Thursday, March 28, 2002
Former Ozzy, Mötley Crüe Drummer Dies of Cancer
By Barbara Chavez
Journal Staff Writer
Randy Castillo made a point of telling people he was living his dreams. After graduating from West Mesa High School in 1968, Castillo went on to become one of the most well-traveled drummers in the world of hard rock music. Castillo, who made his name as a drummer with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and Mötley Crüe, died Tuesday in Los Angeles after battling cancer for the past two years.

"I always believed in myself, that's for sure," Castillo said in an interview in 1999. "I knew I could cut it and something would come along. I play just as well in front of 10 as 100,000, which I did in Moscow with Ozzy. "One of Castillo's sisters, Christine Castillo, said Wednesday by telephone that her brother's life was special for many reasons. "A lot of people know he was a talented and gifted drummer," she said. "But he was also a painter. He had many talents and we all will have a great void in our lives."

Besides Christine, Castillo is survived by his mother, Margaret Castillo of Albuquerque, and sisters Phyllis Castillo, Marilyn Castillo Sanchez and Frances Horton. The family said there will be a private service for Castillo in Albuquerque, but no date has been confirmed. Arrangements were also being planned in California, where Castillo had lived the past several years.

After spending years in the local Albuquerque music scene since the age of 14, Castillo's career took off in 1980. He moved to Los Angeles with Albuquerque guitarist Tim Pierce, a renowned studio professional. On the recommendation of another former Albuquerque musician, singer/songwriter Michael Goodroe, Castillo toured with the pop band The Motels. Later, he recorded and toured with guitarist Lita Ford, which brought him to the attention of Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx. When Ozzy Osbourne was searching for a new drummer, Lee and Sixx recommended Castillo, who got the job. Castillo spent six years with Osbourne, recording six albums, including "The Ultimate Sin," "No More Tears" and the live "Just Say Ozzy."

In 1999, Castillo had begun working with the L.A.-based hard-rock band Black Sheep, when he was offered the chance to be the drummer with Mötley Crüe, replacing Tommy Lee, who had decided to pursue a solo project rather than tour. The past two years, however, Castillo suffered major health setbacks, first undergoing surgery for a stomach rupture and then being diagnosed with cancer.

"The past two years have been tough for Randy, but he always told us he got to do what he loved best, which was drumming," said Christine. She said Osbourne called her Wednesday and was emotional in offering his condolences to the Castillo family. "We all know how special their relationship was, and this is very hard for a lot of people in the music community," said Christine. "Randy was loved by all."

Copyright 2002 Albuquerque Journal