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Rudy Sarzo recalls how guitarist Brad Gillis ended up joining Ozzy Osbourne’s band in 1982

Rudy Sarzo recalls how guitarist Brad Gillis ended up joining Ozzy Osbourne’s band in 1982

Rudy Sarzo recalls how guitarist Brad Gillis ended up joining Ozzy Osbourne’s band in 1982Rudy Sarzo recalls how guitarist Brad Gillis ended up joining Ozzy Osbourne’s band in 1982

Rudy Sarzo recalls how guitarist Brad Gillis ended up joining Ozzy Osbourne’s band in 1982

Legendary bassist Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, ex-Ozzy Osbourne, ex-Whitesnake, ex-Dio) was recently interviewed by Marko Syrjala for Metal-Rules. Sarzo was in Osbourne‘s band in 1981 and 1982, along with drummer Tommy Aldridge and guitarist Randy Rhoads. The latter died in a plane crash on March 19, 1982 at the age of 25.

Syrjala noted that after Rhoads passed away, Osbourne decided to continue the tour in support of the album Diary of A Madman with a new guitarist. First, it was Bernie Tormé, from the Ian Gillan band, who played a number of dates. Later on, Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) replaced Tormé and played the rest of the tour. Gillis also ended up playing on the live record Speak of The Devil. Syrjala asked Sarzo why didn’t Tormé play the entire tour, and how did they find Gillis to replace him in the band.

Sarzo replied: “Oh yeah, Bernie Torme came in, but he was working on his own solo career, so he basically came in to help us out until we found somebody who could hopefully take over. He said, ‘Listen, I can only be here for this amount of weeks.’ So, we had to keep looking for somebody else. Pat Travers, a guitar player, and Pat Thrall, his brother, saw Brad Gillis play in the San Francisco area with a band called the Alameda All Stars, which later became Night Ranger. They were doing covers, and one of them was an Ozzy song. Brad was able to play the style of rhythm that Randy is known for. As a matter of fact, that night, when we were playing at Madison Square Garden, nobody knew that Brad was in the room waiting to meet us.

So, after the show, I felt really depressed because Randy wasn’t there, and he had been eagerly looking forward to playing that performance. I retreated to my hotel room, feeling the weight of his absence. Unexpectedly, Sharon knocked on my door and said, ‘Listen, Rudy, there’s a young man up there who’s coming to audition. Would you like to meet him?’ Seeking distraction, I agreed. I didn’t want to sit in my room dwelling on how Randy wasn’t with us at Madison Square Garden; the sadness weighed heavily on me. I went to meet this young man, Brad, and instantly, I liked him—a lot. Tremendously, in fact. We hit it off right away and collaborated on the songs. Brad turned out to be an exceptional guitar player. His presence allowed us to continue the tour with dignity, honoring Randy’s memory.”

You can read the rest of the interview with Rudy Sarzo via the Metal-Rules‘ website.

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