Ozzy Osbourne recently discussed the supposed rivalry between guitarist Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen
Randy had been playing with QUIET RIOT prior to joining Ozzy’s band at the same time that VAN HALEN were making their mark on the Hollywood Sunset Strip scene of the late 70’s. Both guitarists would go on to become iconic in their own right, however Eddie found commercial success before Rhoads, mostly due to VAN HALEN scoring a record deal years before QUIET RIOT.
“I heard recently that Eddie said he taught Randy all his licks … he never,” Ozzy tells Rolling Stone in a new interview. “To be honest, Randy didn’t have a nice thing to say about Eddie. Maybe they had a falling out or whatever, but they were rivals.”
The apparent rivalry between Rhoads and Van Halen was looked at in the documentary “Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon“, which was released back in May. The film contains archive audio of Van Halen discussing Rhoads, saying, “He was one guitarist who was honest, anyway. Because he said everything he did he learned from me.
“He was good,” Van Halen continued. “But I don’t really think he did anything that I haven’t done. And there ain’t nothing wrong with it. I’ve copied some other people, you know?”
Randy’s friend Kim McNair also spoke about the Rhoads-Van Halen rivalry in “Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon“, reflecting: “This was the years of guitar heroes. To a large degree, bands were judged on their guitar player. I think all the guitar players in town kept up on each other.”
QUIET RIOT fan club president Lori Hollen said that at some of the band’s early shows, “we would see David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen there, which was always interesting to me. Because I know Randy never went to see them play. But they would always come to see QUIET RIOT and Randy play.”
Also in the documentary, Randy Rhoads‘ guitar tech Brian Reason recalled how he used to stick a picture of Eddie Van Halen to Randy’s wah pedal. “He wasn’t very excited about [it], but it was in the perfect place,” Reason explained, “because every time he stomped on his wah wah pedal, he stomped on it as if he wanted to crush it.”
Randy Rhoads and two others were killed on March 19, 1982 when the plane they were passengers in at Flying Baron Estates in Leesburg, Florida struck Ozzy’s tour bus, before crashing into a home. Randy Rhoads was just 25 years old.