The year 1982 is marked by a number of milestone moments in music. Some were events of historical importance (the release of Michael Jackson's Thriller, the biggest-selling album ever); others were cultish events of subtle yet mythical integrity (the release of the film Pink Floyd The Wall).
And others were simply tragic. Perhaps most significant for the majority of the guitar playing community was the March 19 death of Randy Rhoads. By age 25, Rhoads had written and recorded two albums with Ozzy Osbourne and in that short time elevated himself to the top ranks of the guitar elite.
Rhoads made his first appearance in Guitar World in May 1982. That issue was on newstands when Rhoads died in a plane crash in Leesburg, Florida. The young guitarist has been featured in the magazine posthumously on several occasions, but the May 1982 issue remains Guitar World's sole record of Rhoads while he was alive.
Its preservation serves as testament and joy to the value of music journalism, regardless of what January's cover artist might think!
Up Next: 1983 and The Doors' Robby Krieger.