Randy Rhoads. The first guitarist of Ozzy Osbourne band. Passed away in 1982. Revisiting the grave after 30 years and thinking the changes in the “exploration” process.
Randy Rhoads. One of the three major guitarists in Los Angeles club music scene from the late 1970s to the early 1980s, along with Eddie Van Halen and George Lynch. Quiet Riot’s first guitarist, or more simply, the first guitarist of Ozzy Osbourne band after Ozzy has started after Black Sabbath. He died in a plane crash on March 19, 1982.
Deceased person tend to be seen as heroes. However Ozzy Osbourne’s first two albums, “Blizzard of Ozz” and “Diary of a Mad Man”, I think you understand that his guitar play leaves a lasting impression on your ears. I first heard of Ozzy Osbourne through “Jake E Lee”, who replaced Randy Rhoads, and found out about Randy Rhoads. I cannot deny the fact that he influenced many musicians.
Now, I would like to describe about the location of Randy Rhoads’ grave. The first time I visited was in 1988. It hae been about 5 years since he passed away. There was no Internet at that time, so it was difficult to gather information.
First, to find out the location of the grave, I called the “Burn editorial department” of a heavy metal magazine in Japan and asked if they knew where it is. The person who answered the phone asked me to hold on for a moment. He hung up the phone and checked it with other person. The information he gave at that time was “San Bernardino”. The person on the phone continued, “Well, I do not know the name of the cemetery.” So, I decided to head to San Bernardino anyway.
San Bernardino is where big music festival called “US Festival” held in 1982 and 1983. The band “Quiet Riot” founded by Randy Rhoads, participated in Heavy Metal Day on May 29, 1983. Quiet Riot made a big after he died in a plane crash (The album “Metal Health” reached No.1 on the Billboard charts in the U.S. on March 11 1983, a first in the heavy metal genre).
San Bernardino is a city located approx. 100 km west of Los Angeles. In 1988, I was wandering the United States and arrived in this city on a Greyhound bus from Los Angeles. There was a place that looked like a tourist information center near the bus terminal. When I asked the staff the grave location, she bluntly told “I have no idea”, so I stayed at a motel near the bus stop.
I asked the people at the motel and went to the nearest cemetery, wandered around for an hour, but could not find it. Afterwards, I looked up cemeteries in the motel’s telephone directory and found 7 places. When I looked at the map, I found 2 places. The next day, I called one of the cemeteries I had identified on the map and asked if they had Randy Rhoads’ grave there. She told me the name of another cemetery, and I walked an hour from my motel to find that cemetery.
The name of the cemetery is “Mountain View Mortuary & Cemetery”. So, after wandering around the vast site for about an hour, I could not find the tombstone I was looking for. I could not find a place that looked like an office, so I called from a public phone. Person on the other end told me that the office was on the other side. Person asked me “please come to the office anyway”. Following the instructions, I went to a building that looked like an office. Female attendant put me in her car, drove around the site, and stopped in front of a certain building. She let me into a locked building.
Inside the building, there were rows of tombstone shaped like lockers, and the woman in charge said, “Over there”, so I looked up. Because it was dark inside the building and the tombstone was located in the upper part of the building, it was difficult to read the inscriptions on the tombstone.
Female attendant asked me, “Do you have any flowers or anything?” However, I was so careless that I did not bring anything. According to the woman, two women came from Japan two weeks ago and brought a bouquet of flowers. Perhaps she thought that Japanese people are polite and would bring something. By the way, she told me that the body would be kept in the same state as it was.
In 2018, I had the opportunity to return to Los Angeles from Palm Springs and revisited Randy Rhoads’ grave. Nowadays, information is available by searching the internet, so just enter the name of the grave into car navigation system and it took me there. The grave was immediately on the left as I entered the front gate of the cemetery grounds. It was not inside the building that I saw on my first visit. It was in an easy-to-understand location outside. The tombstone is two-tiered, with his mother’s tombstone at the top. Perhaps Randy Rhoads’ tombstone, which was in the building, was taken out when his mother died.
There was a building that I thought I had visited long time ago, but it was locked and I could not go inside. By the way, when I left the tombstone, another couple drove by and were praying. People who knew Randy Rhoads from those days still come.
Even so, the evolution of the times is frightening. I am surprised at how different the process was between my visit in 1988 and in 2018 (exactly 30 years). Back in 1988, the process of finding a place includes walking around and asking many people about the place. There must have some sort of obsession there. In other words, there was a lot of passion.
With advances in technology, this amount of passiopn is no longer necessary. In other words, the evolution of technology may reduce the intensity of the acts of “Searching and Exploring”. As a result, it may become less engraved in people’s memories.
Visit in 1988 and 2018.
■ Name : Randy Rhoads’ Grave
■ Address : 570 E Highland Ave, San Bernardino, CA , USA (Mountain View Mortuary & Cemetery)
https://www.dignitymemorial.com/funeral-homes/california/san-bernardino/mt-view-mortuary-cemetery/4227?utm_source=google_my_business&utm_medium=organic (Mountain View Mortuary & Cemetery)
80 miles west of Los Angeles International Airport, approximately 1.5 hours. You can either head west on Interstate 10 or Route 210, which is just north of Interstate 10. Interstate 10 near the center of Los Angeles is often congested, so it is a good idea to go to Route 210. I think Route 210 is a better option, especially if you are not used to America’s congested highways.
(described on Dec 24 2023)