Five Records That Changed My Life, Part 42: Doug Aldrich

The American guitarist Doug Aldrich made a name for himself with Dio and Whitesnake and has also played with many other acts such as House of Lords, Glenn Hughes, Bad Moon Rising, Revolution Saints, Burning Rain, Lion and Hurricane. He joined The Dead Daisies as lead guitarist in 2016. Roppongi Rocks boss Stefan Nilsson checked in with Doug to find out the six (!) albums that rocked his world.

With special guest appearances by Doug’s daughter Ruby and Doug’s guitar in the audio clip at the end of the article!

“Hey, Roppongi Rocks! Doug Aldrich here with The Dead Daisies. I’m going to talk to you about the five albums that changed my life. I’m gonna wing this because I didn’t do the research to get the exact five. It is very difficult to pick five but I’m going to start with…”

Jeff Beck “Blow by Blow” (1975)

“Because it is just an incredible album as you guys know. It’s all instrumental, it doesn’t have vocals on it. Jeff is one of the greatest guitar players of all time. He speaks with his guitar and I always loved that. I would put that album on with headphones and I could hear every nuance. When he changes the volume or changing pickups or something, you could hear it. They left it in the recording. It was great! Probably my favourite track on that is ‘Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers’, ‘cause the feel is just… It still gives me goosebumps when I listen to it.”

“OK, number two. I’m going to go with…”

Led Zeppelin “Led Zeppelin II” (1969)

“Because that’s the first Led Zeppelin album I heard. From the get-go, ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and all the songs that are famous on that album. It’s just a killer album. One of my favourite songs is ‘The Lemon Song’. ‘Heartbreaker’ is on there too. And when Jimmy Page did the…. That was mind blowing, that guitar solo.”

“Next one. I’m gonna say…”

Ozzy Osbourne “Blizzard of Ozz” (1980)

“The first album with Randy Rhoads. You know, you don’t have to say too much about it. It was great! Van Halen had been out and I had seen Van Halen and Edward Van Halen, King Edward, was amazing. And I didn’t know if there ever would be anybody as good as him. Then I saw Randy! You know what? Randy might be as good as Eddie and maybe better in other ways. I don’t know, it’s subjective, it’s art, so you can’t say that. But that first Ozzy album, it’s so killer! The whole album is a guitar masterpiece!”

Van Halen “Van Halen” (1978)

“I’m gonna say ’Van Halen I’…’II’? ‘Van Halen I’, not ‘II’, would be my third because I saw Van Halen play like I said and that was during their first arena tour 1979. I was just a kid, I don’t know, 14 or 15 something. I ran to the front of the stage and it was general admission seating, there were no seats, you could just run up there. So, us kids would fight our way up there and I got to the very front. Then when the curtain went up and they said ‘Are you ready for Van Halen?’ Wow! And I saw the amps, Eddie’s Marshall stacks, stacked up three high, I’d never seen that before. Then he just did one of these… and it was just wow! It literary blew my head apart. ‘Van Halen I’ I discovered after Van Halen’s second tour. I didn’t know who Van Halen was before that.”

The Eagles “Hotel California” (1976)

“OK, let’s see. An album that I really loved from when I was a kid was ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles. It’s just a great vibe. It brings me back to the mid-70s. I lived on the East Coast and we would go to the beach and hearing those guys play, it was incredible.”


“And here’s Ruby! Ruby, come here.”

“Daddy, you’d better come quick!”

“Come here!”


“Cause we’re on camera, we’re doing an interview. We’re talking about The Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’.”

“Daddy! You gotta come right now!”

“What’s going on?”

“There’s a bee!”

“OK, I’ll come and get it in a minute, Ruby.”

“No, no, no, no, no!”

“I’m talking to Roppongi Rocks, Ruby! Can you say Roppongi Rocks?”

“So, I’m back from the bee incident. So, basically, ‘Hotel California’, the title track, was insanely amazing. It was a masterpiece for them. Don Felder wrote it. As brilliant as the guitar playing, the solos and everything on that album is, the trade-off solos between him and Joe Walsh – just incredible! The blues feel and… Don Felder is one of the greatest guitar players ever! But the lyrics on that, from Don Henley and the way he sang it and played it on the drums, just sells that song and paints this picture. You listen to the lyrics and you go ‘Woah! That’s incredible, man!’ But my favourite track on the album was not that, it was ‘Life in the Fast Lane’, one of the best, most famous Eagles tracks. It was on the radio when I was a kid and it reminds me of the summer, going to the beach and, like I said, it’s just a great track. The other track on that I really… The whole album is a masterpiece, but ‘Victim of Love’ with the slide solo, and it kicks in ‘Woah!’ It’s perfect!”

“OK, so that’s… OK, Jeff Beck, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen and for the last one, I’m gonna say…”

Black Sabbath “Heaven and Hell” (1980)

“Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio. Because, pound for pound, you can’t… That’s a no apologies record. You can’t take anything away from that record. Dio was in Rainbow, we all loved him in Rainbow, of course. But when he got with Sabbath, it just got bigger and more intense. In that first run, he did three records with them, I guess. But it was the ace records, ‘Heaven and Hell’ and ‘Mob Rules’ that just blew my mind when I was in high school. You wanna feel confident and feel strong, listen to ‘Heaven and Hell’ and you will be stronger. Your muscles will grow if you listen to ‘Heaven and Hell’.”

“So, those were the early albums that really changed my life. There’s been others, of course. Hearing people like Gary Moore and Michael Schenker, Stevie Ray Vaughan, of course Ritchie Blackmore. It goes on and on and on and on. All these guys changed my life, these players and their albums. And The Allman Brothers. And David Gilmour and Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton. But I gave you five off the top of my head. That obviously are dear to my heart. Roppongi Rocks, thank you guys, and I can’t wait to see you in Japan with The Dead Daisies! We will be coming as soon as possible. Can’t wait to see you. We’ve missed you so much and, of course, we love you, we appreciate your support and thanks for everything that you’ve done for our new album ‘Holy Ground’. We love you and can’t wait to see you and I speak for all the band! Domo arigatou gozaimasu!”

Hear Doug play guitar, discuss the albums and his daughter Ruby’s sudden and unexpected guest appearance in the audio clip below!

Audio clip of Doug Aldrich, August 2021