Randy Rhoads’ Intuition About The Plane Crash That Took His Life
Seeing thousands of people immerse themselves in the riffs you play in different parts of the world must be a chilling experience. However, it comes with a price; a life in constant motion and being on the road without stopping. This is a brief summary of the lives of many rockers. Unfortunately, rock history has seen many instances where this busy travel schedule resulted in unfortunate accidents. Quiet Riot’s Randy Rhoads was one of these names.
Rhoads lost his life in a tragic plane crash at the age of only 25, when he was in the very early stages of his music career. At the time, alongside Quite Riots, he had started another exciting collab; playing guitar for the legendary Ozzy Osbourne. However, this collaboration was short-lived due to an unfortunate accident on one of their tours. Judging by a statement made by the band manager later, on that tragic day, the late guitarist had felt that something terrible was going to happen.
Randy Rhoads and Ozzy Osbourne’s Collaboration
In 1979, after Ozzy Osbourne either left Black Sabbath or was fired, he decided to embark on a solo project. A friend who knew about this had told Rhoads to take his chance and attend the audition. Rhoads wasn’t very interested initially, but for some reason, he then changed his mind and went.
The Prince of Darkness noticed Randy’s natural gift when he was only warming up, even before he ‘actually’ started playing. When Osbourne heard his riffs, he immediately wanted to give him the job. However, he was drunk at the time and would later forget about it.
Although he forgot that he had given him the job, Randy’s riffs were etched in his head. After a while, he wanted to reach out to the ‘talented young man’ he had met before. Osbourne called Randy, apologized, and said they would make things right this time. Rhoads flew to England and stayed at Osbournes’, doing rehearsals. Thus began their collaboration and the journey of the band called The Blizzard of Ozz.
The Blizzard of Ozz Tour And The Tragic Plane Crash
In about two years, they released two albums. The band’s work, especially when knitted with Randy’s riffs, quickly started to gather an audience. However, Osbourne decided to make line-up changes in the band. Although Randy Rhoads wasn’t among those fired, he wasn’t happy about it.
At that time, he considered leaving the band because he wanted to take a break from the stage and get a classical guitar degree. Adding Ozzy Osbourne’s alcoholism to this, Randy was determined to take a step back, and although he loved Osbourne personally, he was counting the days until their deal expired.
As the days passed, Rhoads’ discontent with his role in the band was mounting rapidly due to Ozzy’s drunken and aggressive actions, but the guitarist continued his shows. On Thursday, March 18, 1982, in the Knoxville Civic Coliseum, he performed his final show with the band. They then went to Florida, and it all happened on that trip. During a conversation with Metal Voice in 2021, the band’s producer, Max Norman, revealed that Randy had a bad feeling and didn’t want to get on the plane that day.
“He actually said to me, ‘I think I’m going to get the train home from Florida,’” he recalled, remembering Rhoads’ uneasiness. “I think the tour was going to end in Florida. He said, ‘I think I’m going to get a train home to L.A. – I don’t like flying. He hated flying. Years later, I found out talking to Lee that it was the keyboard player, Don Airey, who persuaded him to go on the plane.”
That day, the band members were going on different flights. In the first round, the captain took Don Airey. In the second round, it would be Randy. Some members of the band were on a bus at that time. Ozzy Osbourne awoke from his sleep to the sound of an explosion, not even knowing who was on the plane.
Unfortunately, Rhoads got on the second plane even though he didn’t want to, and his bad feelings thus came true as the young guitarist passed away. Despite having a short life, Randy Rhoads is regarded as a key character in metal music and is recognized for having invented a fast and technical style of guitar soloing that helped shape the 1980s metal movement.