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

mexico city basilica

Radioactive Summer Part 2: The First 24 Hours in Mexico City

With a wild 36 hours behind the band in one of the most eclectic cities I had ever been to in Northern America, the Rays of Electromagnetic Radiation were on our way to Mexico City to continue our first international tour.
Awesome Totally Awesome - A Fortnite Love Story

A Fortnite Love Story

Todd stands in front of his hotel’s bathroom mirror. He’s sweating profusely as he bonds his fake, blonde goatee onto his chin. This, doubled with his blonde, platinum-dyed hair makes him look completely different. He takes a deep breath as he begins...

St Louis-Area Woman Declared Punk Rock Nurse of the Year by Suburban Hospital

St Louis resident Jayme Stabb, also known as Jaime Siedrech, was honored with the Most Punk Rock Nurse Award by the staff of St Cornelius Hospital in Cotteville, Missouri.

Awesome Features

Awesome Totally Awesome - Castlevania Photo:@zerobriantees

Netflix Castlevania Season 2 Review: Pulls You in By The Neck and Doesn't Let Go

As soon as I heard Adi Shankar was creating an animated series based on the beloved Castlevania franchise, I was tuned in and ready to go.
Alfonso Rawls EverybodySkates Awesome Totally Awesome

SHINE: ATA’s INTERVIEW WITH SKATEBOARDING ICON ALPHONSO “ALF” RAWLS ON SKATING, HIS STREETWEAR COMPANY #EVERYBODY SKATES, AND HIS ART

Our latest Shine subject is Alfonso "ALF" Rawls.  ALF is a skateboarding legend and really good soul who can still rip everything with freaky styley style.

UnSpotified: We Revisit De La Soul's Unstreamed Masterpiece, Buhloone Mindstate

This group doesn’t talk about how financially solvent they are. They talk about being late on their rent. They talk about letting their parents down and missing them. They talk about letting their friends down. They talk about not judging others who have made different choices. And when Dave says, “I’m the greatest MC in the world,” it’s ironic, it’s self-deprecating.

Awesome Trending

Awesome Totally Awesome Beastie Boys Check Your Head

Why Check Your Head By the Beasties Will Always Be My Favorite Album

Check Your Head was named after a random occurrence wherein Ad Rock had purchased a pack of Desert Storm trading cards and brought them to the studio. 
Awesome Totally Awesome - Supreme Box Hoodie Legit Check 101Four-Pins

Legit Check 101 Supreme: Box Logo Hoodies

The Supreme Box Logo (“BOGO”) Hoodie is one of the most iconic and sought Supreme pieces year in and year out. We’re here to provide you with a basic checklist that should apply to any BOGO Hoodie within the past 10 years.
Awesome Totally Awesome How Maria Beat

How Maria Beat The Real Housewives of the PTA at Their Own Game

I really didn’t care about winning, but seeing this lady’s cheerleader determination, made me say “I’m winning this mofo.”