURNE, as well as guitarist for S.U.N., said: "Randy's playing, and the music on those two Ozzy records were huge to me!
"I am a drummer but I also started putting a lot of time into guitar at the same time Randy came out.
"I heard Ozzy being interviewed on the radio when 'Blizzard Of Ozz' was released. They played 'I Don't Know' and when the guitar kicked in, I was floored and I was an instant fan!
"I spent countless hours trying to learn Randy's songs, riffs and solos while I was also just a beginner on guitar. I tried to learn Randy's live solo note for note! I had Randy's posters on my basement walls! I still have those posters framed in my home studio right now! Brent and I even shared a bottle of Randy Rhoads wine when it first came out!
"I went on to play with the amazing Zakk Wylde in PRIDE & GLORY and then had the honor to play with Ozzy himself on the 2000 Ozzfest tour with another student of Randy Rhoads', Joe Holmes, an awesome guitarist in his own right. Not to mention that just this year, while playing guitar with my band S.U.N. in Las Vegas, Rhoads' replacement in the Osbourne band, Jake E. Lee, came up on stage and jammed with us!
"But I think this next story may take the cake...
"In 2000, after auditioning for Ozzy in Burbank, California, I left and headed to a gig. I was going a tad too fast on Hollywood Way and got pulled over. The officer saw my drums and asked what I was doing. I told him, 'I just auditioned for Ozzy Osbourne and I am running late for a gig.' The officer replied, 'BLACK SABBATH was the first concert I ever saw, and I pulled Randy Rhoads over on this same street. If you get the Ozzy gig, I want you to send me a T-shirt. Now get out of here and slow down!' So, yes, I sent him the T-shirt! Haha!"
Very special guests:
* Kelle Rhoads (vocals)
* Phil Soussan (BIG NOIZE, OZZY OSBOURNE) (bass)
* Neil Turbin (DEATHRIDERS, ANTHRAX) (vocals)
* Stephen LeBlanc (JASON BONHAM'S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE, THE MOBY DICKS) (keyboards)
* Robert Mason (WARRANT, LYNCH MOB, OZZY OSBOURNE) (vocals)
* Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE) (bass)
* Brian Tichy (S.U.N., WHITESNAKE, FOREIGNER, OZZY OSBOURNE)
"Randy is one of The most influential people of my entire life. It's a total honor to be asked to take part in 'Randy Rhoads Remembered: A Celebration Of A Legend'. God bless Randy." - Doug Aldrich (WHITESNAKE)
"Watching Randy at 10 a.m. in the Oakland coliseum was my 1st concert experience and it was life changing. It made me want to not only play guitar, but to perform with passion and emotion. I'm beyond honored to be part of this celebration of a true legend and an immense inspiration." - Phil Demmel (MACHINE HEAD)
"Randy entered my soul like a lightning bolt and has remained their throughout my life. He was like a magician but it was all real." - Tracii Guns (L.A. GUNS)
"I remember first hearing 'Crazy Train' (and the rest of 'Blizzard of Ozz') on my brother's cassette boombox soon after it came out. The new Ozzy! It was as though everything cool and metal had been reborn. Randy was an electric shock to rock; music for teenage boys was about music again, we had to try to learn what he did. I'm incredibly excited to be a part of this tribute to Randy Rhoads, like the Bonzo tributes before, I know the love will be genuine and the spotlight on the memory of a legend." - Stephen LeBlanc (JASON BONHAM'S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE, THE MOBY DICKS)
"Randy is one of the most amazing virtuosos of all times. His unique, personal style and his fearless melodic approach caught my attention when I was discovering the electric guitar. I have spent many days in my teenage years trying to figure out how to play his awesome solos and riffs. I am excited and honored to be invited to join the incredible line-up of guitar players on 'Randy Rhoads Remembered', each of us getting up on stage to pay tribute to a great guitar player that is a source of inspiration to generations of musicians." - Kiko Loureiro (ANGRA)
"I first really heard Randy's playing in the winter of '81; a cassette of 'Blizzard' playing through a shitty tape deck in a school bus (our driver was cool!) All that night I couldn't get those songs out of my head….what he did with a guitar changed me. We bought advance tickets for the Madison Square Garden 'Diary' tour show in '82, but sadly it was just days after Randy had passed. Flash forward to 1995; Sharon calls me and asks if I'd join the band on the 'Ozzmosis' world tour — are you kidding me?! I spent the next 11 months as the first ever live background vocalist in the Ozzy band…a dream realized, for the kid at the back of the bus." - Robert Mason (LYNCH MOB, OZZY OSBOURNE, CRY OF LOVE, WARRANT)
Throughout the history guitar playing, there have been the undisputed masters of different genres. When it comes to the the nineteen eighties sound of hard rock guitar, in my mind, the two colossi have to be Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads. They did it better than the rest. Everyone has their corner and their mark of brilliance, but have to be, in my mind, relegated to 'best of the rest.' What I do, and so many others like me do, Randy wrote the book on, and showed us the way." - Rowan Robertson (DIO, DC4)
"There are some guitar players who play and some who play well, and then there are some that just have a sound. You can sort of copy it but no one can really duplicate it; the Kossofs, the Becks and Pages, the Ronsons and the Mays. The first time I heard Randy he had that sound — it was like a unique instrument, and his melodic playing was everything that excited me about rock music, everything that made you want to pick up and play the electric guitar. To me he represented the evolution of the '70s glam guitar hero to the rock guitar icon of metal.
"When I first started playing with Ozzy, we naturally pulled a lot of material from the first two albums, as we only had the four albums to pick from. Whenever we played songs from 'Diary' and 'Blizzard', I would get this chill; like with the heat of the lights, power and adrenaline of the shows I would almost imagine that Randy was there playing with us — it was absolutely electric. I'd look around and almost feel like I might see him on stage, although I knew it was really only the power and legacy of his music that was making me feel that way. It was so strong — so eerie, like I was in a haunted house, but in a good way. I would have loved to have performed with Randy." - Phil Soussan (OZZY OSBOURNE, BILLY IDOL, BIG NOIZE)
"Randy's approach to fusing classical music with heavy metal was so unique. I studied his playing like mad. Even his gear — I was reading all the magazines to see what he used, and I bought my first Marshall amp because that's what he played through. Randy was definitely an early guitar hero of mine. He was unlike anybody around at the time. He played with such fire, grace and intelligence. Randy Rhoads' playing still stuns me." - Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (GUNS N' ROSES)