Members of Whitesnake, Megadeth, Dio and more gathered in Santa Ana, California on Friday night (26th January 2018) to pay tribute to one of the most influential guitarists of all time. Taking place at the Yost Theatre, Randy Rhoads Remembered paid tribute to the late Ozzy Osbourne player.
Organised by drummer and deft guitarist Brian Tichy along with partner Joe Sutton, the event featured the music that saw Rhoads' make an explosive mark on rock music history.
As well as celebrating the iconic musician, who appeared on Osbourne's first pair of releases - 1980's 'Blizzard of Oz', and follow-up 'Diary of a Madman' (1981) - Deep Purple keysman, and Osbourne collaborator Don Airey was on hand to be honoured with the 'Legend Award', for "Inspiring and influencing musicians around the globe with his instantly recognisable keyboard tone".
Making the night even more special, the event was officially endorsed by the Rhoads family, with Randy’s brother Kelle performing a rousing keyboard solo, while sister Kathy Rhoads D’Argenzio, talked warmly about her younger brother.
But it was the music that spoke loudest, as player after player stepped up to tackle the iconic riffs and solos that defined a generation. It takes a confident individual to tackle Randy's indelible catalogue, and as Rowan Robertson's note-perfect take on 'Over The Mountain', which kicked off the evening proved, there were plenty willing and able to do so with reverence.
However this was not a night for competition, with each musician stepping up with the utmost respect and admiration for Rhoads. As members of Megadeth past (Chris Broderick), and present (Kiko Louieiro), traded places with former Bruce Dickinson man Roy Z and Whitesnake's Doug Aldrich, each guitar hero tipped their hat to the six-string master.
While the guitars might have been the focus of the night, former Anthrax singer Neil Turbin, and a remarkably on-point Dewey Bragg from Kill Devil Hill summoned the Prince of Darkness, wrapping their not inconsiderable vocal talents around Ozzy Osbourne's tones.
With some of the biggest anthems in rock filling the set, including a loco 'Crazy Train', and a dramatic 'Mr Crowley' which featured Don Airey (who had provided the intro on the original recording), it was the joining together for the finale of an acoustic (literally unplugged) take on 'Dee' that poignantly capped the night. Signing off on what had been an incredible evening, Tichy said simply; "We're here for Randy", as everyone took their final bows.
An annual event now in its fifth year, Randy Roads Remembered is expected to return in January 2019.
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