Thursday, March 22, 2012


Randy Rhoads
More than 350 friends, family, fans and rockers have gathered to pay tribute to Randy Rhoads. It is now 30 years since rock guitarist Rhoads, sideman to Ozzy Osbourne, was killed in an airplane crash. Rhoads was just 25 years old.

The 30th anniversary marking his death (March 19) and celebrating his life attracted well-wishers to a marble mausoleum bearing the Rhoads name at San Bernardino’s Mountain View Cemetery. Rhoads’s professional life was all too brief, but his talent continues to inspire.

Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello said he was a huge fan. “In fact, I named my first son, Rhoads,” Morello said. “His commitment to the instrument and his musicality were very inspiring to me.”
Kelle Rhoads, Randy’s older brother, said the annual memorial was difficult, but because people came from all over, the family wanted to continue doing it.

The memorial gatherings for Rhoads still happen each year. “So many musicians have passed on, yet Randy’s life is still celebrated,” said Kelle, who played drums in his brother’s first band, called Violet Fox after their mother’s middle name: “He gets a funeral every day of the year – it’s not sad, it’s a miraculous thing.”

The Rhoads brothers’ mother, Delores Rhoads, who grew up in San Bernardino, has been a music teacher for 78 years, starting the Musonia School of Music: “There’s not a day goes by I don’t think about my little brother,” Kelle added. “He was a prince of a person.”

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