October 22, 2009

The Randy Rhoads Flying V Guitar - Left Hand Model

Randy Rhoads was a young American guitarist who rose to fame after becoming the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne  at the very beginning of Ozzy’s solo career. This was 1979. Randy Rhoads and Ozzy Osbourne along with Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake formed the band that was to put Ozzy firmly on the map again as a performer in his own right, following his departure from the hugely successful Black Sabbath.

Randy Rhoads was a classical guitar teacher. In collaboration with Bob Daisley, he and Bob composed some of the greatest music of Ozzy’s career many songs of which Ozzy still plays today in his live set.

Randy Rhoades Flying V Guitar Ozzy and Randy Rhoades
Randy Rhoads is also famous for the “Randy Rhoads V” guitar, a guitar Randy designed and had built by Charvel back in 1981 and 1982. The CEO of Charvel at that time, Grover Jackson, went on to produce Randy’s guitar under the brand name Jackson (apparently the reason for choosing the Jackson branding was that Grover had thought that the Randy Rhoads model might be too radical and didn’t want to risk branding it as a Charvel.)
The Randy Rhoads V guitar was the guitar that put Jackson fully on the map. It was Jackson’s first production model. Prior to this time Charvel was a parts supplier for a few retail musical instrument shops, and they made the odd guitar here and there.
Tragically Randy’s career ended on a fateful day in 1982 when the plane he was a passenger in crashed, killing all on board. Further, he never actually saw the final production model of his design, what would come to be known as the “Randy Rhoads V” by Jackson Guitars.

Charvel and Jackson guitars were built in the same factory until 1986 and then the company was sold to Japanese manufacturer AMIC in 1989. Charvel’s ended up being exclusively made in Japan until 1991 while Jacksons continued to be made in California Although the Charvel name had faded away by the end of the century, Jackson/Charvel would see new light when it was purchased by Fender Music Corporation in 2002.

Today, the Randy Rhoads V is still produced by Jackson Guitars, but now that Jackson is part of Fender, all Jacksons are manufactured in the Fender plant in Corona, Ca and Jackson is of course, now subject to the company directions of the parent company, Fender Musical Instruments. It appears from spending some time on the new Charvel website, that Grover is indeed alive and well and lending his wisdom and hand to the revival of Charvel guitars and in a video clip credits Fender for aiding in these new directions.
The Randy Rhoads V guitar available from Jackson comes in various colors and schemes and there are models which are variations of the original. Some of these variants were brought about by later artists who have released their own signature variations of the Randy Rhoads V. One thing though... the left handed option of the Randy Rhoads V is very, very limited. A few colors, and that is it. One model only. Jackson’s budget range of guitars (made in Asia) don’t even allow for one left handed Randy Rhoads V.

Off the Rails: Aboard the Crazy Train in the Blizzard of Ozz

A really great book on Ozzy, Randy and the band at that time period. written by Rudy Sarzo a long time friend of Randy Rhoads, from the days of playing in Quiet Riot, to recording and touring with Ozzy Osborne.

This is an official biography of Randy, Ozzy and at a historical time period, known as The Blizzard of Ozz.
At Gaskell Guitars (http://www.gaskellguitars.com) , located in Sydney Australia, we make only left handed guitars. We make a Randy Rhoads V model as a production model. We offer all colors through our custom options AT NO EXTRA COST. Our stock, production model comes in black and the original Randy Rhoads White and Gold scheme. We only cater for the left handed guitarist. We are trying to prevent the left hand guitarist from “always getting the short end of the stick.” Check us out. In many cases, what we offer make dreams come true!


  1. Thanks for the link to "Off the Rails" amazing book, still reading it. Rudy really gives great detail and accounts of Ozzy, Sharon, and his best freind Randy Rhoads. If you want to know about a great guitarist buy this book. Also you get the scoop on Ozzy at his wildest and craziest point in his life.

  2. That Gaskell left handed Randy Rhoads guitar is really good. In the USA it is less than $700! Imported from Australia.