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Off the Rails: Aboard the Crazy Train in the Blizzard of Ozz Paperback – September 4, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 230 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Prolific Rock bassist Rudy Sarzo has written a first-hand account of extreme life on the road for a Rock musician. In his rags-to-riches tale he includes stories of tour mischief, Rock 'n Roll excess, and he gives a much-needed account of one of Rock's greatest guitarists - Randy Rhoads. For anyone interested in the Ozzy Osbourne experience, Rudy's book is the perfect addition to your bookshelf. --T.R. Mills

About the Author

Rudy Sarzo has been a professional recording and performing bass player worldwide for over 25 years. As a member of Ozzy Osbourne's band, Rudy toured the world in support of the Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman records. He can be heard on Ozzy s multi-million selling albums Tribute and Speak of the Devil, with the latter available on both CD and DVD. As a member of Quiet Riot, Rudy recorded the multi-platinum albums Metal Health, the first Heavy Metal debut to reach #1 on the Billboard charts, and & Condition Critical. Rudy headlines worldwide tours, appeared on numerous MTV music videos and was voted the #1 Bassist in Circus Magazine. Rudy also appeared on VH1's Quiet Riot - Behind the Music. Quiet Riot Live in The 21st Century was released on DVD shortly after the group disbanded. With Whitesnake, Rudy performed on the multi-platinum album Slip of the Tongue while touring worldwide in support of the multiplatinum 1987 and Slip of the Tongue albums. During this time, he appeared in 6 MTV music videos. In February of 2004, Rudy joined Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force for the U.S. 30-city Attack Tour and also became a member of the multi-platinum Heavy Metal group DIO with whom he has been touring worldwide since. When not touring with DIO, Rudy plays with Blue Öyster Cult. Rudy s recordings with these artists have sold over 30 million copies.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: TOO SMART! Publishing; Collectors Edition edition (September 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097969289X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979692895
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #592,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sheryl A. Sussman on November 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Many thanks to Rudy for writing this book. We FINALLY have a more difinitive account of the Randy Rhoads era from someone who was actually there. I also enjoyed the insight that Rudy gives us into his own experiences, as well as what it was like around the Osbournes. The book is an easy read. I would have read it in one night if I'd had enough time! This is a must have for all Randy Rhoads fans. I also recommend it for anyone interested in getting a glimpse into the world of rock and roll.
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Format: Paperback
I started reading this book the moment it came in the mail and could not put it down. It was an incredible book!! Rudy real brought to life what it is like to be on the road for the reader. There were parts of the book where I was laughing and parts where I was crying and Rudy shared the loss of a wonderful friend. Rudy is truly a talented writer.
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Long before Ozzy Osbourne became a household name as a reality TV star, he had the daunting task of reviving his singing career as a solo artist. After getting the boot from Black Sabbath, Ozzy formed his own band. Most of its early success rode on the diminutive shoulders of former Quiet Riot guitarist, Randy Rhoads. Rhoads ability to play chunky tight rhythms and transition seamlessly into blazing out of this world solos defined the bands early sound, charting a new course in heavy metal.

After recording Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madman, Rhoads tapped his former Quiet Riot band mate, Cuban born bassist Rudy Sarzo. Sarzo laid down the bottom end in the touring band along with veteran rock drummer Tommy Aldridge. This is where our story begins as Sarzo chronicles his days touring with Ozzy, Randy and Tommy during the early eighties.

`Off the Rails' stands as Sarzo's tribute to Rhoads; one of the true good guys of rock. Sarzo provides crystal clear insight into Rhoads dedication as a musician. Not content with having "made the big time", Randy continued to practice and learn classical guitar, scheduling lessons at nearly every stop on the tour. Often the star-struck instructors would ask Randy to teach them his legendary riffs and solos. Randy, coming from a teaching background himself, (his mom owns a music school) often obliged and still paid for the lessons. With the exception of cigarettes and social drinking, Rhoads was the rare breed of rocker that led a fairly clean lifestyle.
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We should all have as good a friend as Rudy Sarzo. Talk about a memorial with heart. In writing about how great his friend and band mate, Randy Rhoads, was; Rudy's own greatness is revealed. I cannot recall the last time I've been so touched by a eulogy. As anyone who knows me, knows I'm a guitar freak. A metal head. Nothing makes my heart beat harder than the wail of a guitar and those who make the six strings obey and bend to their command. Rhoads was one of the very best. Ever. And it still kills me that he tragically died in an airplane crash at 26. Rudy is no slouch, himself, as a bassist. I like the fact that his love and admiration for Randy shows through on every page. I like that he didn't trash the Osbourne's. I like that he wears his heart on his sleeve, that he's humble, that he's cool enough to express his gratitude to God without sounding like a phony. This is a testimony from a great man and musician about another great man and musician for a brief and shining moment in the annals of eternity. And how blessed we all were to hear Randy Rhoads play guitar for a few years.
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Format: Paperback
WOW. There are so many answered questions in this book, not only for fans of Randy Rhoads, but for anyone who is curious about the establishing years of Ozzy Osbourne as a solo artist. Rudy takes you from the excitement of auditioning for a major recording act (band), right on to the stage and a cross-continent tour during support of Ozzy's first two solo works - Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madman. These were the formative years of a new high-energy rock that would eventually come to be known as heavy metal. Rudy shares the highs and lows, the funny times and the tragic times- and does so in a very genuine way that makes you feel like you were right there alongside them- as a member of the band. Probably most revealing for many will be Rudy's personal account of his experience on the day Randy Rhoads died in the plane crash.

Much praise and thanks to Rudy for bringing this book to light, even amidst intimidation from certain powers-that-be that were skeptical of Rudy's intent. Rudy tells a believeable, heart-felt and sincere story. One I believe to be truthful and perhaps somewhat of a weight lifted off his shoulders in answering the question so many have approached him with over the years... "What was it like to play with Randy Rhoads?"

Rudy did a good job on this book. In all fairness, there are a few grammar and typo opportunities to improve upon for the next revision, but none the reader will find too distracting in completing this fascinating story. Rudy's book has allowed Randy to live again, a treasure for those who never knew him. But for those of us fortunate enough to have seen Randy play in person, Rudy helps validate something we've always felt to be true, that Randy Rhoads was one of the "good guys:" a talented, funny, caring, passionate person and a great friend. 5 stars for Rudy.
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