In Memory Of Ronnie James Dio
1942 - 2010
Written by Metal Covenant, May 2010
Below you can find some members
of Metal Covenant sharing their thoughts, feelings and memories of the
man who helped forging an entire metal scene and who approached every
single fan, colleague and family member with the utmost dedication and
legend, the icon, the voice, the evil eye, the little troll - Ronnie James
Dio is dead. I can not believe the news. He was supposed to live forever.
It was almost a natural law. A rock star is supposed to die young or live
eternally - or at least till he is a hundred years old.
ot even when the
news about Dio's stomach cancer spread last year could I imagine that
he actually was mortal. Naive, I know, but he was Ronnie James Dio
He should fight it through with some medical help. Losing the battle was
not an option.
io was more than
his own star, more than the sum of the bands and records of his career.
He was the symbol, the forefather of the whole heavy metal movement. It
seems especially clear now when all kinds of bands - from black, thrash
and death to AOR, power and melodic rock - salute and mourn him. He has
been a source of inspiration and target of admiration for them all.
his is a sad day.
A day when a bit of music history dies along with the origin of the sign
that has kept a whole genre together for decades. I can not help wondering
who will be next. Ronnie James Dio, although a bit wrinkled, thin and
skinny, seemed healthier than most people of his age in the rock business.
He should have been the last in line.
f he can pass away
so sudden, no one can be taken for granted anymore. Rock 'n' roll will
never die, but somewhere deep inside I guess we all knew that the stars
could. When my daughter will be old enough to come with me to rock concerts
in eleven years from now, who will still be alive and kicking of the pioneers?
ime will tell,
but I am glad to have been given the opportunity to see many of them play
live, although some of them a few years from their best days. The last
time I saw Dio was when Heaven & Hell played at Wacken last summer.
He was, unlike many others (even on the same stage), still on top. I would
have liked to see him with the band Dio one more time, but it never happened.
It will always come another chance, I thought
The dream was of course
to see him reunite with Ritchie Blackmore in Rainbow.
hat said as a fan,
my thoughts goes to Ronnie James' family and friends, whose loss is far
greater than that.
first introduced to Ronnie James Dio when I was in military school in
the early '80s. A friend of mine named Guenther, from Saudi Arabia had
these killer bootleg tapes, and he sold me one for Sabbath's -'Live Evil'
for only $3. This was my first real Sabbath experience, and I first heard
songs like "War Pigs" and "Children Of The Grave"
with Dio on vocals.
hen I was younger,
I had heard Rainbow on the radio in California with such classics as "Man
On The Silver Mountain" and "Long Live Rock And Roll" receiving
decent airplay. It was not until I saw the amazing video for "Holy
Diver" on "USA Night Flight Videos", that I became hooked.
Just seeing this diminutive figure wielding a giant sword evoked images
of Conan, and my love for playing D&D.
ack then, I was
way more into both RJD's solo work as well as Ozzy's , then I was into
discovering older Sabbath. To a certain degree, I still prefer the first
few Ozzy & Dio releases over Sabbath's early material.
t was not until
I saw the "Heavy Metal" Movie, and heard the song - "The
Mob Rules", that I became enthralled. I immediately purchased the
soundtrack on cassette at K-mart (or was it Sears?). I then instantly
became a big fan of those first two Dio Sabbath albums, which are still
agree, that DIO
inspired many aspects of Metal; especially, the Power Metal, and Fantasy
based stuff. forget Gene Simmon's claim to the metal horns, we all know
Dio was the first to bring that gesture to light as well; although on
the Beatle's 'Yellow Submarine' album, if you look carefully, John Lennon
is throwing the horns!
y the time I was
a senior in High School, I was hooked on all Rainbow, even if my first
experience with them was the Joe Lynn Turner 'Straight Between The Eyes'
era. I was totally into the Dio solo work, as well. I remember the first
time I saw the videos for "Last In Line" or "Rock And Roll
Children", now those were videos! Then came "Stars" the
Hear N' Aid project for Africa! I just watched these videos again at You
Tube last night. Ah, the memories!
will never forget
the first time I saw him on the 'Sacred Heart' Tour with Accept. That
was awe-inspiring with the dragon set, and such amazing special effects
for the time. I will never forget that summer, as I also saw Metallica
with Ozzy on the 'Ultimate Sin' Tour, days before Cliff was killed.
ith the new Accept
album due out this September, this concert will truly resonate in my heart,
as I again become involved in all thing Accept.
have seen Dio
live many times, even during tours for albums that were less than spectacular.
