Tom Morello on Randy Rhoads: "After Hearing Him for the First Time, He Became My Favorite Guitar Player"

A week from today marks the 30th anniversary of the untimely death of guitarist Randy Rhoads, who tragically perished in a plane crash at age 25.

Speaking to recently, guitarist Tom Morello reflected on Rhoads' lasting impact. When asked if Rhoads inspired him to pick up the guitar, Morello responded, "I had already started playing, but it was right around the same time. I was big fan of punk rock and the whole Do It Yourself ethic, so for a guitar player to come along and rekindle the spirit and reset the bar for hard rock guitar players was a pretty big deal."

He continued: "See, I was never a big fan of the whole 'party-hard-we're-gonna-rock-harder' world. I liked music. But I could see myself in Randy, how he was a real student of music. The fact that he practiced for hours on end really appealed to me. He was serious, and he wanted only to get better at his craft. When I was practicing eight hours a day, his was the poster I had on my wall."

"Almost immediately after hearing him for the first time, he became my favorite guitar player. I remember buying Diary Of A Madman when it came out, and somebody at the record store was making fun of me because of the album cover. I had to explain to this person that, while I certainly liked Ozzy, I was really a big Randy Rhoads fan – that's why I was buying the record."

You can read the full interview here.

The latest issue of Guitar World features the exclusive, untold story of how Randy made the leap from Quiet Riot to Ozzy Osbourne. You can pick up the April issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.