On March 19, 1982, Randall William Rhoads, the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne who was better known as Randy, died at the age of 25.
The band and entourage had stopped off at the house of Jerry Calhoun, owner of Florida Coach, on their way to play a festival with Foreigner at the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Florida, when tour bus driver Andrew Aycock, a licensed pilot, took keyboardist Don Airey and tour manager Jake Duncan on a short flight. Aycock was not certified to fly at the time and the plane belonged to someone else. During the flight he made several low passes before landing.
Aycock then took Rachel Youngblood, the band's makeup artist and hairdresser and Randy Rhoads on another flight. Youngblood had a heart condition and Rhoads had a fear of flying and Aycock agreed not to do anything risky because of this, but made attempts to 'buzz' the tour bus. Two of these were successful but the third attempt resulted in the plane's wing clipping the bus which sent it out of control where it crashed into the garage of Calhoun's mansion, killing all three on board instantly.
The funeral of Randy Rhoads was held in Burbank, California, on March 24, 1982 and he was buried at Mountain View Cemetery in San Bernardino, California.
Randy Rhoads got into music at an early age and by the time he was 14 he was playing guitar in a cover band, Violet Fox, and two years later went on to form Quiet Riot with the lineup of Kevin DuBrow (vocals), Kelly Garni (bass) and Drew Forsyth (drums). Rhoads recorded two albums with the hard rock band before joining the newly-formed Ozzy Osbourne band in 1979. Legend has it that Ozzy was drunk and barely had time to hear Randy play before he hired him. Two albums, "Blizzard of Ozz" (1980) and "Diary of a Madman" (1981) were recorded for Ozzy's band by Randy, and in 1987 the live album "Tribute" was released on which he performs an excellent guitar solo.
Ozzy Osbourne once said in an interview: "I was crazy after it happened. I never spoke, I never went out. He was a hero, a true legend. He was a saint, he was an angel, and too good for this world. His death's always on my mind."
On the Black Sabbath star's official Twitter page was a Tweet which read "I still miss you everyday. Rest in peace my friend."
Randy Rhoads (December 6, 1956 – March 19, 1982)