Rudy Sarzo said Randy Rhoads’ upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was “a surprise for everybody.”
Speaking with WDHA’s Terrie Carr, Sarzo said, “We were not expecting anything like that. And what a wonderful honor — so deserving for Randy.”
Sarzo then said of his Quiet Riot bandmate and friend that he was to guitar in the ’80s what Eddie Van Halen was to guitar in the ’70s.
“Randy was the lead shredder, the lead classical-influenced composer, something that him coming from a musical family of teachers,” said Sarzo. “Randy was a teacher. He got all these incredible qualifications that a lot of musicians did not have growing up — growing up in a musical family; him becoming a teacher himself. So he brought a lot of that into his music. That was the essence of Randy Rhoads.”
He continued, “So here you have Eddie Van Halen — the last of the shredders of the ’70s — and here you have the first shredder of the ’80s opening up the doors for future shredders of the ’80s. It’s kind of like a validation to that musical genre — the guitar virtuoso. I believe he was the first new guitar virtuoso of the ’80s to influence a whole new generation of guitar players. So who better than Randy Rhoads to enter the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a pioneer of that genre of music.”
Rhoads is part of the 2021 Rock Hall induction class as a recipient of the Musical Excellence Award, which is given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music. Also receiving the Musical Excellence Award in 2021 are LL Cool J and Billy Preston.
As previously reported, the Rock Hall is planning on an in-person induction ceremony with fans taking place on Saturday, October 30 at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse arena in Cleveland. Tickets are expected to go on sale in July. The 2021 Induction Ceremony will air on HBO and stream on HBO Max at a later date.