He was born December 6, 1956 and he would have turned 56 years old today.

Instead, all we have is the brilliant guitar work he left behind in his short career with Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot.

He died in 1982 at age 25 in an airplane accident while the pilot was buzzing Ozzy's tour bus.

But it was his playing with Ozzy, in which he melded his classical chops with his heavy metal style, that put him in the category of legendary, and a major influence in neo-classical metal.

Rolling Stone Magazine lists Randy as #85 on their "100 Greatest Guitarist" list:

"In 1980, Ozzy Osbourne hired the diminutive, classically trained twenty-three-year-old Rhoads from Santa Monica, California, away from Quiet Riot. His screeching, arpeggiated solos on "Crazy Train" introduced the one true contemporaneous peer of Eddie Van Halen. Were it not for his 1982 demise in a plane crash, his already enormous influence on metal-guitar playing would have increased a hundredfold."

I so wonder where his playing would be now had he lived.