As the 40th anniversary of Randy Rhoads’ tragic death nears, the guitarist’s memory is being celebrated with the release of a stunning Flamenco guitar cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train by Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens and The String Revolution, led by Janet Robin, who studied guitar under Rhoads as a nine-year-old.
Co-written by Osbourne, Rhoads and bassist Bob Daisley, Crazy Train was Ozzy’s debut solo single, and track two on his debut solo album, Blizzard Of Ozz. The new cover has been released as a tribute to Rhoads, who died on March 19, 1982, age 25.
“As I was contacted to contribute to a reimagining of Ozzy’s Crazy Train, in my mind, I had one requirement, that it not be in any way similar to the iconic original version,” says Steve Stevens, best known as Billy Idol’s guitarist and songwriting partner. “Upon hearing the track two things struck me immediately, it works so well as a Spanish guitar piece, and that Randy would have loved it. It’s widely known that Randy was a beautiful classical guitarist, even continuing lessons through his Ozzy days. I hope we did you proud, buddy.”
Janet Robin says: “As my guitar teacher, Randy Rhoads used to say to me, ‘Don’t try to play like me, play like yourself’.’ I really took that to heart and I feel [The String Revolution] was on board with that same kind of thinking, be true to the original but put a new, original spin on it, and that’s what I think we did.”
Rhoads’ sister Kathy Rhoads Dargenzio says her brother would have loved the reimagining of the song.
“Janet Robin was one of Randy’s students back in the day,” she says. “To see and hear my brother’s influence is bittersweet. He would have loved this. Thanks, Janet and the band for keeping his flame burning bright… nailed it.”
Randy Rhoads was Inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2021 by Tom Morello.