As Ozzy Osbourne once so eloquently put it:
“There are some people who are like a shooting star. They come, hit the
planet and explode into a rainbow of beautiful colors. Then they shoot off
somewhere else. That was the life of Randy Rhoads.”
Mr. Osbourne is certainly not alone in rightfully considering the late,
great Randy Rhoads as one of the most extraordinary musical geniuses in the
history of rock. Only a handful of players are as beloved and revered as
Rhoads, and his legacy is all the more remarkable when considering that
merely in the space of two studio albums‹Blizzard of Ozz (1980) and Diary of
a Madman (1981)‹this diminutive guitarist with a giant talent established
himself as one of the most innovative and inspirational rock guitarists to
ever walk the Earth.
Furthermore, despite the heartbreak of Rhoads being taken from us in 1982 at
the tender age of 25, the timeless nature of his playing and his
compositions continues to inspire young players more than a quarter century
after his passing. It’s fine and ongoing testament to his genius, to the
sheer size of the indelible shadow he cast and to the colossal impact of his
brief but brilliant career.
Those at the very forefront of modern metal also bear eloquent witness to
Rhoads’ incalculable influence on entire generations of guitarists. As noted
by Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton, one of today’s brightest Bloodline
“Randy Rhoads is truly a guitar icon. His unique approach single-handedly
established a new standard that would last for decades beyond his
all-too-brief career and remain the template for heavy metal guitar. His
influence is absolutely colossal, shaping generations of future artists.
It’s amazing to think that such an abbreviated catalog of material, cut
short by tragedy, could so change the genre, but his impact is undeniable.
Randy was my first heavy metal guitar hero, and is a huge part of why I was
drawn to music. His playing still gives me the same goose bumps it did when
I was 14 years old. And for that I remain grateful.”
Another reason for all of us to remain grateful to Randy is his enormous
influence on the all-important look of the instrument. As Guitar World
magazine so aptly put it, the accentuated shark-fin design he and Jackson®
founder Grover Jackson created together was “a milestone in the development
in the Œpointy guitar’ aesthetic that has ruled the metal firmament ever
since.” The body shape Rhoads envisioned has proven to be as timeless as its
creator’s much-missed talent, and it also happened to be the instrument
design that inspired the formation of Jackson guitars.
And that, dear friend, is how the Bloodline began.