New clips from Randy Rhoads documentary revisit rivalry with Eddie Van Halen and the making of Ozzy Osbourne’s solo debut Blizzard Of Ozz

Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads
(Image credit: Chris Walter/WireImage)

Two teasers from the forthcoming Randy Rhoads documentary have been shared ahead of its 6 May release. One finds the late Ozzy Osbourne guitarist reminiscing about making Osbourne’s seminal debut album, Blizzard Of Ozz. The other returns to the greatest one of the greatest guitar rivalries of all time: Rhoads vs Eddie Van Halen.

The clip features archive audio from EVH offering Rhoads a backhanded compliment and a casual diss. Nothing too spicy – this, after all, was a rivalry, a race to the summit of electric guitar technique, not a feud.

“He was one guitarist who was honest anyway, because I read some interviews that he did and he said everything he did he learned from me,” said Van Halen. “And he was good, but I don’t think he really did anything that I haven’t done. There ain’t nothing wrong with it, man. I’ve copied other people…”

Exactly what Rhoads thought of this rivalry is left for others to explain. The clip does reveal that to wind him Rhoads up, pictures of Van Halen were put on his wah pedal. That just seems like good fun, though. When asked about his favourite guitarists, Rhoads resists naming names but cites Leslie West from Mountain as one player who made him pay attention.

“Whoever’s good you listen to,” said Rhoads. “But I can say one of my favourite sounds was when I first heard Mountain and Leslie West with that harmonics and the sustain. I just thought it was the greatest thing.”

Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon will hit VOD platforms later this week, and promises to be essential viewing for Rhoads fans. Narrated by LA Guns frontman and guitarist Tracii Guns, it features a host of interviews with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Rudy Sarzo, and Bruce Kulick among others.

Released to mark the 40th anniversary of Rhoads’ death, aged 25, in a plane crash in Leesburg, Florida, the documentary charts his rise from Quiet Riot, to superstardom as the player who reignited Ozzy’s career and helped establish him as a solo artist.

In the second clip posted today, Rhoads talks about joining up with Ozzy, a period where there was no band as the Prince of Darkness’s career was built from the ground up after he was ousted from Black Sabbath in 1979.

Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon was directed by Andre Relis (NWA & Eazy-E: Kings of Compton) and hits VOD on Friday 6 May.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.