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Posts Tagged ‘Randy Rhoads’

Q&A: Randy Rhoads’ legacy comes to life in director Ron Sobol’s DVD

Posted by Levine Communications Office on March 26, 2013

By: Jay Nanda

Randy Rhoads

When Randy Rhoads died in a small-plane crash at age 25 on March 19, 1982, he left behind a legacy of guitar playing that was cut prematurely short in his prime. And when it comes to Rhoads’ skills, most metalheads think of his tenure in Ozzy Osbourne’s band.

But before that took place, Rhoads was the original guitarist in Quiet Riot. Thanks to Ron Sobol and the help of many others, Rhoads’ time in that band from 1975-80 is now available for fans to truly appreciate.

Sobol, who was Quiet Riot’s photographer and best friend of late original singer Kevin DuBrow, has directed and written “Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years.” Available in DVD and book form through Red Match Productions, the documentary features never-before-seen video and photographic footage of how Rhoads, DuBrow, and original drummer Drew Forsyth and bassist Kelly Garni endured through friendship and hard times in their never-ending quest to obtain a record deal. It also includes the band recounting in a radio interview what they were known as before Quiet Riot. But let’s not give everything away.

Interviews with the likes of DuBrow’s mother, Rhoads’ guitar tech, fan club president Lori Hollen, the ex-girlfriend of DuBrow and later Rhoads — Jodi Vigier — and others give a fascinating insight into the life and times of those involved. The DVD has bonus footage that features an approximately 10-minute segment on Rhoads giving a guitar lesson that shows him somewhat reluctantly, yet graciously, teaching his student songs by a band with whom Quiet Riot had a rivalry — Van Halen. Click on the video box at the bottom for a trailer of the DVD and here for a look at who showed up and spoke at the film’s recent premiere.

Last week marked the 31-year anniversary of Rhoads’ death. The day after that milestone, I phoned Sobol:

Q: Randy died 31 years ago yesterday. Most of us tend to think of his guitar playing when it comes to his legacy. As someone who knew him the way you did, what’s his largest lasting impression to you?
A:
 We lost a true body of work for his massive talent. He was a great guy that was very humble. At the same time, he was really funny and an overall fantastic person. There’s not a lot of people with that much talent that are so humble. He didn’t even know how good he was.

Q: How long of a process was it for you to compile photographs, video footage and interviews for the DVD?
A:
 Well, I’ve had all the stuff. All the material I had, I just had to put them in a pile, you know what I mean? It took about two years.

Q: On the DVD it is said that the fact Jodi dated Randy after having dated Kevin may have hurt Kevin’s ego, but it didn’t affect him musically. Then on Randy’s final night with the group, it showed how everyone was truly friends again at the party and having a great time. Can you give me some insight as to how unusual, awkward and tense that period might have been for the three of them and the band?
A:
 There wasn’t any awkwardness (laughs). It was like, kind of a natural thing. Kevin was friends with Jodi. Kevin had the ability to remain friends with someone he broke up with. That wasn’t the first time he had broken up with her. Before Jodi went out with Randy, her and Kevin would get in a fight, but they were both still professional enough to keep the job going. It wasn’t like a job where she got paid, but, she was still doing her thing. Everything was on a professional level. That wasn’t brought into rehearsals or the show. There wasn’t really any tension, I’m sorry to say (chuckles). I know it would make a good story, but there just wasn’t. Unusual for people that age, in their early 20s.

Q: Was there anything said by the interview subjects that surprised you?
A:
 I was never sure exactly how Lori became the fan club president. Her telling that story about seeing (the band) in the car and them saying, “Hey, come on over to my house,” I didn’t know that exactly. I kind of knew everything. I’ll tell you what was surprising — Drew. I didn’t know Drew had those feelings. I did not know he was that angry about the whole thing.

