On March 16, Randy Rhoads Remembered made its annual return to Las Vegas and Count's Vamp'd, just a few days shy of the 37th anniversary of guitar legend Randy Rhoads' passing. Back in 2013, Bonzo Bash (tribute show to Led Zeppelin's John Bonham) founders Brian Tichy and Joe Sutton began discussions for creating another tribute show, this time for legendary Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads.
After garnering the blessings of Rhoads' siblings, brother Kelle and sister Kathy, they began putting together a core "house" band that they call "The Madmen" that has changed throughout the years, but at present features Tichy on drums, Rudy Sarzo on bass, Andrew Freeman on vocals, and Gregg Fox on the keyboard, with guitar duties handled by a solid list of well-known shredders who grew up idolizing the honoree, Randy Rhoads. They have expanded the guest duties to all of the instruments, as well as additional guest vocalists, and the overall concept of the performance is fairly simple in that they take turns rotating the artists in and out while playing, in their entirety, the two Ozzy Osbourne albums Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman that feature Randy on guitar. They also throw into the mix a couple of Quiet Riot and Black Sabbath numbers, and between songs there tends to be a lot of banter among the artists as well as some anecdotes either about Randy, or relating to his influence on the artists, both personally and musically. While it can get to be a bit much at times (the show lasts right around three hours), it is quite entertaining.
It's amazing that 37 years after his death, Rhoads is still very much a huge part of modern rock/metal, with his impact touching people who weren't even born until decades after his passing! I was first introduced to the Randy Rhoads Remembered experience in 2016 on the Axes & Anchors music cruise, and have now seen the show three more times since then. It has always been great and something I look forward to year-after-year. While the list of artists has changed slightly each time, the quality and consistency has always been there. The people chosen as guest artists for this event are all top-notch and seem to take the honor very seriously. They stick to the format and do their best to emulate Rhoads' style and sound, and while Tichy provides the band with a replica Randy Rhoads black with white polka dots Jackson Flying V, most of the artists choose to use their own gear, but they really know how to get the right sound out it either way. This truly is a gathering of world class performers.
Randy Rhoads Remembered photos by Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos