The story of Randy Rhoads’ long-lost Jackson RR3 prototype – and why it is now going up for auction

Jackson RR3 Prototype
Sean Michael Clegg in 2022 with the April 2007 issue of GW and, of course, the guitar now known as RR3 (Image credit: Rene Lamontagne/

Back in 2007, I wrote an article for Guitar World on an instrument that holds a special and unique place in the six-string legacy of Randy Rhoads. 

Now reverently known as RR3, it was the third custom, asymmetrical V-shape electric guitar made for Rhoads by California luthier Grover Jackson in the early Eighties. Sadly, Rhoads died – in a March 19, 1982, airplane accident while on tour with Ozzy Osbourne – before he could take delivery of the guitar. 

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Alan di Perna

In a career that spans five decades, Alan di Perna has written for pretty much every magazine in the world with the word “guitar” in its title, as well as other prestigious outlets such as Rolling Stone, Billboard, Creem, Player, Classic Rock, Musician, Future Music, Keyboard, and He is author of Guitar Masters: Intimate Portraits, Green Day: The Ultimate Unauthorized History and co-author of Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Sound Style and Revolution of the Electric Guitar. The latter became the inspiration for the Metropolitan Museum of Art/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibition “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll.” As a professional guitarist/keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist, Alan has worked with recording artists Brianna Lea Pruett, Fawn Wood, Brenda McMorrow, Sat Kartar and Shox Lumania.