Wednesday, February 06, 2008

metal mettle

While looking online to see which Super Tuesday candidates were endorsed by our local newspapers, I was distracted by the front page of the Metro Pulse. The cover story is about guitarist Randy Rhoads, who is one of three famous musicians who died shortly after being in Knoxville. The other two are Hank Williams and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

I was not familiar with Randy's music while he was alive. In fact, it wasn't all that long ago that I first heard of him. I was invited to a year-end presentation of video projects by the students in a media class at Providence High School in Burbank. One of the upperclassmen appeared in a documentary about his late uncle, Randy Rhoads. I recognized Randy's sister Kathy in the film. My wife and I knew her as one of the other room mothers at St. Finbar School.

Kathy's husband Richard is a talented cabinetmaker. He made a gorgeous wooden ambo for St. Finbar Church as well as other altar furniture. When I looked online, I discovered that he is now in the wine business too. Kathy and Richard's daughter Jenna was a classmate of our son for seven years until we moved to Knoxville. Jenna turned up in some red carpet photos as the date of a young actor named Daniel Hansen.

My wife took an extra copy of the paper from the stack on the bar at Patrick Sullivan's last night after my Einstein Simplified show. Now we need to find an old parish directory with Kathy's address in order to mail her a copy of the Metro Pulse. As she read the article, my wife saw that Randy's last name was misspelled on the plaque when he was inducted to the Hollywood RockWalk in 2004. Kathy and her mom are in the photos from the ceremony. They eventually fixed the plaque.

Knoxville has a statue honoring Rachmaninoff and an annual festival for Hank. Perhaps it's time to think of a way to commemorate Randy here too. And spell his name correctly.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I concur. Rhoads is a legend, and should be remembered as such.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ozzy Osbourne continues to this day to be a major force in the rock world. Randy Rhoads was the booster rocket that got him there.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to see this happen. Randy is one of the all-time greats to ever play guitar and its about time that he got his recognition.

Anonymous Lisa Burks said...

Hi Frank! Thanks for flagging me on this post. If you haven't found Kathy's address, you can probably reach her via Musonia School of Music, 12111 Tiara St., North Hollywood 91607.


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