Ozzy Osbourne Claims Randy Rhoads Didn’t Like Eddie Van Halen, Recalls Geezer Butler Not Liking Jimi Hendrix

One of the most tragic losses in rock music happened in the early 1980s when young Randy Rhoads died in an airplane accident. Although Ozzy Osbourne went on, finding numerous other guitar players along the way, everything always led back to those early two albums. Randy’s unique approach to playing guitar, composition, and arrangement is something we all admire, even to this day.

OZZY OSBOURNE - "Mr. Crowley" 1981 (Live Video)

Along with Randy Rhoads, another innovative, although different, guitarist showed up around that time, Mr. Eddie Van Halen. However, it turns out that there was some serious rivalry between the two. As Ozzy Osbourne recalled in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, stories of Eddie Van Halen teaching guitar licks to Randy Rhoads are not true. He said:

“I heard recently that Eddie [Van Halen] said he taught Randy all his licks… He never. To be honest, Randy didn’t have a nice thing to say about Eddie. Maybe they had a falling out or whatever, but they were rivals.”

Van Halen Eruption Guitar Solo

What Ozzy is referring to is most likely the documentary “Randy Rhoads: Reflections of a Guitar Icon” where Eddie Van Halen also appears in archival footage.

Elsewhere in the interview, Ozzy Osbourne also reflected on Black Sabbath’s early days. Recalling a 1968 Jimi Hendrix concert in Woburn, England, he said:

“I seem to remember Jimi was great, but Geezer Butler said he was crap. [Laughs] I don’t know, mate. I think he was taking a different drug than me, but we were only kids.”

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (Live In Maui, 1970)

Further on, Ozzy also looked back on the legacy that Black Sabbath made and was a bit weirded out by some comments made by bands at Ozzfest. He said:

“Bands on the Ozzfest would say, ‘Man, Sabbath influenced me.’ I’d listen to some of them, and I’d go, ‘I guess I can hear a bit of Sabbath there.’ But other bands, I’d be like, ‘What the fuck is going on?’ ‘Death, die, arrrgh.‘ Man, what the fuck is that all about? But then again, we gave somebody a stage.

Photo: (Randy Rhoads21314), Alberto Cabello (Ozzy Osbourne Azkena Rock festival 2011), Carl Lender (Eddie Van Halen at the New Haven Coliseum 2)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.