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Randy Castillo

(December 18th, 1950 - March 26th, 2002)

 

Birth Name: Randolph Frank Castillo
Born: December 18, 1950 - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Died: March 26, 2002 - Los Angeles, California
Cause Of Death: Cancer

Albums:
1980 The Offenders - The Offenders
1984 Lita Ford - Dancin' On The Edge
1986 Ozzy Osbourne - The Ultimate Sin
1988 Ozzy Osbourne - No Rest For The Wicked
1990 Ozzy Osbourne - Just Say Ozzy
1991 Ozzy Osbourne - No More Tears
1993 Ozzy Osbourne - Live & Loud
1994 Red Square Black - Red Square Black
1998 Bret Michaels - A Letter From Death Row
2000 Motley Crue - New Tattoo
2000 Motley Crue - The Best Of Motley Crue: The Millenium Collection
2005 Motley Crue - Red, White & Crue

Randy Castillo was born to a Spanish mother, Winifred, and Mexican/Native American father Quock. He was one of five children, and his sisters, Frances, Marilyn, Phyllis and Christine, all play music. His first band experience was playing trumpet in a band that his father was also a member of called Los Aguilas, which is Spanish for The Eagles. With his father on guitar, they performed Mariachi music at local weddings and parties, but he soon lost interest when he realized the kind of bands he liked didn't have trumpet players, and decided he wanted a drum kit instead, especially after seeing The Beatles play on the Ed Sullivan Show in early February 1964. However, his father refused to buy him one, thinking he would only lose interest, as he had already done with the trumpet.

After two years of pleading, Castillo received his first drum set at age 14, a small Ludwig kit with one hi-hat and one cymbal, and played it nonstop in their garage. “I’d just play ‘til my hands fell off. My parents would yell at me to stop because they couldn’t stand the noise any more! I was terrible! It must have been hard for them to listen to me as a beginning drummer," he said, still feeling highly sympathetic towards his parents. Randy was quick to note, “My parents really encouraged me.” Castillo was an ardent admirer of Keith Moon of The Who, AC/DC's Phil Rudd, and John Bonham from Led Zeppelin. However, his favorite drummer was Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones. “I dare anyone to play like Charlie Watts,” Castillo said during a 1984 interview.

He soon joined an R&B band called The Sheltons, one of the city's most popular bands, but he was kicked out after a few months when their old drummer Toby, who had quit before they asked Randy to play for them, rejoined. This devastated Randy but inspired him to take lessons at Luchetti's Music with Nick Luchetti, who at the time was said to be one of the best instructors in the city, if not the state, and owner of the shop where his drum kit was purchased. Randy later credited Luchetti with giving him the guidance to help him realize his rock dreams.

A year later, Randy played in his next band called Doc Rand and The Purple Blues with a black singer that could dance like James Brown. Wearing sparkly shirts and ties, they played a mixture of original tunes and covers, learning every track on James Brown's Live at the Apollo album. They soon beat The Sheltons in a "battle of the bands" competition at West Mesa High School, while James Brown and the Famous Flames is the first big concert that Randy saw. The Purple Blues recorded a 7" single called I Need A Woman.

While attending West Mesa High School, Randy regularly played until 1:30–2:00 A.M. with popular local band The Checkers, as his parents took turns sitting in the bars as chaperones and helping him to load his drum kit into their truck after the shows. This caused Randy to often fall asleep in class, but his desire to be a musician more than anything in life drove him to continue.

As a senior, Randy played in a symphonic band at the now-defunct University of Albuquerque and was named to the All-State symphonic band. He was recruited to attend school on scholarship, but after a year of school decided to leave to pursue muscianship full-time.

Aged 18, Randy played in a band called The Tabbs, who wore mustard coloured Nehru jackets on stage. On 18 June 1970, exactly three months before Jimi Hendrix died, he sneaked into one of Hendrix's concert and hid under the stage to get a closer look. After leaving The Tabbs, he then played with The Mudd and began experimenting heavily with drugs, including mescaline, peyote and heroin. The band's lead singer, Tommy G, died of kidney failure, which Randy blamed on Tommy's addiction to heroin. This caused him to shy away from using the drug again.

He joined his first rock band in the late '70s called The Wumblies (originally called Cottonmouth) and he moved to Espanola where they predominantly played covers of songs by Yes, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull at as many gigs as possible, including high school proms. He first experienced life on the road with The Wumblies as they toured around America, playing four 45 minute sets a night in clubs. Randy became an instant drumming icon in all cities toured. The band moved to Denver, Colorado where they fell apart in 1980; a year later, his father Frank died at age 51.

