Anniversary of Randy Rhoads Death

03/21/2011
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The Day in Rock isn't published during the weekends but Gibson had this look back at Randy Rhoads on Saturday that we wanted to share part of with you: On March 19, 1982, the incredibly gifted guitarist Randy Rhoads died in a plane crash. He was just 25 years old.

Since teaming up with Ozzy Osbourne and playing a key role in the Prince of Darkness's post-Sabbath solo success, Rhoads was flying high. Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman had put Ozzy back in the limelight and the band were in Knoxville for a show at the Civic Coliseum on March 18, 1982. It was Randy Rhoads' last gig.

After the show, the band left Tennessee for Florida where they were playing a festival in Orlando. Stopping for a rest break and to run some repairs, the caravan stopped at some property in Leesburg, Florida. There were just two houses on the property. One of them belonged to Ozzy's bus driver, Andrew Aycock. Early on the 19th, while the entourage was resting, Aycock rose and—being a pilot—took advantage of the property's airstrip and collection of airplanes. Aycock took keyboard player Don Airey and tour manager Jake Duncan for a flight on a '55 Beechcraft Bonanza F-35. After that, Aycock took off again, this time with Randy and hairdresser Rachel Youngblood. After that jaunt, Aycock took Rhoads on another flight. It was a terrible mistake. more on this story

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