Read the rest of the interview in The Examiner

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Randy Rhoads Remembered: An Interview With Ron Sobol, Author Of Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years

Posted by Levine Communications Office on March 21, 2013

By: Leslie Michele DerroughRandy-Rhoads-Book-Cover[1]

“He was a beautiful man.” That is how Ozzy Osbourne remembers the young guitar player who joined his first solo band following Ozzy’s departure from Black Sabbath. Ozzy wanted the best players that he could find to prove to not only his former band-mates but to the music world in general that he was not washed up. It took only seconds for him to fall in love with Randy Rhoads, who at the time was in the popular LA band Quiet Riot, thus securing Rhoads one of the hottest spots in the metal establishment.
Sadly, he was not long for this world. At 25, Rhoads was killed in a freak plane crash while on tour with Ozzy in 1982. In fact, this week marks the 31st anniversary of his death. Not surprisingly, Rhoads’ music remains as much a part of present day rock & roll as it ever did. But while his short tenure in Ozzy’s band is what most people hearken to, it was his time in the early days of Quiet Riot that enriched his soul. And those days have been beautifully captured in Ron Sobol’s magnificent book, Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years.

The oversize book, which is accompanied by a delicious documentary featuring live footage and interviews, brings to life the Randy Rhoads who was a friend and band-mate, practical joker and budding guitar player. With treasured ephemera such as show flyers and ticket stubs, candid memories and hundreds of priceless photographs, this book is a must-have for Rhoads fans, Quiet Riot fans and music fans overall. Sobol has taken great care in putting the book together, formatted like a scrapbook from some of the best times of his life. The pages are laid out for optimal visual devourment and the memories are kept satisfyingly short, just sumptuous enough without the heaviness of too much detail. As with Sean Yseult’s 2010 White Zombie memoir, which was also published in a scrapbook-like presentation, Sobol has given fans the best gift they could wish for: a peek inside one of their favorite musician’s lives where every little detail is a treasure being unwrapped.

It must also be noted that although there is a heavy focus on Rhoads, there is another musician who lived this life with him. His name was Kevin DuBrow and although his reputation as a wild & crazy personality remains a part of his legacy, Sobol, who was best friends with DuBrow since before QR was formed, has also brought to light a young, bubbly teenager who idolized Humble Pie and Rod Stewart and wanted nothing more than to be a rock star.

The DVD is a treasure trove of live Quiet Riot footage and interviews with band members Rudy Sarzo and Drew Forsyth, Rhoads’ guitar tech Brian Reason, fan club president Lori Hollen, DuBrow’s mother and Rhoads’ girlfriend. You see the band frolicking in dresses that were found in a dressing room, performing at a Chili festival and Rhoads taking your breath away playing a live guitar solo.

Last month, I talked to Sobol about his youthful days with Quiet Riot, his love for photography and why he decided to finally share his memories of Randy Rhoads, Kevin DuBrow, Kelly Garni, Drew Forsyth and Rudy Sarzo.

Why was this the right time to put this book together? And how long did it take you once you got started on the project?

It took about two years and it was put together because I was asked if I wanted to have some of my photographs in another book and I liked the way that other book came out. So I asked them if they could do a book with my photographs. It was going to be a book with not just my Quiet Riot pictures but I used to shoot other rock bands, like Queen, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick. Once it started to be put together there were so many Quiet Riot pictures we decided to do a book about Quiet Riot’s Randy Rhoads years.

Do you think you will eventually do the other book?

It depends on how successful this one is. This came out pretty much in December so it’s only been out a little while and it’s just really hitting the public now. So we’ll see what happens. It’s a possibility.

I’ve seen some of your other photographs on your Facebook page.

Yeah but I don’t put my best pictures on there (laughs) I save the best ones for something like a book. The ones I’m putting up there are mostly my rejects (laughs) You know, it’s funny, because I just put a picture of Randy when he was in Ozzy up on a Randy Rhoads page on Facebook; well, there are actually a lot of them but this one has 138,000 people following it. So I put a picture up and I got like the greatest reaction to it but to me it was a reject. But everybody loved it. I guess what I think isn’t good necessarily doesn’t mean that it’s not good, know what I mean. Maybe I’m my own worst editor (laughs)

You have a great one of Queen on there. I don’t know how that can be a reject.

