Ronnie James Dio: 1942 - 2010I had no sooner finished yesterday’s post than I went to one of the forums where I hang out and read about the passing of Ronnie James Dio. His death had been mentioned the previous day in the same forum, so I wasn’t sure if this was another rumor or if it were, in fact, true.
Sadly, it was true. His wife, Wendy, posted the following message on the Ronnie James Dio Website:
“Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.”No cause was given in the announcement, but Dio had been suffering from stomach cancer, and recently his band Heaven and Hell canceled its summer tour because of his health.
By way of tribute, I found a couple of tracks spanning Dio’s career. This version of “Man on the Silver Mountain” is an epic, 14-minute version, showcasing Richie Blackmore’s guitar prowess as well as Dio’s vocals. It comes from an album called Rainbow: Live in Munich 1977. The recording is from a show taped for the German TV show Rockpalast, and was heavily bootlegged, eventually seeing commercial release in 2006.
“Neon Knights,” of course comes from Heaven and Hell, Dio’s 1980 debut with Black Sabbath.
The last song, “Rainbow in the Dark,” is from Dio’s classic 1983 album, Holy Diver. In October 2005 he performed the album live in its entirety and, the following year, released the show as the Holy Diver Live album. You can hear the strain in Dio’s 63-year-old voice, but he still delivers a performance the youngsters can only hope to match.
Throw some metal today in memory of one of metal’s greatest front men, Ronnie James Dio.
Man on the Silver Mountain (live).mp3
Rainbow in the Dark (live).mp3