During a recent conversation with Alabama Life & Culture, Rudy Sarzo talked about Ozzy Osbourne‘s contribution to guitarist Randy Rhoads‘ playing technique.
Although Randy Rhoads passed away at a very young age, he inspired the music world with his distinctive guitar techniques, especially in the 1980s. Rhoads became one of the pioneers of some methods like two-handed tapping and dive bombs which have still been popular in the heavy metal scene.
As the founder of the heavy metal band Quiet Riot, the rocker combined his classical guitar skills with heavy metal sounds. In this way, his style became one of the building stones of neoclassical metal. However, he gained worldwide recognition during his tenure with another musician.
Dana Strum informed Randy Rhoads about the audition for Ozzy Osbourne‘s new band. Although Rhoads initially told his Quiet Riot bandmate Rudy Sarzo that he was not much interested in the audition, he went for it. Later on, the guitarist became part of Osbourne’s debut album named ‘Blizzard Of Ozz,’ released in 1980.
Rudy Sarzo talked about how Randy Rhoads’ guitar playing advanced after joining Ozzy Osbourne’s band during a recent conversation. Sarzo explained that they were trying to create hit pieces and satisfy the record company while in Quiet Riot. According to Sarzo, Rhoads could not show his unique musical personality in Quiet Riot. They were more focused on commercial success. However, while working with Osbourne, he could have a chance to be himself while creating because Osbourne told him to do this.
Sarzo explained when asked how Randy Rhoads advanced while working with Ozzy Osbourne:
“Well yeah, I even asked Randy about it because that was my impression when I first heard the 1980 ‘Blizzard of Ozz’ record. Like, ‘What happened? What’s going on here?’ I used to teach at his family’s music school, Musonia, and that’s the first time I ever heard Randy playing classical guitar. I didn’t even know he owned a classical guitar. Because we were very focused when it came to anything having to do with Quiet Riot, it was rehearsals or writing music to bring to the labels to see if we could get a record deal.
And at that time, we were basically chasing our tails by trying to please the record company, taking their advice: You guys should write a song like this one or this one on the Billboard charts. Even though we knew what we liked, we were trying anything possible to break in so we could be ourselves later on.”
“So Randy went through that. He had so much deeper musical knowledge and capabilities because he was schooled. He had proper musical training, composition, and reading because his family owned a music school. That was natural for him. So when he joined Ozzy, he asked Ozzy, ‘What do you want me to write?’ And Ozzy said, ‘Just be yourself.’ That’s when the real Randy showed up in the studio and started composing all those songs.
With Quiet Riot, Randy was teaching about eight hours a day, and then he would come over and rehearse with us for about an hour and then go home and do it again the next day. So there wasn’t room for jamming and experimenting. It focused on whether we’ve got to write a hit song or something commercial that gets on the radio. And when you start approaching music like that, you’re not going to be digging in too deep. And you’re going to be second-guessing a lot and playing it safe also.”
As Rudy Sarzo explained, after Randy Rhoads began to show his unique musical personality in Ozzy Osbourne’s band, he improved himself in guitar playing. The guitar also had a chance to show his classical side in this band.