Randy Rhoads’ career was far too short – he died in a plane accident in 1982, at the age of 25 – but his precise, architectural, hyperspeed solos on Ozzy Osbourne’s "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" helped set the template for metal-guitar soloing for decades to follow.
Often heralded as the greatest hard rock/heavy metal guitar player of all time, Rhoads was born on December 6, 1956, in Santa Monica, California. His mother, Delores Rhoads, was a school music teacher and Randy began playing guitar before he even reached the age of 10. By his teenage years, he had developed an interest in hard rock and after playing in several school bands, he co-founded Quiet Riot with singer Kevin DuBrow. A major draw on the Los Angeles club circuit, Rhoads also worked as a guitar teacher before joining Ozzy’s Blizzard of Ozz band in 1979.
By the time the phenomenally talented guitarist recorded his final album, Ozzy's Diary of a Madman, he was getting deeper into classical music, and even exploring jazz, leaving the world to forever wonder what he would have done next.
A Napkin Drawing
Rhoads story with Jackson began in late 1980 when he contacted Grover Jackson about wanting to design a distinctive new guitar.
Jackson and Rhoads met just before Christmas that year and quickly designed the guitar together the “original” Jackson way—by literally sketching it on a paper napkin. The result, dubbed the Concorde, was a sleek white guitar with an offset V-shape, neck-through-body construction and, for the first time, Jackson’s own name on the headstock. Although the Concorde truly was the first Jackson guitar and there are many photos of Rhoads playing it, it was eventually rejected in favor of a second version with many features suggested by Rhoads himself (only seen in a few photos of Rhoads taken just months before his death). This second model became the legend—the very first of the model known and revered worldwide ever since as the Jackson Rhoads.