“I may be too young to have experienced the immediate crushing blow that the Blizzard of Ozz laid on the heavy metal climate of 1980, so the first time that I heard the earth-shattering riff of "Crazy Train" was a live version from Tribute, released five years after Randy Rhoads’ tragic and untimely death.
“MTV was prevalent in the house I grew up in, and my older brother Travis' extensive heavy metal cassette collection would remain the basis for my rock and roll education for oncoming years. It was during this time I was introduced to—and relentlessly exposed to—Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction, Mötley Crüe’s Shout at the Devil, Metallica’s …And Justice for All, et cetera. But it was Tribute that made me want to pick up the guitar and inevitably, what chiseled my fate in stone.
“I was four years old, learning on my brother’s black Chiquita travel guitar, which was perfect for my little fingers, and using a little Peavey Decade amp, which I still have. I wouldn’t stop until I had that classic, crunching Bach-inspired "Crazy Train" riff down. From there, I went on to tracks like "Goodbye to Romance" and the studio outtakes of "Dee." I was in awe at how Randy didn’t just strum basic chords like everyone else; it was like he was playing the piano on his guitar. His performances and improvisations on Tribute are a true testament to the virtuoso that he was and will sound thunderous echoes through the halls of metal for all young promising guitarists of future generations to come.”