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Randy Rhoads: the ultimate 40th anniversary tribute – only in the new Guitar World

july 2022
(Image credit: Ross Halfin/Future)

Staggering as it might seem, it was 40 years ago that a heart-wrenching tragedy claimed one of rock’s finest guitarists. His name? Randy Rhoads, Ozzy Osbourne’s brilliant guitarist, who was killed in a plane crash in Leesburg, Florida, on March 19, 1982, at age 25. 

In the space of a mere two studio albums with Ozzy (and two with Quiet Riot), this diminutive man with a giant talent made a massive, indelible impact on rock that was immediate and profound. Rhoads was a rarity; he was a game-changer in the truest sense of the term. 

The fact that four decades later his breathtaking riffs, licks, solos and compositions continue to inspire new generations of rock guitarists speaks volumes as to the enormity of his influence.

And that is at the heart of our July issue, aka “Randy Rhoads: The Ultimate Tribute.”

This special collector’s issue includes:

* An all-star panel of Rhoads scholars – including Zakk Wylde, Dave Mustaine, Kirk Hammett, Richie Faulkner, Tom Morello, Nita Strauss, Phil X, Jared James Nichols, Courtney Cox, Phil Demmel, Mark Morton, Doug Aldrich, Rudy Sarzo and many more – discusses Randy’s impact and continued influence.

* Ozzy producer Max Norman explains how he recorded Randy’s solos.

* George Lynch discusses subbing for Rhoads at Randy’s mother’s music school, Musonia.

* The secrets of Randy’s “chip pan” pedalboard.

* Zakk Wylde on playing Randy’s solos with Ozzy.

* Rudy Sarzo on Randy’s major pivot points.

* The development and evolution of Jackson Guitars’ RR/Rhoads series.

* An update on Randy’s “lost” Jackson RR3, which wound up in a lucky fan’s hands back in 1984 – and is now up for grabs!

* What’s Randy’s greatest guitar solo? We reveal our readers’ poll results – plus picks by our all-star panel (Mustaine, Zakk, Morello, etc.).

* Play like Randy! A four-page lesson by Andy Aledort, featuring tab and video.

* A full transcription of Ozzy’s Mr. Crowley.

July 2022

(Image credit: Ross Halfin)

In other news, we take you along for the ride as we chronicle the amazing rise of Ibanez Guitars over the past 50 years – and present 12 highlights from the company’s remarkable new 50th-anniversary Custom Shop Collection.

Also, Tobias Forge, mastermind of Swedish occult rock sensation Ghost, takes you deep inside the writing and recording process for their multiple chart-topping fifth album, Impera. We also speak to Forge’s hired hand, the amazing Fredrik Åkesson of Opeth!

We also check in with Coheed and Cambria, Angie Swan, Ty Tabor, Evergrey, Hot Water Music, Haken’s Charlie Griffiths and Ghalia Volt. And the Introducing column returns!

Elsewhere in the issue, we review the Fender Player Plus Meteora HH, the Peavey HP 2, the Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic and more. This month’s Power Tools column revisits the vintage (1955-1960) Fender Deluxe amp.

Besides Ozzy’s Mr. Crowley, this month’s song transcriptions include Alone Again by Asking Alexandria and Train, Train by Blackfoot. Meanwhile, Joe Bonamassa explains how to bust out of ruts, and there are new columns by Kirk Fletcher, Andy Timmons and Andy Aledort.

The new issue of Guitar World is on sale now. (opens in new tab)

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Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.