By 1979, Ozzy had been fired from Black Sabbath twice in as many years and he was spiraling into a drug-exasperated depression.
His manager and future wife Sharon Arden began arranging auditions to find Ozzy a new band. In particular, they needed to find someone who could inspire the singer to make music again.
Ozzy has told the story many times. He was high on God knows what the first time he saw Rhoads play the guitar — he couldn't believe his eyes.
"I knew instinctively that he was just something extra-special. It was like a gift from God," Ozzy says in the upcoming A&E documentary, Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne. "...One thing he gave to me was hope. He gave me a reason for carrying on. He had patience with me ... and he was very good to work with. He'd pull the best out of you. We had a lot of fun."
Sharon echoed her husband's statement.
After being fired from Black Sabbath, Ozzy's reputation inside the music industry was in shambles; people were afraid to invest in a notorious addict — especially one who was also deeply depressed. Rhoads' influence on Ozzy was immense — it gave him direction and getting him on the path to redemption.
"As soon as he found Randy, it was like night and day," Sharon recalled. "He was alive again."
You can watch the clip in the video player above.
The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne will air on A&E on September 7 at 9 p.m. Eastern.
Rhoads is responsible for composing the music on Ozzy's first two solo albums, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, including classics like "Crazy Train," "Mr. Crowley," "I Don't Know," "Over the Mountain," "Flying High Again" and many others.
The guitarist tragically died at age 25 in a plane crash while on tour with Ozzy in 1982.
While Rhoads was succeeded in Ozzy's band by many all-time great metal guitarists, Ozzy asserts that he's never worked with anyone as great as Rhoads.
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