YOU ARE HERE: Burbank HomeCollectionsGuitar

Wine on the rocks

Rhoads and D'Argenzio families remember loved one, famed guitarist with special vintage.

August 18, 2010|By Joyce Rudolph,

Family and friends toasted guitar legend Randy Rhoads on Sunday during a release party for a Cabernet Sauvignon that bears his name.

Rhoads was the lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot before he was killed in a plane crash while on tour with Osbourne in 1982.

The D'Argenzio Winery created the 2005 vintage at the full production facility in Santa Rosa, and the wine is being exclusively sold there and at the family's tasting room in Burbank.

Kathy Rhoads D'Argenzio, who is married to Richard D'Argenzio, has been trying to come up with a way to honor her brother. Her husband's twin brother Raymond D'Argenzio runs the winery. Together the families decided to name a wine in Randy Rhoads' honor and release the vintage on his sister's birthday.

Guests strolled between the two tasting rooms pausing to watch family photos flash on a flat-screen TV while color posters of the guitarist playing in concert were displayed on the walls.


Friends remembered the kind and gentle musician who transformed into a different person once he set foot on the stage.

Jodi Raskin-Vigier, who was Randy Rhoads' fiancee, met him through Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot, she said. She remembed Rhoads as a warm and giving person and someone whom people gravitated to.

"He was extremely unique," she said. "Everything he did, he did to the fullest. He really lived. He had an unusual humor and let everybody in on it."

He was also humble, said former guitar student Frank Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz met Randy Rhoads at a mutual friend's home in Burbank, and he was in awe watching him play the guitar.

"It did take everything I had to ask him to give me lessons," Santa Cruz said. "I'd never heard anything like the music he was playing the day I met him. It was a blues jam — improvisation. His playing was so full and energetic. He totally controlled the room with his music and his playing."

Santa Cruz admitted he wasn't his best student.

"I wouldn't practice. I wouldn't use a pick and he would tell me 'Frank, you have no rhythm,'" Santa Cruz said. "I think I'd go to lessons just to hear him play."

Rhoads meant so much to their family that Frank and his wife, Meradith Santa Cruz, named one of their daughters after him — Randi-Lynn.

The wine dedication is a venture between the Rhoads and D'Argenzio families.

Richard and Ray D'Argenzio's parents came to Burbank in the mid-1940s and started a cabinet-building shop, which continues today in back of the wine-tasting room.

Burbank Leader Articles Burbank Leader Articles