Rudy Sarzo

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Rudy Sarzo
Sarzo in 2012
Sarzo in 2012
Background information
Birth nameRodolfo Maximiliano Sarzo Lavieille Grande Ruiz Payret y Chaumont
Born (1950-11-18) November 18, 1950 (age 71)
Havana, Cuba
OriginFlorida, U.S.
GenresHard rock, heavy metal
Years active1975–present

Rodolfo Maximiliano Sarzo Lavieille Grande Ruiz Payret y Chaumont[1] (born November 18, 1950) is a Cuban American hard rock/heavy metal bassist. He remains best known for his work with Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne, and Whitesnake, and has also played with several well known heavy metal and hard rock acts including Manic Eden, Dio, Blue Öyster Cult, Geoff Tate's Queensrÿche, Devil City Angels, and The Guess Who.[2] He rejoined Quiet Riot in 2021, but has agreed to finish tour with The Guess Who until a replacement can be found.

Early life[edit]

Sarzo was born in Havana on November 18, 1950. He emigrated to the United States in 1961 and was raised in Florida. His brother, Robert, is also a musician.[citation needed]

Music career[edit]

Quiet Riot[edit]

Upon arriving in Los Angeles in August 1977, Sarzo happened upon a Quiet Riot show at the Starwood after being turned away from a sold-out Van Halen show at the nearby Whisky a Go Go. He recalled the show being "quite ambitious for a club band", and after the show he bumped into vocalist Kevin DuBrow and the two formed a friendship. Struggling financially, Sarzo moved to New Jersey in the fall of 1977 to join his brother Robert in a Top-40 band called A New Taste. While in New Jersey in the summer of 1978, Sarzo received a phone call from DuBrow asking him if he'd like to fly to Los Angeles and audition for Quiet Riot. He landed in LA the next day, rehearsed with the band and was offered the job, which he accepted.[3] Though he is pictured on the cover of the band's 1978 album Quiet Riot II, the bass parts were actually played by Kelly Garni, the man Sarzo replaced.[citation needed]

Shortly after joining Quiet Riot, Sarzo began teaching bass guitar at Musonia music school at the request of bandmate Randy Rhoads. The pair became disillusioned by Quiet Riot's inability to land an American recording contract (their albums had been released in Japan only at that point), and Rhoads soon left the band after accepting an offer to form a new band with ex-Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. Quiet Riot played a farewell show at the Starwood on October 2, 1979, after which Rhoads left for England to write songs with Osbourne. With Quiet Riot officially disbanded, Sarzo joined a band called Private Army with drummer and longtime friend Frankie Banali.[3]

Ozzy Osbourne[edit]

From March 1981 to September 1982, Sarzo rose to fame as the bassist of Osbourne's band, having been recruited on Rhoads' recommendation. His playing can be heard on Osbourne's Speak of the Devil and Tribute live albums. The liner notes of Osbourne's 1981 studio album Diary of a Madman list Sarzo as the bassist, though Bob Daisley actually played bass on the recordings.[4]

Following Rhoads' death in a plane crash in 1982, Sarzo became disillusioned with Osbourne's heavy drinking and began questioning his future in the band without Rhoads. While still a member of Osbourne's band, Sarzo had been helping his former band Quiet Riot by recording the Randy Rhoads' tribute song "Thunderbird" for their upcoming Metal Health album as a means of coping with his grief. In stark contrast to the chaos surrounding everyday life on the road with the hard-drinking Osbourne, the experience was so positive that Sarzo ended up recording most of the Metal Health album with his former band and he made the decision to officially rejoin Quiet Riot once the Diary of a Madman tour had concluded.

Rejoining Quiet Riot[edit]

Released in March 1983, Metal Health would go on to become a multi-platinum international hit, kickstarting an era of wild commercial popularity for heavy metal in the 1980s. After Sarzo had left Osbourne's band, a serious rift developed between the two, primarily the result of Quiet Riot vocalist Kevin DuBrow's persistent criticism of Osbourne in the heavy metal press. Months later when Osbourne and Quiet Riot found themselves on the same bill at the 1983 US Festival, Osbourne flew into a drunken rage upon seeing Sarzo, punching him in the face before being hauled away by security. Sarzo later reconciled with the Osbourne camp after leaving Quiet Riot in 1985.[3]

Sarzo was a member of Quiet Riot during the peak of the band's success, and he appeared in numerous MTV videos and was voted 1983's Top Bassist by the readers of Circus magazine.[5] Sarzo remained with Quiet Riot from September 1982 to January 1985, when friction caused by vocalist DuBrow's constant slagging of rival bands in the press convinced him to leave the band.

Post-Quiet Riot[edit]

Sarzo in 2009

After leaving Quiet Riot, Sarzo formed M.A.R.S. with former Ozzy Osbourne bandmate Tommy Aldridge, with whom Sarzo maintained a close friendship. From April 1987 to September 1994, both Sarzo and Aldridge were members of Whitesnake before lead singer David Coverdale put the band on indefinite hiatus.

