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It’s funny you mention the blues and Randy. A lot of people don’t think of him as having a blues side to him.
“He loved the blues. He had a reckless, rock 'n' roll/blues side to him that was as big as the classical side, the part of him that was a real perfectionist. He was very much in control, but he could let go, too.”
He talked about leaving Ozzy to pursue the classical guitar. It’s conjecture, of course, but do you think he would have really quit? Lots of guitarists put out side projects and solo albums but continue in big bands.
“I really think on some level – and I’m speculating, of course; who really knows what would have happened? – that Randy thought his art was being polluted the longer he remained in Ozzy’s band. He looked at the classical guitar as the purest form of guitar playing. I don’t think he believed that he could do both well, and that’s why he was willing to walk away from Ozzy’s band. Which is remarkable when you think about it – if he would’ve stayed with Ozzy, he would’ve gotten bigger and bigger. His scope and influence would’ve rivaled Van Halen’s – and it has, in some ways.
“But I think he would’ve walked away because a) he was tired of the rock thing – he’d done it already, and b) because he thought it was minimizing what he could do as a classical guitar player. He didn’t want to compromise.”