THE FINE PRINT - A Randy Rhoads Tribute Kept Secret for a Decade

Hoping you all get a kick out of this one. Ten years ago we were putting together a big Ozzy issue (August 1998, to be exact), and one of the sidebars dealt with the details surrounding the plane crash that killed Randy Rhoads. When we came up with the concept for the story, we had the idea to commission a graphic artist to illustrate the events surrounding the crash...something scientific, showing trajectory, point of impact, etc., the type of thing you would see in a newspaper in the days following a major plane crash.What we ended up with was the illustration you see here...which almost has a cheery, cartoony feel to it, and shows the plane crashing into what appears to be a Christmas tree! It was hardly the scientific analysis of the crash we were expecting, so we decided not to run it in the issue.I've held onto the drawing for all this time, as that morbid side of me just can't part with it...the public has never seen it, until now.

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Jeff Kitts

As a teenager, Jeff Kitts began his career in the mid ’80s as editor of an underground heavy metal fanzine in the bedroom of his parents’ house. From there he went on to write for countless rock and metal magazines around the world – including Circus, Hit Parader, Metal Maniacs, Rock Power and others – and in 1992 began working as an assistant editor at Guitar World. During his 27 years at Guitar World, Jeff served in multiple editorial capacities, including managing editor and executive editor before finally departing as editorial director in 2018. Jeff has authored several books and continues to write for Guitar World and other publications and teaches English full time in New Jersey. His first (and still favorite) guitar was a black Ibanez RG550.