Reading books written by musicians and listening to their music while doing so is very enjoyable to me. Rudy Sarzo’s “Off the Rails: Aboard the Crazy Train in the Blizzard of Ozz” gave me the opportunity to listen to Ozzy’s early 1980s catalogue in repeat while learning about the shenanigans of the early Ozzy tours from someone who has experienced it first hand. More importantly, the book is a tribute to the great late Randy Rhodes and mainly recounts Rudy’s memories about playing bass in the Ozzy Osbourne band with Randy on guitar.
The book was written in 2006 and published on August 1, 2008, more than 20 years after the tragic accident that cost Randy Rhodes his life. Nevertheless, it catapulted me back to the early 80s and made me live the moments through Rudy’s eyes. He was able to capture every moment and recount it with emotional intensity. The dynamic of the story is another feature that makes the book enjoyable; it rides a sinus-wave that builds up the tension and releases it before reaching another peak moment.
“Off the Rails” is a great book I can recommend to anyone who wants to know what a rock musician’s life on the road could look like, but especially to anyone who wants to spend some time as a virtual guest on Ozzy’s crazy train with one of the most legendary rock bands in history.
What others had to say about Off the Rails: Aboard the Crazy Train in the Blizzard of Ozz:
“Written as a heartfelt tribute to his dear friend Randy Rhoads rather than a dirt-dishing tell-all of Ozzy Osbourne excess, Rudy Sarzo’s “Off the Rails,” takes a while to build up steam. Fortunately, Rhoads was such a charismatic soul that any insight at all is still treasured like magical dust.” – Metal Dave
“Sarzo eventually chronicled his experiences on the road with Ozzy and Randy in a book called ‘Off the Rails’ released in 2006, which is essential reading for anyone who would like a real fly-on-the-wall perspective of what it was like to be on the road with the band during that period.” – Matt Wardlaw
“[The book] is mostly about Sarzo’s recollection as a member of Ozzy’s touring band in 1981 and 1982. His account of life on the road was aided by a journal he kept during that time. Sarzo’s attention to detail enables the reader to virtually tour with the band and experience life on and off the stage.” – Joel Hammerman