RANDY RHOADS documentary director says OSBOURNE and RHOADS families declined to help with making of film
“Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon”, a new documentary about legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads, best known for his work with OZZY OSBOURNE, has just been made available on Video On Demand. The 85-minute film was directed by Andre Relis and was narrated by L.A. GUNS guitarist Tracii Guns. It was written and edited by Michael Bruining.
“Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon” includes interviews with Randy’s mother Delores Rhoads, brother Kelle Rhoads, Eddie Van Halen (VAN HALEN),Rudy Sarzo (QUIET RIOT),Frankie Banali (QUIET RIOT),Joel Hoekstra (WHITESNAKE),Bruce Kulick (KISS),Doug Aldrich (WHITESNAKE, DIO),Gary Moore, Dweezil Zappa, George Lynch (DOKKEN) and Ozzy Osbourne.
“I wasn’t around when these earlier documentaries were in production — I wasn’t around in the sense that I wasn’t involved with them; I had nothing to do with the earlier ones,” he continued, referencing “Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years”, the 2012 documentary from QUIET RIOT’s personal photographer/lighting director Ron Sobol, and another documentary from director Peter M. Margolis and Dakota Films which was reportedly started in 2007 and completed a decade ago but never made available. “And it appears that there was difficulties from the Osbourne side too to license music. And beyond that, I really don’t know, man. It’s a weird one. And that’s actually what really intrigued me, because my specialty, as a producer, is to get stuff out that a lot of people have a hard time getting out, whether it be a feature film or a documentary or whatever it may be. There’s been quite a few projects that I’ve honed in on and got stuff done that a lot of people before me couldn’t.”
Although Relis was able to license “pieces of the Sobol doc,” he was unable to secure the rights to much footage of Rhoads with Osbourne or any of the music the pair made together. “Sharon and Ozzy weren’t gonna give it to me, man,” he said. “And they made that very clear to me once they found out I was doing this documentary. That was the challenging part. I had to go in this on my own without their support. I tried to get their support, but they weren’t having it. So, yeah, every little piece of when he joined Ozzy was very difficult to get.
Relis went on to say that he “got some really interesting communication from Sharon. Not the best, friendliest stuff was coming from that side of things,” he revealed. “I won’t go into detail on that. But I can say that I find it very mysterious.
“There was another documentary in the works — a bigger-budget Dakota Films documentary in 2008, 2009. They did everything, and they were close to getting it released,” he continued. “And from what I understand — I can’t say this, ‘cause I wasn’t there — but the Osbournes wouldn’t license ‘em any music, and from the perspective of the Rhoads family, it seemed to me like they weren’t gonna get on board with anything unless the Ozzy music and the stuff with Ozzy was in that documentary. And if it’s impossible to license, then you’re kind of in a conundrum.
Asked if the interviews with the Rhoads family members in “Reflections Of A Guitar Icon” is “new footage,” Andre said: “No, that’s not new footage. I tried to get their cooperation. And I don’t need to get into the details of it all. But I’m hoping, now that it’s out there, that they realize that this a real tribute to Randy Rhoads and it’s a piece to show his legacy. But for whatever reason, I think partially because of what was going on with the Osbournes, they just couldn’t get on board.”
Relis admitted that he has received some “blowback” from “some of the diehard Randy Rhoads fans” about the fact that the family wasn’t involved in the film. “I tried to get ‘em involved,” he said. “I did everything I could — offered ‘em participation, everything, to get them involved — but for whatever reason, they didn’t wanna be part of it. And I don’t know why. It’s a big mystery to me. But I’ll ask those fans out there: would you rather have nothing or a documentary that really showcases his legacy?”
Rhoads and two others were killed on March 19, 1982 when the small plane they were flying in at Flying Baron Estates in Leesburg, Florida struck Osbourne’s tour bus, then crashed into a mansion. Rhoads was 25 years old.
In his “Biography: The Nine Lives Of Ozzy Osbourne” special, Ozzy stated about first meeting Rhoads after his departure from BLACK SABBATH: “I knew instinctively that he was something extra special. He was like a gift from God — we worked so well together. Randy and I were like a team.
Rhoads’s death had a tremendous impact on Osbourne’s life. “I lost a dear friend in my life — I miss him terribly,” Ozzy said. “I just bathed my wounds with alcohol and drugs.”
“The day that Randy Rhoads died was the day a part of me died,” he added.
The Musical Excellence Award is given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music.
Rhoads was inducted into the Rock Hall by Morello who stated in a video message. “Randy Rhoads is a peerless talent. He revived Ozzy Osbourne’s career as his gunslinger sideman. And it was Randy Rhoads’s 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 7-11 parking lot.”
Rhoads played on Osbourne’s seminal records “Blizzard Of Ozz” (1980) and “Diary Of A Madman”, influenced many musicians and is considered one of the greatest guitartists of all time. His death was a huge shock to the world and Ozzy wrote in his autobiography “I Am Ozzy” that he almost quit music after Randy’s passing.
Shortly after Rhoads’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was announced, Ozzy told Rolling Stone: “I knew him for a very short amount of time. But what he gave me in that short amount of time was immeasurable in fucking greatness. To get somebody like Randy Rhoads to play on two albums, and for those two albums to sound as good as the day they were recorded, is something else. And I’m forever in gratitude for that. God only knows where that man would be today. The very fact that he’s not here to breathe the air is just a fucking crime.