According to EddieTrunk.com, Carlos Ramirez of Noisecreep spoke with author Andrew Klein, who along with Steven Rosen, has co-written a new Randy Rhoads biography entitled, Randy Rhoads. Portions of the interview appear below.
Noisecreep: Randy came out of Los Angeles, during an era famous for its over-the-top party scene, but from reading your book, he didn’t come off like the blowhard many of his peers were. He seemed like a much gentler soul. Do you attribute that to his upbringing?
Andrew Klein: He was a gentle soul and he was not a blowhard. I’m not sure which way to argue the “nature vs. nurture” theory with respect to Randy. Some people think that when we are born, we are a blank canvas shaped by our parents, upbringing, and environment. I believe that is true to a large degree. But there is also an element that we bring with us into this world. It is what makes us unique individuals. There are components of each one of our personalities us that has nothing to do with how we were raised or what we were taught. Randy was brought up in a strict home for the most part. Mrs. Rhoads demanded respect and Randy’s friends were scared to death of her. But at the same time, Randy’s house was the party house. That’s where everyone gathered for 4th of July parties, Christmas parties, etc. The band always rehearsed in his garage and Mrs. Rhoads helped them buy equipment and she even piled their gear into her car when they began playing Stough Park. I’m sure his mom had a lot to with who he was, especially musically. She was lenient within the confines of her rules. Randy was the golden child who could do no wrong in her eyes.
Noisecreep: After speaking with so many people that were close to Randy, what surprised you most about him?
Andrew Klein: I never knew how much he cared for his friends. He was super sensitive. He loved the holidays and he loved to buy presents for people. He was also an amazing artist. The pictures he drew are incredible. He would send his fiance, Jodi, letters and draw quick sketches of people they knew or of his friends. Amazing. He was an incredible artist in every way and super sensitive to the feelings of others. He was also very funny and mischievous in an innocent way. He loved to have fun and make others laugh. If he was in the privacy of his friends’ company, he could be himself, which was when he was happiest.
Noisecreep: In the hard rock world, he’s become a mythic figure. If you had to pick one guitar solo that best represented Randy, what would it be and why?
Andrew Klein: Well, if I may, the one that ‘he’ would pick is Mr. Crowley or possiblyDiary of a Madman. Flying High Again is another one that he was proud of. For me, Crazy Train has a solo that represents Randy’s style, technique, and technical ability very well. It is melodic, flashy, and proficient with a hint of his classical influence. [Bassist] Rudy Sarzo once commented that one of the things that separated Randy from other players was his solo sections. Not the solos themselves, but the rhythm sections that are playing underneath. Most guitar players choose to solo over the music that makes up the verse or chorus. Not Randy. The solo sections are songs within the song. It is a body of music completely independent of any of the other chord progressions in the song. It is incredibly difficult to do this and make it work.
Read more at Noisecreep.
Randy Rhoads, the book, is available for purchase at Velocity Publishing Group