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New feature-length Randy Rhoads documentary given release date and trailer

Randy Rhoads
(Image credit: Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty Images)

Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon, a new documentary celebrating the life and legacy of the late Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot guitarist, has been confirmed for a 6 May release across VOD, with the first trailer from the feature length film now streaming on YouTube.

Directed by Andre Relis, whose credits include NWA & Eazy-E: Kings of Compton, the feature length documentary is narrated by LA Guns frontman Tracii Guns, and features an all-star cast of interviewees including Ozzy Osbourne, former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick, bassist Rudy Sarzo – who followed a similar career path to Rhoads, moving from Quiet Riot to Ozzy’s band – and a cast of Rhoads’ friends and family. 

There is also archive audio of Eddie Van Halen talking about Rhoads, which will be interesting given that there always was a sense of ginned up rivalry between the era’s two blockbuster hard rock guitar players. 

It is 40 years since died, aged 25, in a plane crash in Leesburg, Florida. Rhoads’ legacy is writ-large in how we play rock guitar, and in the electric guitars we play. 

He will be remembered for the Sandoval Polka Dot V, for wrestling with a white Gibson Les Paul Custom, and of course his collaboration between Grover Jackson and Rhoads on the Jackson Concorde, which made the asymmetrical V-shape a design staple, evolving into the Rhoads format that remains a cornerstone of the Jackson lineup to this day.

From the trailer, Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon looks as though it might focus less on his guitar legacy and more about retracing his Rhoads’ career path, from co-founding Quiet Riot to taking on a monster gig in launching Ozzy Osbourne as a solo artist. But there is sure to be plenty of gold for guitar players, too.

Osbourne was at a low ebb after his exit from Black Sabbath. Speaking to Total Guitar in 2010, Osbourne said Rhoads’ prodigious gifts revitalised him, presenting musical ideas that would work gangbusters for his vocal range.

“In Sabbath, I’d have to put my vocals on whatever key they put the song in,” he said. “And sometimes I couldn’t reproduce it onstage. But Randy was like, ‘Come on, maybe you should try it in this key.’”

Daisley was a fan. He knew talent when he saw it.

“He was confident and precise,” he said. “He had the influence of bluesy players like Hendrix, Blackmore and Jeff Beck, but the classical side gave him another dimension.” 

Check out the trailer for Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon above. The VMI Worldwide production is out 6 May.

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.