First Concert Memories: Good And Bad
36 years ago this month, my life changed forever. I attended my first concert at the now defunct Lansing Civic Center. Former Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne had already released one solo album in Blizzard of Ozz and he was now touring in support of his latest "Diary of A Madman."
Guitarist Randy Rhoads and bassist Rudy Sarzo of the then unknown Quiet Riot were in the band. Along with legendary tour drummer Tommy Aldrich and Keyboardist Don Airey.
The opening act "Starfighter" had played a forgettable set and I walked around, looking for my friend Larry as the lights suddenly went down. I was somehow stuck in the front row, on the rail, left of center. What came next would alter me and how I would view music forever.
A short, skinny blonde haired guitarist ripped licks from a Jackson V that I could have never imagined. The music so loud that it was just a warbling sound mixed all together and would cause a constant ringing for the next three days. All in all a spectacle that would never be seen again. Shortly after on March 19, 1982, just a few weeks after my first concert, Randy Rhoads and a couple others were killed in a wreckless plane accident.
To this day there hasn't been another like him. And those who could compare, have also died tragic deaths. "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was killed on what would have been Rhoads 47th birthday. Seemingly less than a coincidence for guitar greats.