In 1980, Randy recorded an LP with a band called The Offenders. The band also featured Randy Rand of Autograph and Glenn Sherba of Badfinger.

Realising he had to move to Los Angeles if he wanted to make it big, he made the transition in 1981 with Albuquerque-bred guitarist Tim Pierce and they rented a run-down room together in Hollywood at the Montecito on Franklin Avenue. Having endured enough of the local hookers and transvestites, they moved out and Randy began living in his pickup truck. On the recommendation of another former Albuquerque musician, singer/songwriter Michael Goodroe, he joined pop band The Motels, whom Goodroe played bass for, when their drummer fell sick with a heart condition just as they were about to go on tour. Randy embarked on his first major arena tour with The Motels in support of The Cars.

In 1984, Randy was hired to play drums for Lita Ford and was featured on her Dancin' On The Edge album. Lita introduced Randy to her boyfriend, Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, and Nikki’s bandmate Tommy Lee. Shortly after the “Dancin’ on the Edge” tour, Tommy called Randy from a party he was at with Ozzy Osbourne and told him Ozzy was looking for a new drummer. Despite being unable to audition right away due to a broken leg he suffered while skiing, Randy was hired by Ozzy a couple months later and ended up staying with the Ozzy Osbourne band for ten years, recording five albums with Ozzy during that time. These were The Ultimate Sin (1986), No Rest for the Wicked (1988), an EP entitled Just Say Ozzy (1990), No More Tears (1991), and a double-disc live album, Live and Loud (1993).

After recording Ozzy's live album in 1993, he joined Red Square Black. Castillo also briefly returned to Osbourne's band in 1995 for a tour, and played drums on several tribute albums during this time. He played with Ronnie James Dio on a cover of Alice Cooper's "Welcome To My Nightmare" on the Alice Cooper tribute album Humanary Stew and performed all drumming duties on a star-studded Def Leppard tribute album titled Leppardmania. The album featured John Corabi (Angora, The Scream, Mötley Crüe), Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot), Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot), Joe Leste (Bang Tango), and Jani Lane (Warrant, solo artist), among others. Guitar and bass duties were handled by Jerry Dixon and Erik Turner of Warrant, and Tracii Guns of the L.A. Guns and the original Guns in Guns N' Roses.

In 1999, after Tommy Lee had left Mötley Crüe, Sharon Osbourne called Randy and told him about the job opening. Mötley Crüe gave him the job without an audition. He'd previously briefly played with Vince Neil as a touring drummer for the Vince Neil Band, and was an old friend of the band. His only recording with the band, 2000's New Tattoo, was somewhat of a return to the classic Mötley Crüe sound. However, fan reaction was mixed and the album was not as successful as the band was hoping it would be. Still, there was excitement over the upcoming tour due to the revival in interest of many '80s hard rock acts, and the band geared up for their "Maximum Rock" tour with thrash metal legends Anthrax and Megadeth.

A couple of weeks before Mötley Crüe was set to tour the “New Tattoo” album, Randy became ill while performing with his mariachi side project “Azul” at the Cat Club in Hollywood. Immediately after the show Randy took a cab to nearby Cedars Sinai Hospital where he collapsed as he was being admitted. The doctors discovered a duodenal ulcer that had ruptured his stomach and performed emergency surgery that saved Randy’s life. While taking time off from Mötley Crüe to recover from his surgery, Randy discovered a small lump on his jaw and a month later, after it had grown to roughly the size of a golf ball, he sought treatment and was diagnosed with Squamous cell Carcinoma, a common form of cancer that is not usually fatal if it is discovered early but can spread rapidly if left untreated. The cancer went into remission in mid-2001, and he was rumored to be rejoining Osbourne's solo band for that summer Ozzfest tour (along with Geezer Butler on bass), though these rumors were later revealed to be untrue. The sources of these rumors may have come as a result of his then-bassist and drummer, Robert Trujillo and Mike Bordin, respectively, playing on former Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell's Degradation Trip album. Though both were rumored to be leaving Osbourne's camp to play as part of Cantrell's live outfit, they both returned to Osbourne's solo group after recording. Another rumor had Bordin leaving to re-form Faith No More with the classic line-up that played on The Real Thing and Angel Dust, and Trujillo becoming a full-time member of Black Label Society, both of which also proved to be untrue.

Within a few months the cancer returned, and a few days after returning to the doctors, Randy Castillo succumbed to cancer on March 26, 2002. He was 51 years old. During the final weeks of his life, Castillo had been working with ex-Ozzy Osbourne and Alice in Chains bassist Mike Inez on a new band and was in the process of hiring a singer.

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