Remembering the Legendary Drummer of Ozzy Osbourne

When Randy Castillo succumbed to his cancer and passed away in 2002, the world lost a great talent. He had spent a considerable amount of time being a drummer in Ozzy Osbourne’s band. Castillo was also a member of the band, Motley Crue, for some time. He was born on the 8th of December 1950 in Albuquerque. He was interested in music from an early age. 

He was heavily inspired by the performance of The Beetles on the Ed Sullivan Show in the 1960s. After watching this show he began taking keen interest in playing drums. Castillo had played drums for many bands by his late teens. He recorded his first LP in 1980, when he was a member of a short-lived group called ‘Offenders’.

Association with Ozzy Osbourne

In 1981, he moved to Los Angeles to make it big in the world of rock. He shared his room with Tim Pierce, the future Rick Springfield guitarist, while he was in the city. During this time, he performed with several short-lived bands. When he had made a name for himself, he was hired by Lita Ford to play drums in 1984. At the time, she was working on her LP called Dancin’ on the Edge. 

Owing to this association, he was introduced to Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee. They were the members of the band, Motley Crue, and were also the friends of Ozzy Osbourne. Upon learning that Osbourne was looking for a new drummer, they recommended Castillo. Thus began a long-term association between the two, which lasted for nearly a decade.

With Osborne, his first appearance was on the LP known as The Ultimate Sin. He stuck around with Osbourne’s band for a while and even participated in their concerts. After moving out of his association with Osbourne, Castillo did a handful of projects for some time. He drummed for several tribute LPs issued by the label, Cleopatra. Castillo even returned to Osbourne’s band for a brief period in 1995. 

Worsening of Health

Four years later, he was chosen by the Motley Crue band to join their lineup for recording their eighth LP, New Tattoo. It was quite unfortunate that Castillo began experiencing pain after a show. He didn’t have much time to enjoy this new association.

When he was admitted to the hospital, the doctors discovered that he was suffering from a serious ulcer. His doctor told him that the cause of the ulcer was a contagious bacteria called h-pylori. Samantha Maloney was brought in by Motley Crue to fill in for Castillo as they embarked on their tour. While recuperating at the hospital following his ulcer surgery, Castillo’s health worsened. 


He initially ignored a small lump under his jaw but sought medical help again when it got bigger. He was stunned when told by the doctors that he was going to receive a cancer diagnosis. The lump was removed after surgery and he started getting radiation and chemotherapy.

The medical term for Castillo’s condition is Squamous Cell Carcinoma. If it is detected on time, this form of cancer is often treatable. After undergoing aggressive therapy, he believed that he had beaten his cancer. To everyone’s disappointment, it returned after some time and took his life on the 26th of March, 2002.