March 20, 1982, Leesburg, Fla. A small plane crashed into amansion here and burst into flames yesterday, killing the lead guitarist of the Ozzy Osbourne rock group and two other people, police said.
The crash killed guitarist Randall Rhoads, 25, the pilot of the Beechcraft Bonanza - Andrew Aycock, 36 - and Rachel Youngblood, 58, the group's makeup artist and hairdresser. The plane's pilot was also the group's bus driver.
Randy was 25 years old and at the beginning of an illustrious career when a freak accident ended his life. An unplanned airplane excursion ended in a crash into the Ozzy Osbourne tour bus bringing to a screeching halt the Diary of a Madman tour and the life of one of the most innovative guitarists of our time. Ozzy tried to explain what happened in a later interview, "I was sleeping on the bus. Don Airey saw it. At first I thought the bus driver had fallen asleep at the wheel, crashed into a truck and run off the road. The plane ripped the bus into a million pieces. All we've got are fragments. ... It was no prank. It was an accident and that's it. For God's sake, if I ever hear anybody say it was one of my practical jokes that went wrong, I'll strangle the bastard. It was an accident, a horrible accident. I was crazy after it happened. I never spoke, I never went out. ... He was a hero, a true legend. "
"He was a saint," Ozzy said, "He was an angel, and too good for this world. His death's always on my mind." Every year at the anniversary of his birth and death, fans from all over the world gather at his grave site to honor his passing. We will never forget him. His musical legacy lives on in the minds and music of his many fans.