Randy Rhoads’ former Quiet Riot bandmate Rudy Sarzo discussed his influence in a new 105.5 WDHA interview.
“It was a surprise for everybody. We were not expecting anything like that. And what a wonderful honor – so deserving for Randy.
“People ask me what do I think. Well, to think about it means that I have to be analytical, so my analysis of how and why and all that…
“And this is just beyond what a deserving tribute to Randy’s music and his legacy and everything, and as a human being.
“In addition to that, I think if you’re analyzing it – this is how I see it. You have a period, let’s say in the ’70s, where Eddie Van Halen was the last shredder for a rock band to be signed. After that came punk and New Wave.
“And what happened was that we – meaning Quiet Riot with the Randy Rhoads version – we were in Los Angeles during that period trying to get a record deal and develop the band.
“And none of the bands of our musical style, of our genre, were getting the attention from the labels because they were concentrating on punk and New Wave in Los Angeles.
“But it took Randy to actually leave L.A., Quiet Riot, and join Ozzy in England, who already had a record deal, where the metal scene was the New Wave of British Metal was buzzing, was building up.
“Bands like Judas Priest, bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard – Def Leppard, who I actually toured with, with Ozzy – Motorhead…
“Randy was a major, major part. Randy was the lead shredder, the lead classical-influenced composer, something that him coming from a musical family of teachers… Randy was a teacher.
“He got all these incredible qualifications that a lot of musicians did not have growing up – growing up in a musical family, and him becoming a teacher himself.
“So he brought a lot of that into his music. That was the essence of Randy Rhoads.
“So here you have Eddie Van Halen – the last of the shredders of the ’70s – and here you have the first shredder of the ’80s opening up the doors for future shredders of the ’80s.
“It’s kind of like validation to that musical genre – the guitar virtuoso. I believe he was the first new guitar virtuoso of the ’80s to influence a whole new generation of guitar players.
“So, who better than Randy Rhoads to enter the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a pioneer of that genre of music?” Ultimate-Guitar transcribed his comments.