Monday, May 17, 2010

Nella Memoria Del Dio*

For those who don't know, Ronnie James Dio passed away yesterday from stomach cancer. He had been the voice behind several bands - Rainbow, Black Sabbath (once Ozzy left), Dio, and most recently, Heaven & Hell.

But this isn't going to be a blog post chock full of what Dio brought to music, how much he meant to the metal scene, or how the world will be less without his talent. People out there have said it already and with more flair than I possess in my baby toe.

This blog's actually for Hubby, who found out the news after a fun-filled day with yours truly. Hubby loves all things Dio and took the news hard.

This morning I asked Hubby to give me his all-time favorite Dio song. He came back with ten. (Hubby's explanations in italics.)

Hubby's 10 Favorite Dio-associated Songs

10. Walk Away by Black Sabbath: Self-explanatory. I'm going to get my pen and cape and lip-sync this with my foot up on a stool... (Reader, you'll get what he means if you watch this Henry Rollins bit.)

9. Sign of the Southern Cross by Black Sabbath: Great Sabbath song, it kind of encapsulates Dio-era Sabbath.

8. I Could Have Been a Dreamer by Dio: Nice slow pace, about as close to a ballad as Dio will get.

7. Stargazer by Rainbow: Got introduced to this last night while perusing videos. Love it, and will seek out more Rainbow.

6. Rock N' Roll Children by Dio:  Love to laugh at the lyrics and onomatopoeia (that's hard to spell), but it's a hell of a song.

5. Straight Through The Heart by Dio: Just a great, great song.

4. The Mob Rules by Black Sabbath: One of Sabbath's most straightforward heavy songs, also the first Sabbath song I was ever truly into. I saw Heavy Metal the movie, before I was really into metal, and this song featured prominently.

3. Rainbow in the Dark by Dio: The first song to make rainbows and happy keyboards truly metal.

2. Heaven and Hell by Black Sabbath: Great song, great album

1. Last in Line by Dio: This is the first time I have been able to definitely name a favorite of all time for anything. I absolutely love this song.

 _______ hit of the day: First Avenue by Elf (Another Ronnie James Dio band.)
*translation courtesy of Babelfish.


  1. Thanks for making me get a little teary-eyed at work. I'm trying my best to hide the fact that my eyes are a little red.

    I feel like I lost someone I knew, although I never did.

    I never got the chance to see Dio live. It was always one thing or the other (too expensive, too far away, too busy). But a lot of my love of music, not only metal, but music began the first time I heard his voice:

    At age 12, a friend and I snuck a burned copy of the movie Heavy Metal into his parent's house because we were into fantasy/sci-fi and heard it had a lot of boobs in it. As at age 34 those are important things to me, at age 12, they were quite literally the two most important things in the WORLD. The movie held up well in both regards throughout the first 3/4 of it, but then something really strange occurred, there was this guitar riff that rang out as the evil creatures of darkness began their attack on the city and this voice blasted out:

    "Close the city and tell the people
    That something's coming to call
    Death and darkness are rushing forward
    To stamp light from the wall! "

    It was a revelation to me. I no longer needed to see the end of this movie, I had found the answer to everything I was looking for in this song. At age 12 I wanted to rebel, I wanted to be a part of this, I now knew what happens when you listen to fools.

    I must have rewound that part at least 15-20 times, just for the song. A 90-minute movie lasted 3 hours (we also rewound a lot of the boob parts...give me a break I was 12).

    I searched out everything I could find about this music, strangely (or not-so), as a 12-year old boy in 1987, I found it very difficult to find any info. My local library didn't carry anything, my parent's never really took me to the record store, and my 15-year old cousin (my main source of music info) wasn't really into Sabbath. Also my friend's parents found the tape and confiscated it, knowing it for what it was. I was depressed because I couldn't find anything, and as most teenage boys will do, I gave up my search for something easier.

    Every so often, they would play Heavy Metal on HBO, and I would be able to reconnect with the song that changed my life, but it wasn't until much later (12-14 years later) that I would be able to truly appreciate Ronnie James Dio's legacy and music.

    Too make a long story short, Dio-era Black Sabbath opened my eyes to heavy music but I wouldn't truly reconnect with his music til much later. Because of him I was one of the Rock N' Roll Children.

    A lot of people will be writing a lot of things about Dio over the next few days. A lot of these people will have better stories, having seen him in concert, met him, or if they are musicians, went on tour with him. I can't express the same things that these people can.

    I never knew the man outside of his music and interviews. I never even saw him live. But if he happens to read this in heaven (and we know he's there, hell didn't want him, cause he would take over). I want him to know that he helped to shape my life in ways that I didn't even realize and probably will never realize. I want to thank him for all that he has brought to the world and to me.

    I regret never meeting you Mr. Dio, I would not have known what to say to you if I did, and my ramblings about experiencing your music while looking for boobs in a cartoon would probably get me escorted out by security.

    My 12-year old self is making fun of the 34-year old me for crying about someone I didn't truly know, but I see him tearing up too. He lost someone close as well.

    I will always love your music, and in my eyes you will live forever.

    Thanks Dio, for everything, you will be missed.

  2. Jack Black probably said it best wait for it at 2:06:


  3. I"m sorry for your loss. I know that sounds silly, but on day Bruce Springsteen will no longer be around and I wish I could express my feelings as nicely as you did.


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