In the 1970’s, Rudy Sarzo made his bones with Quiet Riot, pioneers of Hollywood’s hairmetal scene.
He was catapulted to fame in Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band in the 1980’s, courtesy of a recommendation from his former Quiet Riot colleague Randy Rhoads, and because of that, Rudy Sarzo also ended up touring the planet with bands such as Whitesnake.
By the mid-1990’s Sarzo was a classic rock bassist who commanded enormous respect, laying down lines with Yngwie Malmsteen, Ronnie James Dio and Blue Oyster Cult in the decade that followed.
Rudy Sarzo was recently interviewed by Music Radar where he was asked…
What kind of guy was Randy Rhoads?
“My God. That’s the million-dollar question. That is the one question I get asked when I travel, and that’s why I wrote Off The Rails. I’ll put it this way: I can say what Randy means to me.
“If it wasn’t for Randy, I would have never had the career that I’ve had, because he trusted me. This was the scenario: Ozzy was about 10 days away from going on the road, and they were in Los Angeles looking for a bass player. Not only a person that could play those songs, because there were many qualified musicians who could do that, but they needed somebody they could trust.
“I had already worked with Randy in Quiet Riot, so he told Sharon, ‘Listen, Rudy is the perfect guy because he’s not going to be a bad influence on Ozzy. He looks good, he’s reliable, and he’s going to be somebody decent to hang with in the bus.’”
Randy knew you well, of course.
“He trusted me. He put his reputation with Sharon and Ozzy on the line to bring me in. That’s how I got in, because I had no track record. Ozzy and Sharon brought me in and I was able to build a career from that and I am eternally grateful both to them and to Randy. And then, in addition, I am a thousand percent convinced that Randy saved everybody in Ozzy’s tourbus, keeping the plane from crashing into us. It clipped the bus, but it did not crash directly into the bus, and if that had happened, we would all have perished along with Randy and the others in the plane.”
The former Ozzy Osbourne bassist Rudy Sarzo also said that if it wasn’t for Randy Rhoads, more people would have certainly died on March 19th, 1982.
The plane Randy was in clipped Ozzy’s tour bus and crashed into the plane owner’s house. The three passengers in the aircraft — Rhoads, Andrew Aycock and Rachel Youngblood — were all killed instantly.
“I am a thousand percent convinced that Randy Rhoads saved everyone in Ozzy’s tour bus, keeping the plane from crashing into us, it clipped the bus, but failed to crash directly into us, and if that had happened, we would all have perished along with Randy and the others in the plane.”
And that wasn’t the only time Rudy Sarzo has said he was convinced Randy saved everyone’s life that fateful day. In a 2011 interview with NJ.com, he spoke about dealing with his grief over the guitar virtuoso’s death. “You’re grieving and you learn to live with the passing of your friend,” Rudy said. “Somebody who I owe my career to, someone who saved our lives by turning the plane from actually completely crashing into the bus where we were sleeping.”
“Randy trusted me. He put his reputation with Sharon and Ozzy on the line to bring me in.” – Rudy Sarzo