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Remembering Ronnie James Dio

What can you say about Ronnie James Dio?

After the news broke of his death yesterday, I honestly felt a little numb. I clicked around on many websites, reading comment after comment by upset fans. Most were all two sentences of less, thanking Dio for the lifetime of music. Beyond that, everyone seemed shocked.

I was (am) shocked myself. I knew full well Dio was fighting stomach cancer. I kept up on the news and knew that he was through multiple rounds of chemotherapy. For whatever reason, I believed the PR hype that Dio was getting better, continuing to fight and would one day return to the road. I guess I believed the spin because I wanted it to be true. I never got to see Dio live. I kept thinking "Next time."

Now there is no next time.

It's true: cancer is a bitch. That's a crass statement, but it's to the point. The disease strikes the rich and poor alike and yes, not everyone dies from the disease. When celebrities die of cancer, a spotlight is once again shined on the disease -- maybe some researcher, somewhere will somehow find a cure. Until then we wait.

Dio's music will live on forever and generations from now will be able to hear his powerful voice. In fact, I'd argue Dio had the single best voice in metal. However it happened, Dio was able to keep his voice in top form until the end, hitting soaring notes with ease and generally singing every other vocalist under the table. Of course, he was too polite to say anything bad about those lesser vocalists. 

I first became a Dio fan after watching the documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey. I was absolutely enthralled with the Dio part and his fancy house, his explanation of "creating" the devil horns and his cat.

If you're paying attention, you know by now I came to Dio late. After all, Dio wasn't Glam - he was all metal, all the time. This isn't to say I didn't know of him and didn't watch his various videos back in the day. I certainly enjoyed his music and never flipped from MTV when "Rainbow in the Dark" came up in the rotation. Still, I needed that special connection I felt after the documentary to really get into Dio's music.

So, here we are. I feel sad and empty and there isn't a damn thing anyone can do about it. It's just another reminder that our favorite musicians are getting older and we need to remember to catch them live whenever we have the chance.

Some of my favorite Dio songs:


Reader Comments (12)

I, and others I presume, share many of these thoughts with you. Dio WAS heavy metal...and he always will be.

Your last paragraph says it all....our heroes are all getting older, and we owe it to them - and to ourselves, to get out and see them while we still can.

I passed last year on seeing Heaven and Hell live. Now that voice of a generation, and movement, has been silenced. I share in your sadness and emptyness.
May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDesign That Rocks
We're in the same boat, Allyson. I never got to see the man in concert either. Passed up an opportunity a couple of years ago and regretted it that very night. Now I regret it even more.
May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJT
Well written Ally. Luckily I saw DIO a few times and you are right on, RJD was all metal, all the time! Seeing Stargazer live in 2003 was a huge highlight in my concert memories! INVISIBLE is an incredible song and his legend will live on forever! DIO will NEVER be the last in line!
May 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
We share similar experiences over at the site. I never got to see him live. He was a major influence in not only music but my life from the standpoint of his music summed up what I needed to push on through the issues we all have.

I never understood people who cried at the loss of a celebrity, but as I heard the news and tears came to my eyes I finally got it. RIP Ronnie James Dio.
May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMartell
I was fortunate enough to see him twice while he was with Rainbow. Incredibly big voice in an incredibly small package. RIP Ronnie, your music touched literally tens of millions....
May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGary
I was lucky enough to see Dio and Motorhead open for Iron Maiden in Cleveland like 8 years ago, and I also saw Heaven And Hell with Megadeth and Machinehead.

Ronnie was a phenomenal performer and had one of the best voices in rock. A sad, sad loss in our world today.
May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
great article allyson!
\m/ \m/
May 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteral rose
Last night I went on YouTube and looked at some vids...

Check out, surprise, surprise, "'Man On The Silver Mountain' by Rainbow '77" on YouTube. Dio is in top form and Blackmore just smolders. To think I could have seen them and didn't.

I'm with you, Al! We've got to see the greats and not wait!

p.s. When you look at that YouTube vid, check out Dio's white suede lace up fringe shirt, huge bell bottoms and stack heels!, an outfit that would certainly be considered "Glam" today. "Long Live Rock And Roll!" RIP, RJD!
May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
another sad day in hard rock, a legend passes. i had the pleasure of seeing him once years ago with maiden and dirty deeds and the little man can belt it out, so sad on the passing i also was reading he was doing better so i was very surprised to see his passing in todays paper RIP dio and best wishes to his wife maybe we will be l;ucky to hear some unreleased stuff come to daylight im sure he has a ton through the years.
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterglamrockerarchie
Heaven's house band just got that little bit better...
It makes me very very sad to think that such a legend has passed... But death is just a part of life I suppose. My thoughts go out to his friends and family, and all those who were close to him.
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLucifer
R.I.P Ronnie James Dio. I, too, am sad that I never saw this powerhouse vocalist live, and I am sorry for that. Dio WAS metal, and his passing came too soon. My condolences to his friends and family.

Kind of a moot point, but I would like to see Dio get more than a line or two of rememberance in the so-called mainstream media. A giant in talent has passed, and respect must be paid.
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGator
RJD - a true metal brother, please RIP. I'll feel a chill when I hear and/or see Rainbow in the Dark. It led to some good times and memorable music for me. Love to you, your family, and fellow metal legion.
May 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMEWIZEMGIC

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