RANDY RHOADS Documentary Filmmaker: 'A Lot Of People Tried To Squash' This Movie

May 8, 2022

"Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon", a new documentary about legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads, best known for his work with OZZY OSBOURNE, has just been made available on Video On Demand. The 85-minute film was directed by Andre Relis and was narrated by L.A. GUNS guitarist Tracii Guns. It was written and edited by Michael Bruining.

"Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon" includes interviews with Randy's mother Delores Rhoads, brother Kelle Rhoads, Eddie Van Halen (VAN HALEN),Rudy Sarzo (QUIET RIOT),Frankie Banali (QUIET RIOT),Joel Hoekstra (WHITESNAKE),Bruce Kulick (KISS),Doug Aldrich (WHITESNAKE, DIO),Gary Moore, Dweezil Zappa, George Lynch (DOKKEN) and Ozzy Osbourne.

Speaking to Darren Paltrowitz, host of the "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz", Relis stated about his decision to get involved with making of the film: "What really got me to do this documentary… There was an existing documentary from 2012 [or] 2013, which is 'Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years'. And they never really released it. And the filmmaker reached out to me. I watched it and I just thought, 'This is incredible.' So, yeah, there's a lot of material utilized that's been dated from that period of time."

Asked which part of the filmmaking process was most difficult this time around, whether it was condensing Randy's life story into less than 90 minutes or securing the rights to all the footage that is used in the film, Relis said: "Quite frankly, all of 'em. Like I say, it was a unique situation that I had an underlying film that I was able to license a lot of footage from. But a film producer… I've been producing films that are really, really, really hard to make, dealing with very difficult personalities, and I think that through my 12, 13 years of producing movies, it really helped just hammer through it.

"There was a lot of people along the way that tried to squash it or made it really difficult for me, and I just thought, 'We've gotta get the story out. We've gotta get the story out,'" he explained. "And I'm not gonna let the story go.'

"There was a time where it was pretty sketchy, but I stayed committed and we got it done."

Rhoads and two others were killed on March 19, 1982 when the small plane they were flying in at Flying Baron Estates in Leesburg, Florida struck Osbourne's tour bus, then crashed into a mansion. Rhoads was 25 years old.

In his "Biography: The Nine Lives Of Ozzy Osbourne" special, Ozzy stated about first meeting Rhoads after his departure from BLACK SABBATH: "I knew instinctively that he was something extra special. He was like a gift from God — we worked so well together. Randy and I were like a team.

"One thing that he gave to me was hope, he gave me a reason for carrying on," Ozzy added. "He had patience with me, which was great. He was great to work with. He pulled the best out of me. We had a lot of fun."

Rhoads's death had a tremendous impact on Osbourne's life. "I lost a dear friend in my life — I miss him terribly," Ozzy said. "I just bathed my wounds with alcohol and drugs."

"The day that Randy Rhoads died was the day a part of me died," he added.

Last October, Randy was posthumously inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame during the 2021 ceremony. Rhoads received the Musical Excellence Award at last year's event, which was held on October 30 at Cleveland, Ohio's Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

The Musical Excellence Award is given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music.

Rhoads was inducted into the Rock Hall by Morello who stated in a video message. "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."

Also offering a video tribute was METALLICA's Kirk Hammett, who stated about Randy's death: "All of a sudden, the curtain came down unexpectedly and the show was over before it really, really got going." Wylde spoke highly about his predecessor, saying "Randy, hands down, sits at" the round table of greatness in the Hall Of Fame alongside Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Eddie Van Halen.

Rhoads played on Osbourne's seminal records "Blizzard Of Ozz" (1980) and "Diary Of A Madman", influenced many musicians and is considered one of the greatest guitartists of all time. His death was a huge shock to the world and Ozzy wrote in his autobiography "I Am Ozzy" that he almost quit music after Randy's passing.

Shortly after Rhoads's induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was announced, Ozzy told Rolling Stone: "I knew him for a very short amount of time. But what he gave me in that short amount of time was immeasurable in fucking greatness. To get somebody like Randy Rhoads to play on two albums, and for those two albums to sound as good as the day they were recorded, is something else. And I'm forever in gratitude for that. God only knows where that man would be today. The very fact that he’s not here to breathe the air is just a fucking crime.

"Thank God that he's getting recognized by the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. He finally got there in the end. I'm sad that his mother was not alive to see it, because he was very close to his mom. It shows that he's not been forgotten. He was a dedicated, true musician, and he was a lovely guy. I still think about him all the time."

Relis spent his late teens and his 20s in the California music scene. Andre was heavily inspired by metal bands such as QUIET RIOT and OZZY OSBOURNE. Randy always stuck out to Andre as one of the greats and inspired him to become the frontman of a touring punk band, RUBBERNECK. After years of touring, Andre transitioned into television and film production in the early 2000s. From that point on, Andre has been at the forefront of feature film and distribution for the last 20 years and in 2010 he founded VMI Worldwide, a Hollywood-based finance, production and distribution company which he runs today. Most recently, some of the more notable films Relis produced include "The Last Son" with Sam Worthington and Machine Gun Kelly, "Wander" starring Tommy Lee Jones and Aaron Eckhart, "Arkansas" starring Vince Vaughn and Liam Hemsworth, and "Grand Isle" starring Nicolas Cage and Kelsey Grammer. And on the directing side, Relis co-directed the 2016 feature documentary "NWA & Eazy E: Kings Of Compton", which was released by E1 Entertainment in North America.

Relis will be one of the leading producers of the Lemmy Kilmister biopic slated to shoot in 2022.

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