Rudy Sarzo and Kevin DuBrow's musical relationship stretched across four decades in Quiet Riot.
Rudy Sarzo and Kevin DuBrow's musical relationship stretched across four decades in Quiet Riot. With the news of DuBrow's passing still only a few days old, Sarzo offered some insight into the singer who many consider responsible for setting off the '80s pop metal movement.
Sarzo and DuBrow first met in the '70s, and played together with late guitarist Randy Rhoads in an early version of Quiet Riot. "He started as a photographer. He had a massive mid-'70's rock'n'roll photo collection," Sarzo tells Billboard.com. "He started out by taking a lot of pictures of people like Humble Pie."
But it will undoubtedly be DuBrow's work with Quiet Riot, namely their chart-topping 1983 U.S. debut, "Metal Health," for which the singer will be best remembered. In fact, the album's success awarded DuBrow an opportunity to meet his hero.
"He was a huge Steve Marriott fan. If there was anybody that Kevin would say 'I try to sing like,' it would be Steve Marriott," Sarzo says. "As a matter of fact, one of the highlights for him, back in 1983 I believe, we did a show in El Paso, Texas. The promoter said, 'Who do you want to be on the bill with you guys?' And he requested Humble Pie. So we got Humble Pie on the bill, and Steve Marriott jammed with us. It was a dream come true for Kevin. There was a party after the show; Steve Marriott actually had an even louder, bigger personality than Kevin."
Even after Sarzo and Rhoads left Quiet Riot and joined Ozzy Osbourne's band, their friendship with DuBrow continued. "When I joined Ozzy Osbourne, I was still living with Kevin. Every time Randy and I would get off the road from an Ozzy tour, we got off the airplane and went straight to Kevin's, and just hang out with him," he says.
Despite some turbulence in their friendship, Sarzo remembers the singer fondly. "Kevin always enjoyed life -- he enjoyed partying and everything that rock'n'roll brought," he says. "He had the scream that kicked open the door for the generation of early '80s metal. I've been getting a lot of condolences, and everybody has one thing in common - the influence of that 'Metal Health' record. [It] just inspired a whole generation. He was a true rock'n'roll fan."