Rock drummers are a notorious breed. They are constantly the butt of many jokes, which many have come to deserve. But there are a few who sidestep the stereotype, playing on some of the greatest songs and albums in rock history, who deserve their well-earned level of respect. Fewer still deserve as much respect as Randy Castillo.
Born Randolpho Francisco Castillo on December 18, 1950 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Castillo first came to prominence when he performed on the Lita Ford album Dancinâ€™ On The Edge.
Castillo was best known as the drummer for Ozzy Osbourneâ€™s band from the mid-1980s to the early-1990s. He played on The Ultimate Sin in 1986, which was the final album to feature guitarist Jake E. Lee. He also played on the first two Ozzy albums which included Leeâ€™s successor, the young Zakk Wylde: No Rest For The Wicked and No More Tears, as well as the two live albums Just Say Ozzy (which also featured Ozzyâ€™s ex-Black Sabbath bandmate, bass player Geezer Butler) and Live and Loud.
He would later go on to replace Tommy Lee for the MÃ¶tley CrÃ¼e album New Tattoo. Sadly, in more ways than one, this would prove to be Castilloâ€™s final album recording.
It was during preparation for the New Tattoo tour that Castillo suffered a ruptured stomach ulcer and had to undergo emergency surgery. During this time of recuperation, Castillo developed a cancerous lump on his jaw. Despite going into remission for a short time the cancer returned.
Randy Castillo died nine years ago today on March 26, 2002 at aged 51.
When Tommy Lee left MÃ¶tley CrÃ¼e the band needed not only someone who could drum out of their skin, but also a big stage presence. Randy Castillo was the perfect fit. While New Tattoo may not be a favourite album among us MÃ¶tley CrÃ¼e fans, it still holds up as a decent, if unspectacular, album.
A lot of fuss was made of frighteningly talented young guitarist Zakk Wylde joining Ozzyâ€™s band. Castilloâ€™s faultless drumming provided the platform for Wylde to show off his axemanship. One of my favourite Ozzy albums is No More Tears, which, for me, showcases this point better than all. Castillo co-wrote most of the songs on that album, including the iconic â€œNo More Tears,â€ opening track â€œMr. Tinkertrainâ€ and â€œS.I.N.â€ proving that not only was Castillo a great drummer, but also an accomplished songwriter.