“Randy Rhoads trusted me. He put his reputation with Sharon and Ozzy on the line to bring me in”: Rudy Sarzo talks Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne and reshaping his bass tone for Whitesnake

Bassist Rudy Sarzo (L) and singer/guitarist John Corabi perform at the Monster Circus show at the Las Vegas Hilton March 26, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show combines a concert featuring veteran rock stars performing hit songs from the '70s, '80s and '90s with dancers, aerialists and circus acts.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rudy Sarzo is a hero of no fewer than six decades of bass guitar. In the 1960s, as a Cuban refugee living variously in New Jersey and Florida, he plucked the bass in garage-rock bands. In the ‘70s, he made his bones with Quiet Riot, pioneers of Hollywood's hair-metal scene. Catapulted to fame in Ozzy Osbourne's band in the ‘80s, courtesy of a recommendation from his erstwhile Quiet Riot colleague Randy Rhoads, Sarzo toured the planet with bands such as Whitesnake.

By the mid-‘90s he was a classic rock bassist who commanded enormous respect, laying down lines with Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio and Blue Oyster Cult in the decade that followed. In recent years Sarzo has also trodden the boards with Geoff Tate's version of Queensryche, Animetal, and the Guess Who. 

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Joel McIver

Joel McIver was the Editor of Bass Player magazine from 2018 to 2022, having spent six years before that editing Bass Guitar magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV.