RANDY RHOADS: Reflections of a Guitar Icon (Documentary Review)

RANDY RHOADS: Reflections of a Guitar Icon (Documentary Review)

Randy Rhodes…the name needs little needs little to no introduction to music fans and guitar nerds alike. A forerunner of the shred guitar movement and most notably Ozzy Osbourne’s first lead
guitarist during his solo years, before then Rhodes was the lead guitarist of Quiet Riot. Overall, he is a legendary guitarist known that in many ways is somewhat like a mythical figure these days. Tragically his life was cut way too short when he was killed in a plane crash on March 19, 1982 at only 25 years of age. An extremely abrupt ending to a career that had endless possibilities, now we gifted a new documentary film entitled RANDY RHOADS: Reflections of a Guitar Icon.

Narrated Narrated by another guitar icon, Tracii Guns, and directed by Andre Relis, RANDY RHOADS: Reflections of a Guitar Icon is a respectable music documentary that captures Rhoads’ early years. Released On Demand as of May 6, 2022 through VMI Worldwide, the film’s opening scenes features family members describing how a young Rhoads was classically trained on guitar starting to play at six years old at his mother’s music school. Taking a few lessons a week, his tutor actually stressed, I can’t teach him any longer, because he’s been teaching me! From here we are told the story about how in junior high Rhoads formed his first band and swiftly became more interested in electric guitar as the popularity of Rock and Metal explodes in the late ’70s. Moreover, you also get told the classic story about the musician’s early days that would eventually lead into Quiet Riot. 

This is all brought to you with some interesting interviews with photographers as well as many of the early team behind Quiet Riot. Additionally you have some other interview clips featuring Delores Rhoads, Kelle Rhoads, Laura ‘DuBrow’ Mandell, Rudy Sarzo, Drew Forsyth, Eddie Van Halen, Lori Hollen, Jodi Vigier, Kim McNair, Brian Reason, Peter M. Margolis, Frankie Banali, John Donais, Joel Hoekstra, Bruce Kulick, Doug Aldrich, Gary Moore, Dweezil Zappa, George Lynch, and Ozzy Osbourne. The stories are fun, interesting, insightful, and sometimes even grizzly. Additionally, there are many rare photos included here that most have never seen before.  As far as new information, there is not much most do not already know if they are a fan, but we learn some cool things such as the fact Rhoads had been tone chasing his entire career and was never truly satisfied with his guitar sound. 

All in all, the film is tastefully put together without being too repetitive and offers some interesting insight into Rhoad’s early years. Beautifully captured and well-paced, Cryptic Rock give RANDY RHOADS: Reflections of a Guitar Icon 4 out 5 stars. 

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Kenny Lenehan
[email protected]

Kenny Lenehan is a Scottish Musician and Music journalist. Leader and Multi Instrumentalist of Dark Metal Outfit XAAR.

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