Randy Rhoads was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday (October 30th) as the recipient of the Musical Excellence Award.
Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello held the honor of inducting the late guitar icon into the class of 2021 via the award, which is given to “artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music.”
Morello honored Rhoads via a video message shown at the induction ceremony in Cleveland. Other rock luminaries such as Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, and guitarist Zakk Wylde also paid tribute in a video montage.
“Randy Rhoads is a peerless talent,” Morello said. “He revived Ozzy Osbourne’s career as his gunslinger sideman. And it was Randy Rhoads’ poster that I had on my wall… You could study Randy’s songs in a university-level musicology class and bang your heads to them in a 7-Eleven parking lot.”
After making a name for himself as a founding member of Quiet Riot, Rhoads joined Ozzy’s solo band and played on his first two solo albums, the iconic Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. Tragically, the virtuoso guitarist died in a plane crash in 1982.
Hammett commented on Rhoads’ tragic death, saying, “All of a sudden, the curtain came down unexpectedly and the show was over before it really, really got going.”
On Randy’s legacy as a guitarist, Wylde — who would go on to play in Osbourne’s band in the late 1980s — said his predecessor “sits at” the same table of “greatness” alongside fellow RRHoF inductees Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, and more.