Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rudy Sarzo - Off The Rails

In my eternal quest to avoid stoking my personal flames of outrage with most of today's bound and printed word, I've been devouring any non-fiction music stuff that I can find. In the world of vanity publishing, this can be quite the slippery slope, as it affords anyone with a check to handily don the mantle of authority. Luckily, Rudy Sarzo is a better source of information than your average person who came up in 70s and 80 metal scene. He was the original bassist for Quiet Riot but first came to world-wide notoriety in Ozzy Osborne's first solo band with Randy Rhoads and Tommy Aldridge.

Off The Rails deals mostly with Sarzo's early career. He emigrated from Cuba to Florida as a child, playing in local bands before moving to Los Angeles to try and hit the big time. During these years he joined the first incarnation of Quiet Riot, where he enjoyed the double pleasure of being able to play with Randy Rhoads and live on Kevin DuBrow's floor. Sarzo kept extensive scrapbooks and personal journals during the time and it's this first-hand documentation that makes Off The Rails so compelling. He pulls few punches, but airs little in the way of dirty laundry that couldn't be inferred from the average episode of The Osbornes, save for the fact that maybe Sharon Osborne slept with Randy to make Ozzy jealous.

The rest of Off The Rails is an interesting document of Sarzo's tenure with his dear friend Randy Rhoads in Ozzy's bands. His firsthand recounting of tour events behind Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman, especially the tragic events that led to Rhoads' (as well as the bozo pilot and tour seamstress Rachael Youngblood's) untimely death, make this essential reading for any rock fan. It closes just Sarzo rejoins Quiet Riot as they break through behind 1983's Metal Health, hopefully because our hero has many more memories to share. His tenures with QR, Whitesnake and Yngwie, as well as his current gigs with Blue Oyster Cult and Dio seem ripe for recollections, but in the interim, snatch up a copy of Off The Rails from Rudy here. It's a great read, and you can even get it autographed for a nominal fee. In the meantime, keep tracks of all things Rudy Sarzo here.



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