Happy Birthday Randy Rhoads
12/6/2012 12:21:00 PM
On this day back in 1956, one of rocks greatest guitarists was born - Mr. Randy Rhoads.
I remember the first time that I saw Randy play. My friend Chris Fuhr scored some tickets to see this guy named Ozzy. I had never heard of Ozzy, and thought he sounded like some old man band (due to hearing my grandmother talk about Ozzy and Harriet). Boy was I wrong :) LOL
The date was August 23rd, 1981. Chris and I took his fathers old red diesel Mercedes on the iconic road trip to Alpine Valley, Wisconsin. I'll never forget it, the amazing full sound that came from that stage. The little man being dwarfed by the huge guitar. Classical licks played rock and roll. I loved it. You know, there was the way I played guitar before hearing Randy, and the way I play today after hearing Randy. In fact, that concert might very well be the reason that I have dedicated my life to sharing my love of rock and roll.
I'm in no hurry, that's for sure, and totally plan on living forever, but when the day comes and I do get to hear that great jam in the sky, man, I hope they let me sit in for a while.
You will see lots of great photos of Randy playing guitar today, and that is exactly as it should be. I have chosen a slightly different pic of the guitar player, and I hope you'll forgive not being able to see his charming face. You see, I wanted to show that all great players start the exact same way - hanging with friends, banging out some tunes, most likely at a parents house or garage. Randy is the boy sitting on the lower right.
Even the greatest musical journey starts this same way. A young player holds the instrument for the fist time, plucks a string, a smile forms, the imagination soars, a fire is lit, and the path has begun.
No two players will walk the exact same path. We all learn at our own pace, motivated by what we hear, see, and feel. Luckily, our heroes, like Randy, can provide a road map to help guide us, and then they forever become a part of our own style.
This holiday season I hope that you, just like Mrs. Rhoads, will consider giving your children a musical instrument and some lessons. It is perhaps the one true gift that really does pay off for a lifetime. I certainly know it has for me.