Randy Rhoads – whose playing on Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard of Ozz, Diary of a Madman, and Tribute made him one of hard rock and heavy metal's most influential electric guitar players – was recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during its 2021 induction ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday (October 30).
Posthumously given the Musical Excellence Award, the late guitarist – who was killed in a plane crash in 1982 – was inducted by Rage Against the Machine guitar icon Tom Morello, who called him "a peerless talent.”
“He revived Ozzy Osbourne's career as his gunslinger sideman," Morello said in a video message. "And it was Randy Rhoads' poster that I had on my wall. You could study Randy's songs in a university-level musicology class and bang your heads to them in a 7-Eleven parking lot.
“When it comes to musical excellence, there is no one more deserving of the highest echelon of recognition and praise. Now the incomparable Randy Rhoads stands where he belongs.”
In the same video, Metallica's Kirk Hammett acknowledged Rhoads' significant influence on his playing, saying: "Randy's licks are all over Metallica albums."
"It wasn't that he just had great technique," added fellow Osbourne guitar-slinger Zakk Wylde. "It's what he wrote, and what he composed."
Following the announcement of Rhoads' induction earlier this year, Osbourne himself said (opens in new tab) – in an interview with Premiere Radio Networks’ Sal Cirrincione – that he was “so happy [his] genius [was] finally being recognized."
“I only wish he was here in person to get this award and that we could all celebrate together,” Osbourne added. “It's really great that Randy's family, friends, and fans get to see him honored this way.”
The 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be broadcast on HBO on Saturday, November 20 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.
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