In the early 1990s, Sarzo decided to put together his own band, Sun King, recruiting vocalist Keith St. John (later to join Medicine Wheel, Burning Rain and Montrose) and future Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie guitarist, John Lowery. Even though signed to Giant Records, the band was eventually dropped without releasing an album and Sarzo abandoned the project. In 1992, Sarzo had an uncredited role as a bass player for the fictional band Exorcist on the Tales from the Crypt episode "On A Deadman's Chest".

Sarzo would rejoin Quiet Riot on multiple occasions, and recorded albums with them in 1999 and 2001. In February 2004, Sarzo joined Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force for the U.S. 30 city "Attack Tour". He then joined Dio later in 2004.

In 2007, Sarzo joined Blue Öyster Cult, replacing Richie Castellano as the band's bassist who became the band's guitarist/keyboard player, initially as a guest musician before officially taking the role.[6] He remained with Blue Öyster Cult until 2012.[7] He also serves as a counselor for Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp.

On September 1, 2012, Sarzo was announced to be part of a lineup with Geoff Tate,[8] who was expelled from Queensrÿche on June 5, 2012.[9] Other members of Tate's band include guitarist Kelly Gray, drummer Simon Wright, and keyboardist Randy Gane.[8]

Since January 25, 2013, Sarzo's brother, Robert, joined the band, replacing Glen Drover, who left two months earlier. This is the first time the Sarzo brothers have played together in a national act.[10][11] The band embarked on an "Operation: Mindcrime Anniversary Tour" on April 6, 2013, celebrating the album's 25th anniversary.[12]

Sarzo is also a member of a super group called Project Rock featuring members of Judas Priest, Guns N' Roses, Alice Cooper, AC/DC, Scorpions and more.

On January 18, 2017, Rudy was inducted into the Hall of Heavy Metal History for being at the forefront of Heavy Metal Bass.[13]

From 2016–2021, Rudy was a member of the Canadian rock band The Guess Who, playing on their latest album The Future IS What It Used To Be.

Return to Quiet Riot[edit]

On August 2, 2021, Rudy announced on the Eddie Trunk show Trunk Nation on SiriusXM that he will be "going home" by rejoining Quiet Riot.

Other ventures[edit]

In 2006, Sarzo wrote a book titled Off the Rails, a biographical account of his time in Ozzy Osbourne's band in the early 1980s. It centers mainly on his memories of the influential young guitarist Randy Rhoads, a close friend who died in a 1982 plane crash during the Diary of a Madman American tour.

Sarzo is also an avid computer digital animator. When not touring or recording, he is a 3D technical director and co-executive producer at Ocean Visual FX in Southern California. Sarzo has demonstrated computer animation software at major tradeshows, such as demonstrating Acid, Sony Vegas and DVD Architect software at the Sony Pictures booth during the 2004 Winter NAMM Show. He released the Acid for Non Linear Editors training DVD, directed by Douglas Spotted Eagle, for the VASST training series, and created the "Working Man's Bass" loop library exclusively for Sony Pictures' Acid Software. He created the concert 3D animated opening for the video wall used during a European tour by Dio.


With Quiet Riot[edit]

With Ozzy Osbourne[edit]

With M.A.R.S. (MacAlpine/Aldridge/Rock/Sarzo)[edit]

With Whitesnake[edit]

With Manic Eden[edit]

With Michael Angelo Batio[edit]

With Dio[edit]

With Bassinvaders[edit]

With Tim "Ripper" Owens[edit]

With Animetal USA[edit]

With Queensrÿche featuring Geoff Tate[edit]

With D-Metal Stars[edit]

with Adrian Raso[edit]

  • Frozen In Time (2017)

with The Guess Who[edit]

  • The Future Is What It Used To Be (2018)

Charity collaborations[edit]


  1. ^ Sarzo, R. Off the Rails, 2nd edition (Charleston, Booksurge, LLC, 2006, pp. 86)
  2. ^ "Band".
  3. ^ a b c Sarzo, Rudy (2017). Off the Rails (third edition). CreateSpace Publishing. ISBN 1-53743-746-1
  4. ^ Diary of a Madman (album)
  5. ^ /index.cfm Sarzo profile on website of successful audio equipment manufacturer Peavey
  6. ^ Richie Castellanos (August 16, 2009). "Richie Castellano Official Website: Bio". New York, NY: Extra Ordinary Productions. Retrieved July 5, 2010. {{cite web}}: External link in |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ "Blue Oyster Cult Bassist Rudy Sarzo Announces Departure".
  8. ^ a b "Queensrÿche celebrate "Operation: Mindcrime" anniversary". SoundSpike. November 28, 2012. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014.
  9. ^ "Declaration of Geoff Tate in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction" (PDF). Court declaration. June 9, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 22, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012. (Exhibit E.)
  10. ^ "Geoff Tate's Queensryche Signs With Cleopatra Records; Announces New Lineup". Vintage Vinyl News. January 25, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  11. ^ Glen Drover Quits Geoff Tate's Queensrÿche. Retrieved on November 26, 2012.
  12. ^ Geoff Tate: Heading to the Future with a New Queensrÿche. Retrieved on November 26, 2012.
  13. ^ "Scorpions Among Nominees for Hall of Heavy Metal History". Rolling Stone. December 22, 2016.
  14. ^

External links[edit]