Alternate Reality, Music, My Stories

Alternate Reality – What If Randy Rhoads Didn’t Get On That Plane?

I like “The Family Guy” and I like Brian the family dog. So when Brian got killed off in a recent episode, I was not happy. However when Stewie found a way to go back in time and save Brian, a conversation started at work about which person we would go back in time and save.

I was first to go and my answer was Randy Rhoads. There was no hesitation. What a different musical history we would have if Randy Rhoads lived.

One of the people in the conversation said that if Randy Rhoads lived, then Ozzy’s next album would not have been called “Bark At The Moon” because Jake E Lee would not be on it.

I replied back that the “Bark At The Moon” album would still have been written as Ozzy Osbourne had the song titles already at hand and lyricist Bob Daisley was also on hand to write lyrics again. The big difference would be the music. Instead of hearing the Jake E Lee riff used for “Bark At The Moon” we would be hearing a Randy Rhoads riff instead.

Then another person in the conversation goes that if Jake E Lee wasn’t identified as a hot guitar player, then the Badlands project that I love so dearly would not have existed.

That is true from a certain point of view. It is pretty clear from all the interviews that I had read that Randy Rhoads was growing tired with the touring and the Osbourne camp. However, it was also pretty clear that he was committed to delivering one more album for Ozzy.

So if Randy Rhoads walks away from Ozzy after the “Bark At The Moon” album, who would step in for the next album. Jake E Lee would have seen the band Ratt take off without him and Rough Cutt was nowhere near the level of a platinum selling act.

Maybe Jake E Lee was always meant to break out in 1989 via the Badlands project. Maybe that is how his life was meant to play out. However, Randy Rhoads stepping on that small plane in March 1982 changed everything. Then again if Badlands didn’t exist, would Ray Gillen still be alive today.

So let’s say that Randy leaves Ozzy after the “Bark At The Moon” album to study classical. That means by the end of 1985, Ozzy is in need of a guitarist.

So which guitarist was out of job by then. Vivian Campbell comes to mind as he had a nasty split with Ronnie James Dio.

Keeping with the alternate reality theme, Jake E Lee at this point was not available to join Ozzy’s band as he was hired to replace Vivian Campbell in “Dio’s” band on the recommendation of keyboardist, Claude Schnell. The song “Dream Evil” would have the music that we know as “Bark At The Moon”. Or would it have something entirely different. Jake has said in interviews that for the “Bark At The Moon” album he was throwing riffs and ideas out there and he was getting a lot of rejections and some approvals.

Would it be wise to say that the “Bark At The Moon” music would not have been written in the way that it was without the input from Bob Daisley and Ozzy Osbourne?

Where does this leave Zakk Wylde or Phil Soussan?

What about Quiet Riot (the band)? When Randy Rhoads died in the plane crash, it more or less sealed Rudy Sarzo’s fate and he preceded to quit the Ozzy Osbourne band. Kevin DuBrow then contacted Sarzo and asked him to play on a track called “Thunderbird”, which was a tribute to Rhoads which then led to a full albums worth of material and a name change back to Quiet Riot from DuBrow. So if Quiet Riot never made “Metal Health”, then heavy metal in 1983 would have been in a different state, instead of the multi-platinum army it started to become.

It’s pretty scary when you think of “The Butterfly Effect” principle in relation to this. When I started to play guitar, the live tribute album was my bible. I learned every lick and every riff. If Randy Rhoads lived, then that album would have been released and I would be a totally different guitar player.

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2 thoughts on “Alternate Reality – What If Randy Rhoads Didn’t Get On That Plane?

  1. John says:

    Actually, a live album was planned to be released in ’82 which was problably going to have the same tracks on it but. When Rhoads died Ozzy didn’t want to use any of his stuff and played only sabbath songs making “Speak of the devil”

  2. Darren Hood says:

    Actually, John. The record company wanted a live set of Sabbath tracks because the publishing rights lapsed from their current owners and back to the band members with songwriting credits. Warner Bros. wanted Tony Iommi to put out a live Sabbath record and Jet saw an opportunity to make even more off their relationship with CBS records to release their own Sabbath live album. The stage was already set for a live Ozzy album to commemorate the Diary tour, so it would have been likely that 2 live records would have been released in 1982-1983.

    Randy did not want to do it, and was vehemently opposed to the idea. He believed he had progressed as an artist and didn’t want to come across as backpeddling professionally. This pissed off Ozzy to no end, and their friendship as well as their working partnership was strained. He reportedly fired them all, for betraying him. He claims not to remember this. This also was the catalyst for Ozzy’s drunken stupor that led to an arrest for urinating on the Alamo in Feb. 1982. Randy and Ozzy’s relationship was so bad, that he effectively put his notice in, one more studio record and whatever was left to fulfill his original contract and then Randy would be out. Randy and Ozzy reportedly quarreled a few more times, where the day Randy died, Ozzy was drunk on the bus, sleeping it off and he told him to quit his drinking, because he was going to die if he didn’t take care of himself. Those words more than likely haunted Ozzy and he spent the good part of 35 years playing down the volatile relationship they had close to the end of Randy’s life in what seemed like atonement.

    Ozzy still had to fulfill the wishes of the studio, and recorded the live Sabbath cover album in a rush to beat their competition to record stores, which they did by a few weeks. As a result the Speak of the Devil record sold more copies. Ozzy never did feel proud of the effort and effectively disowned it after 1995. The live record was shelved, because nobody wanted to feel like they were capitalizing off of the death of a band mate.

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