Photos: Randy Rhoads’ Family, Friends, and Fans Rally at His Gravesite on the 40th Anniversary of His Death

  • Phil Boozeman

It’s hard to believe it’s been 40 years since the world lost Ozzy guitarist Randy Rhoads. I say that both because he died well before I was even alive, and also because yeah, 40 years is a long time. But that doesn’t mean it has been long enough to forget one of the most influential and iconic guitar players ever, as evidenced by the friends, family, and fans who gathered at his gravesite this Saturday, on thew 40th anniversary of his death.

Rhoads died on March 19, 1982 in Florida after the plane he was in clipped Osbourne’s tour bus and crashed into a mansion, killing him and two others on impact. To date, his death is one of metal’s most tragic, up there with the bus crash death of Metallica’s Cliff Burton.

This past Saturday, people from all over the world including friends, family members and fans gathered at Rhoad’s gravesite at the Mt. View Mortuary & Cemetery in San Bernardino, CA, to pay their respects, with some reportedly coming as far as Japan and New Zealand. Rhoad’s brother and sister Kelle and Kathy were there as well.

The 30th anniversary of Rhoads death in 2012 had a similar gathering with hundreds of heavy metal fans and musicians, including Tom Morello, Zakk Wylde and Quiet Riot’s Frankie Banali, further attesting to the legacy Rhoads left behind at the young age of 25. It’s impossible to try and guess at what could’ve been were he still with us, but it’s safe to say that anything he went on to do would have been colossal, and music as a whole is worse off for his loss.

If you needed anymore proof of that, Rhoads was posthumously inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in October of 2021 by none other than Tom Morello, who said the following during the ceremony:

“Randy Rhoads is a peerless talent. He revived Ozzy Osbourne’s career as his gunslinger sideman. And it was Randy Rhoads’s 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 7-11 parking lot.”

Check out photos of this year’s gathering below. Randy, wherever you are, we hope there’s music.

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