Ozzy Osbourne almost didn’t hire Randy Rhoads: “I thought, it’s never gonna work, I’m going home”
The Prince of Darkness says he didn’t think much of the guitarist when he first came to audition.
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Now widely recognised as one of the most influential metal guitarists of all time, it has been revealed that Randy Rhoads was nearly denied the role of playing alongside Ozzy Osbourne.
Speaking as part of an interview with Stereogum last week, Osbourne claims he was too drunk to entertain the audition when Rhoads first arrived, and insisted he come back another time after he mistook the guitarist to be a woman.
“I’d never formed a band of people around me, and I’d never auditioned anyone. I didn’t know how to audition,” he recalls. “[My producer Dana Strum] brought Randy ‘round when I was fuckin’ three sheets to the wind. I’d been drinking all day. And this little guy came in, and I thought he was a girl at first. He was such a tiny guy.”
“I said, ‘Fucking hell. I’m done. I’ve had enough of this. I want to go home now.’ I thought, it’s never gonna work, I’m going home. Dana said, ‘Just see this one last guitar player.’ I was fucked up. I said, ‘I want to go home. Bring him back tomorrow and I’ll see him.’”
Recalling how the guitarist came back for the audition the following day, Osbourne says he was automatically awestruck by Rhoads’ playing abilities – despite still being intoxicated at the time.
“I was still fucked up the next day [and] Randy shows up with this little amp and a white Les Paul. He says, ‘What do you want me to play?’ I said, ‘Whatever the fuck, I don’t care.’”
Osbourne continues: “He started playing, and I was like, ‘What the fuck is this?’ Even in my stupor. I put it to him this way: ‘I don’t know if you’re as good as I think you are, but I’ll see you tomorrow.’ The next day, when I was sober, he just blew my mind [again]. He was fucking unbelievable.”