Ozzy Osbourne - Ozzy Osbourne's Bandmates Kept Rocking After Rhoads' Death To Save Frontman's Life
Ozzy Osbourne's backing band The Blizzard Of Ozz forged on with their 1982 Diary Of A Madman tour following guitarist Randy Rhoads' death in an effort to stop their depressed frontman from killing himself.
Rhoads lost his life in a plane crash in March, 1982, leaving the group with the difficult decision whether or not to pull the plug on planned dates.
They opted to continue, with Brad Gillis as the guitar great's replacement, and now bassist Rudy Sarzo has opened up about the band's decision, insisting distraught Osbourne would have died without a worthy distraction.
Sarzo tells UltimateClassicRock.com, "We were so blessed to be able to find Brad Gillis, because he really allowed us to finish the tour with dignity, doing justice to Randy's memory (and) having a guitar player that could actually perform the songs.
"Because of Ozzy's spiritual (state) and his mindset - he was really a mess - if we would have pulled the tour, he would have just gone back home and drank himself to death. I can vouch for that. So, in order to keep Ozzy occupied, we just kept the tour going and it was day-by-day with Ozzy, just to make sure that he wasn't going to hurt himself, basically."
Sarzo eventually left the group and joined Quiet Riot, confessing the dark times with Osbourne's band became too much for him to bear.
He adds, "I've got to tell you, it was awful times... It was so bad that it led for me to make the decision to leave the band, because I wanted to enjoy playing again.
"Actually, I wanted to be able to grieve and for me to decide to leave one of the biggest bands in the world, the Ozzy Osbourne band, to go for the completely unknown with Quiet Riot, that was quite a decision. But, at the time, it seemed like the only decision I could make. Otherwise, I would have just stayed with Ozzy until they kicked me out."