Off The Rails (A Tribute To Randy Rhoads)

Writers: Rudy Sarzo, 2008
Publisher: RudySarzo.Com
List Price: $16.95 / $23.95 (autographed)
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Rudy Sarzo is one of those rare musicians that don't need bells and whistles to prove his worth. There are no famous incidents about this personal life or alcohol/drug abuse that nowadays has become a meter for how great a musician is. But, Rudy has carved his stellar path by being part of most important bands having performed on the side of musicians while they were on top of their game. Do you need names? Well, it’s enough I think to mention OZZY, QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE, DIO and BLUE ÖYSTER CULT… Do you need more?

So, instead of writing an autobiography and describe all his music adventures Rudy created a tribute book about his bandmate and friend Randy Rhoads. This is the definition of how modest a musician can be and I guess many divas out there should read this book and learn something.

The book picks up the storyline the day when Rudy, while still onboard QUIET RIOT, received a call from Sharon to come for an audition to join Ozzy’s band. His writing is simple and straightforward keeping everything real and honest giving the reader an inside look on the writer's experiences and feelings. The reading is so easy that you will find yourself in the middle of the book in no time. Of course, it’s kind of sad knowing how the friendship of Rudy and Randy tragically ended on the 19th of March, 1982. In fact, you will feel the frigid cold chills rushing down your spine while reading the introduction of the book; that felt almost shocking and I still remember pausing a couple of minutes  reading the last sentence of this before managing to turn to the next page.

The storyline gets the reader by the hand walking almost in a daily basis as the US ‘Blizzard Of Oz’ unfolds and while the friendship between the band’s bassist and guitarist is been built. It’s really impressive how Rudy narrates this story without having his name on the spotlight; he only describes his feelins and thoughts during the lifetime experience of getting on the road with Ozzy on a US tour. This is truly Metal history and I think every metalhead should get a taste of it. Keep in mind that this time period was the re-launching of Ozzy’s career and the birth of a guitar legend that just had to leave this world way early. Pardon my saying but without Randy Rhoads Ozzy would not have managed to pull his career together in music terms (Sharon did her part on a personal level).

As expected, the climax of the book is the tragic accident that took Randy away from us and the aftermath of this. Once again, Rudy describes all the mixed emotions having survived this awful event and at the same time having to deal with all the Press battling the remaining musicians to learn more details.

So, it’s pointless to mention that this book is a must-read. I don’t think there are many books out there about Randy Roads but I am sure this one gets the reader the closest to the story since it was written by a friend of his. It’s not an overstatement when I say that you will get a chance to meet this talented guitarist via the writing hand of Rudy Sarzo and that, my fellow metalheads, is priceless.

+Pros Excellent writing that gets the reader close to the story like being on the shoes of the writer.

-Cons This book also describes the tragic loss of a great and most talented musician.