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Joe Bosso of recently conducted an interview with RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello about the enduring influence of Randy Rhoads (OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT) who died in a plane crash 30 years ago this month. A couple of excerpts from the chat follows below. Do you recall the first time you heard Randy Rhoads?

Morello: Sure. I remember the exact moment. I was packed in the back of somebody’s mom’s hatchback in Libertyville. The radio was turned to The Loop in Chicago, and this song called “Crazy Train” by OZZY OSBOURNE came on. The other people in the car were more New Wave fans, and they were talking over it, but suddenly I was yelling, “Everybody, shut up! What is that?” This blistering riff came at me, followed by an incredible solo, and of course, there was Ozzy — I recognized his voice as the guy from BLACK SABBATH — and by the end of it, I was like, “What just happened?” There was no “interweb” at the time, so I had to wait for the next Circus magazine to explain to me what it was. And then I ran out and bought the “Blizzard Of Ozz” cassette. Did Randy spark your interest in playing the guitar?

Morello: I had already started playing, but it was right around the same time. I was big fan of punk rock and the whole do-it-yourself ethic, so for a guitar player to come along and rekindle the spirit and reset the bar for hard rock guitar players was a pretty big deal. See, I was never a big fan of the whole “party-hard-we’re-gonna-rock-harder” world. I liked music. But I could see myself in Randy, how he was a real student of music. The fact that he practiced for hours on end really appealed to me. He was serious, and he wanted only to get better at his craft. When I was practicing eight hours a day, his was the poster I had on my wall. Almost immediately after hearing him for the first time, he became my favorite guitar player. I remember buying “Diary Of A Madman” when it came out, and somebody at the record store was making fun of me because of the album cover. I had to explain to this person that, while I certainly liked Ozzy, I was really a big Randy Rhoads fan — that’s why I was buying the record. It was like, “Well, the guitar player doesn’t have raspberry jelly coming out of his mouth…” Randy was a serious, you know?”

Read the entire interview from


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