Awesome Totally Awesome - DTK

Eddie Van Halen & Randy Rhoads: Duelling Guitarists

It’s 1977 and the hard rock scene in Los Angeles is thriving in booze-soaked, Hollywood bars like the Starwood and Whisky thanks to two local bands: Van Halen and Quiet Riot.

The former would sign a mega record deal and become one of the best selling hard rock bands of all time. Quiet Riot would hit a high in 1983, then fall into hair metal obscurity shortly thereafter.

Despite their differing career trajectories, in 1977 both bands boasted two of the greatest guitarist of all time in Edward Van Halen and Randy Rhoads.

The two axe slingers would never hang out, but they did cross paths several times back in the day.

In 1976 (or ’77), Rhoads first saw Van Halen and came away from the show “devastated” according to former girlfriend, Jan. That’s because Rhoads was the acknowledged top dog in Burbank, with fans constantly telling him how awesome he was. Seeing Eddie Van Halen play was a real eye opener for Rhoads, but he was also inspired by what he saw and heard. He thought Van Halen was amazing and he wanted to be amazing as well.

According to a Rhoads biography, the two actually met four times before Rhoads’ untimely and tragic death in 1982.

One such instance was in April 1977 at a Glendale College gig. Quiet Riot opened for Van Halen. The unassuming Rhoads approached Eddie and asked him how he kept his guitar in tune without a tremolo locking nut. Eddie refused to tell him, saying it was his secret. This came as a bit of shock for Rhoads, who was into sharing ideas and teaching others to become better guitar players. It must have been like a verbal slap in the face.

At the time in Quiet Riot, Kevin DuBrow was the de facto band leader with the goal of getting U.S. record deal. To that end, DuBrow focussed the band on writing more radio friendly songs, which didn’t really allow Rhoads to spread his wings and flourish like he did when he joined the Blizzard of Ozz band in 1979.

So Randy would play a lot of Van Halen’s licks live. He told journalist John Stix it killed him to do that, but added it’s just flash, and that’s what the kids want to see. That’s what impresses them. He also said that it kills him because he believes in the importance of finding your own voice and style. Rhoads thought the worst thing a guitar player could do was copy someone else.

Van Halen watched Rhoads Play Live Several Times

Now it should be known that both guitarists admired each other. Former Quiet Riot drummer Drew Forsyth has said on record the Eddie/Randy rivalry has been made up to be so much more than it was. Forsyth also noted Eddie used to come watch Randy play way more than Randy used to go see Van Halen play.

There’s also the story of how Rhoads went to a music store to buy some classical records in 1982 during a break on the Diary of Madman tour and saw Eddie Van Halen there. Apparently Eddie was picking up a copy of “Diary of a Madman”.

Over the years, Eddie hasn’t said much about his late contemporary. There is one interview from 1982 that was on Youtube (which has since been taken down) where Eddie is quoted as saying “yeah, well, he didn’t do anything that I hadn’t done”, which drew plenty of criticism – not only from Rhoads fans, but guitar players and other musicians as well.

The two couldn’t be more different in their styles and each contributed massively to hard rock, with Rhoads pretty much helping establish neo-classical metal as a heavy metal sub-genre, while Van Halen was the guy every guitarist wanted to be like and he spawned a host of hair metal fret-master-wannabes in the 1980s.

As music fans, we can be thankful for both Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen. It’s just unfortunate Rhoads’ body of work is so small.

Awesome Totally Awesome - Freaks & Weirdos Boutique
ATA - DTK

Awesome Dropping

Awesome Totally Awesome Eminem

Kamikaze Fallout: Who Took the Biggest L from Eminem

The hip-hop community has been torn to shreds by its great white shark, Eminem, these past few weeks with the release of his newest album titled Kamikaze.
Awesome Totally Awesome - AC/DC Guitar Riffs

Five of AC/DC's Most Underrated Riffs

With the recent passing of AC/DC's founder, rhythm guitarist and primary songwriter, Malcolm Young, it's a good time to look back on the band's massive body of work and the riffs Malcolm came up with.

Old School Gamer Disappointed by New School Additions to Call Of Duty: World War II

Walter Fullmore, 38, of Manitowoc, WI, an avid Call of Duty fan, was ecstatic to hear about the game returning to its roots in World War II. Turns out for Fullmore, he would find himself in a place he did not recognize. The multiplayer.

Awesome Features

Awesome Totally Awesome - Greta Van Fleet - Lover Leaver

Plagiarizing Led Zeppelin: Greta Van Fleet (Is the Criticism Against Them Warranted)

Imitation is the highest form of flattery. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that phrase growing up. I also remember learning about plagiarism.
Awesome Totally Awesome - Brockhampton

Immerse Yourself in BROCKHAMPTON

If you have not given BROCKHAMPTON a chance because of lack of awareness or understanding of who they are, you are missing out on some unique and innovative music.

The New Apple x Suicidal Tendencies Circle Pit Watch Will Revolutionize Your Circle Pit Safety and Experience

According to Muir, “All I wanted was a basic, durable, no bullshit watch, like my old Casio, but with an Institutionalized ring tone and THEY WOULDN’T GIVE IT TO ME.”

Awesome Trending

Awesome Totally Awesome - Class of Seventy-Four

The 10 Presents: Wrestling's Doper

Class of Seventy Four loves wrestling...end quote. Despite the negative stigmatism attached to grown men watching a sport some have called a "soap opera", it still is probably the one thing in our creative process that excites us.
Awesome Totally Awesome Replaced My Bumper

I Replaced My Bumper: A Tale of Avoiding Trendy Plastic Surgery

My formative teen years did not involve the ever-present smartphone of today, but the media still found ways of consistently feeding me the image of “the perfect body.”

Five Most Underrated Van Halen Songs with David Lee Roth

With David Lee Roth on vocals, the original Van Halen produced six phenomenal albums from 1978-1984.