(laughs) Well, thank you very much. A lot of those pictures were sent to Japan and they never sent them back to me. I used to shoot for Japanese magazine so a lot of my stuff is in Japan in some drawer I’m sure and I’ll never get it back. Back in those days, it wasn’t like anybody thought to save the pictures necessarily. I didn’t really think about that then. But now it’s the big thing where people want older pictures from then. Fortunately, I saved most of my Quiet Riot ones. But some are still in a drawer somewhere in Japan.

When you were putting this book together, how did it make you feel?

You mean did I get emotional? Well, you know, the kind of emotion I got was excitement from finding pictures that I had forgotten about. Like the picture of Randy with, how should you say, that sexual anatomy guitar (laughs). I had forgotten about that picture and it wasn’t something I remembered until I found it. I went, “Wow, look at this. This is great. This is perfect for the book.” The mug shot pictures towards the back of the book, I forgot all about those until the book writer said to me, “Do you still have the intro tape?” Quiet Riot used to go out to an intro tape, which was about five minutes long, where there was police siren sounds and crowd noises and explosions and there was a guy announcing, “We’ve just received word of a riot that has broken out downtown.” I took mug shots of the band and we used to project them up on the screen for that intro. Well, I forgot about that. I guess I’m going into a pretty long story but I was searching everywhere and I thought, Oh man, I got to find those. I searched for like three days looking for them. Finally, I found them in a corner in a lonely box all by itself. I was so excited to find those. That would be the emotions I had as far as the book. As far as the movie, every time I watch it I get choked up at the end with Kevin and Randy’s passing.

Read the rest of the interview at Glide Magazine

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Where Have All the Rock Stars Gone?

Posted by Levine Communications Office on March 15, 2013

Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years Book and Official DVD Documentary

rhoads

Buddy Holly, Otis Redding, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper…You all know what follows when articles begin like that. Yes, Randy Rhoads was another one in a too-long line of musical giants whose careers got nipped tragically in the bud, killed the lot of them in fiery plane crashes. Rhoads was a great heavy rock guitarist, a wonderfully idiosyncratic, dramatic and way influential one at that. His early life, and death during a tour as lead ax man for Ozzy Osbourne in 1982, is portrayed in loving detail in Ron Sobol’s recent Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years Book and Official DVD Documentary. The book is, fittingly, a vinyl-album-sized photo journal-type experience filled to brimming with longtime Rhoads confidante Sobel’s previously unpublished photos and memorabilia, which map out Rhoads’ rise to the pantheon reserved for the mightiest of ax gods, focusing on his hungry early days with Quiet Riot before his ascent (or descent) to the heady, dangerous heights of the Ozzy years. It’s that caring detail the book generously provides that makes it such a nice thing to have in your hands; it’s just plain beautiful to look at, too. The 90-minute documentary DVD that accompanies this warmhearted tribute is a fast-paced, energetic delight, featuring beautifully restored and digitally enhanced live performance reels and insightful interviews with Randy’s friends and colleagues, along with perceptive commentary by Sobel in voiceover. The doc too is a deeply touching time and place in which to immerse, especially moving in its intimate look at Rhoads’ seesawing but steadfast friendship with his Quiet Riot mate Kevin DuBrow. Fact is, you wouldn’t even need to have been a fan of Randy Rhoads to get a lot out this book and DVD, as taken all together they’re a valuable glimpse at a genuine piece of pop culture history, bringing to life an olden, golden age when the stakes were high and our rockers reached for the stars.
–– John Payne

Book and DVD available for purchase at www.redmatchproductions.com

 

Read the article at Bluefat

 

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