I was also able to do a meet and greet with him; a moment I will always
guess the one
show that will always resonate in my heart, would be the tour with Hammerfall
for 'Killing The Dragon'; since nine months later, almost to the date
my son Stephen was born. I know this holds a special place in my wife
of ten years: Wendy's heart. Sadly, this would be the last time we saw
him solo. Thankfully, we would catch him twice more with Heaven And Hell,
and I am honoured to have written live reviews for both stellar shows.
am also pleased
that I was able to write a review for what would be his final work; that
being the first and last H&H album - 'The Devil You Know'. I am still
playing this CD. I have been ensconced in all things Dio all week. Hell,
this may be the most time I have spent on the net all year!
t is sad that he
was not able to complete 'Magica II', or play for the Sweden Rocks Festival
or Sonisphere with the reunion of the "Big four".
ll in all it is
a true tragedy...oh indeed the King of Rock N' Roll will be missed. Dio
will always keep the magick alive in my sacred heart, and forever he will
shine, like a rainbow in the dark. He will never be the last in a line
of worthy mettle hearts who serve either in Heaven or Hell.
was among the first "real" heavy metal bands to which I found
myself listening at the tender age of seventeen. I have suffered with
digestive problems for most of my life, and I was always looking for an
escape from the mundane. Then in May of 1998 I got a copy of Dio's Sacred
Heart. What a summer! I dissected Sacred Heart and tried-vainly, of course-to
play along with Rock n' Roll Children and Another Lie. Vivian Campbell
I am not, but I tried.
ore than that,
I was opened up to a new world of lyrical opportunities. For some unfathomable
reason, I had not put it together that my years of playing Dungeons and
Dragons and reading fantasy novels could play into my lyric writing, until
I heard the magic, mythos, and mystery from Ronnie's words, and my life
changed utterly and irrevocably from that day forward. Two worlds collided,
and I emerged. From there, it was Savatage, Testament, Accept, Priest,
Maiden... Ronnie James Dio made a metalhead out of me, and I will be forever
reading his wife Wendy's denial regarding Ronnie's death, and that it
did not however look good, I feared the worst, feeling uneasy every time
I clicked onto metal news sites. And sadly, the report of his passing
eventually appeared on the screen, making me burst out a loud "no!"
to myself and sending out a wave of hollow, sad feelings. What a terrible
loss, of a true icon of heavy metal and hard rock, possibly the greatest
of them all. As to his vocal abilities, there has surely not existed a
more consistently brilliant, enjoyable and influential singer.
aving taken in
the fact that Ronnie James Dio is gone - it is however still a bit hard
to grasp - the memories came flooding by. While mourning the loss of our
father of heavy metal, it is appropriate to remember everything he gave
us. I will therefore account for a couple of my own recollections below.
will never forget
that day in 1983 when an older friend of mine opened in advance, secretly,
a Christmas present, a square one that looked suspiciously like an LP.
The emerging cover was scary as hell, with a devil-like beast towering
in the background. The LP was of course Holy Diver by the band Dio. Dio
became a favourite, especially the songs Rainbow In The Dark and We Rock.
The videos were damn cool as well. I also remember the Hear ´n Aid
charity project which Ronnie initiated. Later on, I of course discovered
his outstanding work with Rainbow and Black Sabbath. Naturally, Ronnie
James Dio has been a recurring figure in my musical enjoyment ever since
- as for all metalheads I dare say.
was not until
1998 that I got to see Ronnie live, but it was well worth the wait. Dio
remarkably played in Sundsvall, just 100 kilometres from my small hometown.
The atmosphere was just phenomenal; the place was totally packed with
sweaty, happy (and drunk, as such an occasion calls for serious partying!)
fans who had an awesome time. It goes without saying that the show was
great too. Afterwards, we waited at the back to meet the little, big man,
but not long enough - something which I regret today. The opportunity
to see Ronnie live presented itself more times, both at Dio and then Heaven
And Hell shows. Apart from being memorable performances, it was nice to
witness how he was always very gracious towards his fans, often with a
warm smile, and one could tell he loved to perform onstage.
hat Ronnie James
Dio was not only an exceptional artist but also a wonderful human-being
has been accounted for endless times. Whether he was with fans or fellow
rock stars, he was always friendly, humble, generous and interested. Although
I never got to meet him one-on-one, I did attend the press conference
for Heaven And Hell at last year's Sweden Rock Festival. Dio was very
polite and in a cheerful mood and answered everyone's question - no matter
how small - with sincerity. The last question to Mr Dio was: "how
is it to be the best vocalist on the planet"? Shaking his head, he
was his humble self and totally rejected the claim - while also thanking
for the compliment many times.
owever, he also
added this: "I think it's my passion for what what I do
I think I'm different than most singers; I think kind of classical things
are in my head all the time
I chose to take that kind of an attitude
and put it into the music that we make: hard rock music, cause that's
what I love to do". Amen to that. Needless to say, his vocals at
the festival gig were as marvellous as ever.
is much love - and will continue to be for eternity - all over the world
for Ronnie James Dio and the music he had a hand in. Thanks so much you
legend, we love you! Long live rock ´n roll!