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A poster for Randy Rhoads who was honored posthumously and inducted into the Hollywood Rockwalk on March 18, 2004 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Randy Rhoads died 39 years ago today (March 19).  Gone far too soon at the age of 25 in a tragic plane crash, Rhoads will be forever influential to hard rock and metal guitarists for his early work with Quiet Riot and most notably his work on Ozzy Osbourne’s first two solo LPs, Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman.

Rhoads’ classical music influences helped add artistry to metal in a way that few guitarists did at the time or have since, and it was something Osbourne recognized and cherished from day one.

“When he played my brain went, ‘Either this is the greatest gear ever or this guy really is the best guitarist in the world!'” said Osbourne in a 2011 interview with The Guardian.  “It took me a very long time to get over his death…Randy gave me a purpose, he gave me hope. I was fed up fighting people. I just had the greatest respect for him.”

The respect was evident in the video below of Ozzy talking with son, Jack Osbourne, about first meeting Rhoads. Ozzy says, “I truly believe if he hadn’t got killed when he did, he’d be up there with the big guys. He was f—ing phenomenal!”

 

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.