Richie Ranno on auditioning for Ozzy Osbourne, how a uniquely inlaid Strat helped rename Starz and why “there is no future” for the influential hard-rock outfit

Richie Ranno
(Image credit: Trudi Knight)

As a proverbial bridge-builder between the '70s and '80s, Starz's Stratocaster-wielding axe-slinger Richie Ranno proved pivotal to the trajectory of hard rock and heavy metal. But as a kid, the East Coast native could never have imagined the wild ride he was about to embark on via his guitar-related exploits.

"My passion for guitar started early," recounts Ranno. "I always loved surf rock and like many kinds. I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, and I was instantly hooked. Playing music seemed like this mythical thing to me, but once I had a guitar in my hands, there was nothing else I wanted to do."

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.