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© Jeffrey Meyer
Because Randy always kept in contact with his friends, they knew about his deteriorating situation with Ozzy. On his last visit home, he talked with Jan McGuire who immediately saw his distress and felt the hurt inside him.
Jan learned that Randy wanted to leave the band and study classical guitar full time. Ever the student, he didn’t think he could truly call himself a guitar player until he’d mastered that style. He was afraid and confused and reluctant to open up. But he was obviously fearful for the future, and for the first time in her life Jan saw her ex-boyfriend under intense duress.
Whether Randy actually broke down in front of his bandmates was unlikely. But they all saw how ill at ease he was, and the desperation growing inside him. Don Airey recognized the syndrome immediately, that of the unknown, the underdog suddenly thrust into the limelight. The person he once was, was disappearing in direct proportion to the world’s perception of him. That is, the harder he tried to hold onto Randall William Rhoads, human being, the faster he morphed into Randy Rhoads, rock star. He despised that role, the man in the spotlight, and he wanted it turned off. Quite frankly, he wanted it to end. It had been just over 3 months since he was quoted as saying “Five years from now, I would love to have people know me as a guitar hero.” But in those 3 months, his reality had been radically altered.
His devotion to family and friends had never waned, and he now longed for them more than ever. Life as a traveling musician had grown wearisome and soul crunching. Watching Ozzy and Sharon constantly at battle left him shell-shocked, and he had had enough. Two-and-a-half years away from the people he loved had finally taken its toll. In letters and postcards, he wrote of his misery and growing depression with his circumstances. He wanted to come home, and it was time to get out.
“Everything happens so fast in this band,” Randy realized. “I haven’t had enough time to think what I want to do. I practice less than I did because I don’t have the time. I can’t sit down in a hotel room and practice. I still have my past in me. I am trying to accept all this, but I don’t have my feet on the ground at all. I don’t know who I am or what I am. What it does is make you totally frightened and humble. You don’t understand it. Everything comes at you so fast. Obviously, now it’s just go, go, go. There are no breaks or anything. When I do get a long break, I want to go back to teaching and take lessons again. If I get a month off, I am going to take lessons. I want to keep bettering myself.”
Contents from Randy Rhoads courtesy Andrew Klein and Velocity Publishing. Visit the book's site at Velocity Publishing Group.