Bassist RUDY SARZO Remembers RANDY RHOADS

Debby Rao of KNAC.COM recently conducted an interview with veteran hard rock/heavy metal bassist Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE, QUIET RIOT, DIO). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

KNAC.COM: What are your thoughts on HEAVEN AND HELL?

Sarzo: I am a huge fan of that version of SABBATH. I am very excited. I have heard the three new songs that are going to be included in the box set, "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years". A couple of the tunes are songs that Ronnie [James Dio] brought to the table to be included in the new DIO record. But he got together with Tony, and Ronnie said,"Hey listen, I have these riffs here." So they have become part of the new box set. Also Ronnie, has his studio at home. I go there and help him out recording. So I get to hear everything first hand. It sounds amazing.

KNAC.COM: Do the new songs on the box set sound like early SABBATH?

Sarzo: It is more like the Dio version of SABBATH with Vinny Appice playing on it. It has a lot of the "Mob Rules" and "Dehumanizer" sound and feel to it.

KNAC.COM: Congratulations on your new book, "Off The Rails". How does it feel to have it finally in stores?

Sarzo: Well, I had that book years, just sitting. I was dying to release it. It is out.

KNAC.COM: Did you have to change anything or it is true to the original manuscript?

Sarzo: Not at all. Not a single letter. I had nothing to hide. There was nothing defamatory towards the Osbournes, or anything else. It is what it is. What came out came down without any real knowledge of what the book is all about. (Sarzo attempted to release the book in 2005 under the title "Off The Rails: My Adventures In The Land Of Ozz", but met with a legal complaint from the Osbourne camp, the book was pulled from distribution.)

My goal was, when I traveled around the world and I played with Randy Rhoads, every time that I would sit down and talk with somebody, I always walked away feeling that I hadn't said enough. There is so much more to say about Randy. So I figured, I would write everything that I know, all of my memoirs and all of the information that I have regarding Randy, let me put it into a book form, so I won't feel that I left anything out. It is all there.

KNAC.COM: How would you describe Randy Rhoads?

Sarzo: Randy Rhoads was an amazing musician. But that wasn't the whole picture about Randy. Randy was many things. He was an amazing teacher, musician, friend, performer, composer, and all these things.

KNAC.COM: You were really the only person to perform with Randy in both QUIET RIOT and OZZY OSBOURNE.

Sarzo: I was blessed. It gave me the opportunity to see the two different Randy guitar players. There was the Randy with QUIET RIOT, and the Randy with Ozzy. The Randy with QUIET RIOT had a lot of perimeters that were set by what the industry in Los Angeles was all about. Let's face it: QUIET RIOT was a band that was looking for a record deal. So we were pretty much at the mercy of what the industry was dictating. The last metal band to get signed out of the '70s was VAN HALEN. Right after that, they shut the door. The industry started signing bands like THE KNACK, THE MOTELS, and DEVO…new wave bands. Even back then, they were going, "Metal is dead. That's it, no more metal." So we go, "What are we going to do?"

You have to take into consideration, there is no Internet. Nobody knew about the new wave of metal that was coming over from England, or OZZY OSBOURNE. Nobody knew about MAIDEN. The industry was just focusing on what was outside of their door. What was happening on The Strip. What bands were coming in from let's say, Ohio? DEVO comes into town, these guys are new, so they thought they were amazing and signed them. They didn't care about all of the L.A. bands that were around doing metal, or hard rock or glam, whatever it happened to be. In the '80s, metal wasn't known as it is today.

The original QUIET RIOT was a blend of SWEET, THE FACES, and a bit of QUEEN, all of those influences and seventies rock. QUIET RIOT became heavier, the second time around. I have to give a lot of that credit to the way that Frankie (Banali) plays his drums. Frankie gave it more a heavier edge to it, more of a drive. More of that John Bonham (LED ZEPPELIN) feel and sound to it, and made it heavier. So to me, there were two completely different QUIET RIOTs. Just the same, as there were two completely different Randys. There was the Randy with QUIET RIOT, who was more poppy. There are no signs of comparing the heaviness to "Mr. Crowley" or "Diary of a Madman". So once Randy joined Ozzy, Ozzy told him, "Just be yourself. Just compose what comes to you naturally." So Randy had no perimeters and played what he really wanted to play with Ozzy. Because, there was a record deal already in place.

Read the entire interview at KNAC.COM.

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