5/16: RIP RONNIE JAMES DIO

Hard to believe it’s been 4 years today that we lost the great Ronnie James Dio. I remember clearly getting the call and standing outside in my driveway with tears in my eyes. I had spoken with Ronnie just a few days before and he was lifting my spirits assuring me he would be okay! That was Dio the man in a nutshell. I was so lucky to have had him as a friend for many many years and the stories I could share would be endless. I remember just having finished writing the chapter on him in my first book, then sitting down to rewrite it in light of the news he was gone. That was not easy. Over the last four years I have been supremely honored to have been a part of so many Dio related releases and events thanks to Wendy. All to help raise  funds for the cancer prevention charity she formed in his honor. From first hosting his public memorial, when he passed away, to most recently writing liner notes for This Is Your Life tribute and auctioning off items on the MOR Cruise, it has always been with great pride that I can help contribute to the mans memory and celebrate the music he has given us. Ronnie was every bit the amazing singer we all knew him to be. The proof is in the recordings that will live forever. But for those lucky enough to have met him he was truly one of the nicest and most genuine people ever. I learned so much from him in the decades I knew him and in the countless interviews I did with him on radio and TV. Many laughs too! He had a great sense of humor! One story I’ll never forget is being in England with him in 2006 when he first rejoined Sabbath. I wanted to go see UFO so bad one night but they were playing on the other side of the UK. Ronnie busted my balls non stop about how a true fan would make the effort to travel the 10 hours by train to be at that show. He was so brutal on me about it as we drank beer at the pub I actually attempted to make it, but missed my first train connection. Then when he saw me come back into the pub a couple hours later he actually offered to get me a driver to take me! At the point I just pulled up a stool with him and hung at the hotel. Looking back now I am so happy I missed that train and got to spend some great hours laughing and talking over dinner with Ronnie. Like I said, the stories can go on and on and likely will. He deserves the accolades as a musician and human being for sure. I’ll open my show tonight on Q104.3 NYC with a set of Dio music in his honor. RIP RJD.

On a related note something I promised I would do for Ronnie’s doctors. Ronnie never was one to go to a doctor and get screened or checked on. His doctor told me if he did, he very well might be with us still. So important as we get older to keep up on screenings when you can. You  may have seen me talk openly in the past about colonoscopy’s. My Dad had colon cancer and because it was caught early he is a fine. I now get screened when needed. It is nothing to be ashamed of and so important. We are all getting older so do what you can to help you beat the odds. If anything positive can come out of Ronnie’s passing maybe it’s to create awareness for keeping up on this. Especially in a male dominated world of hard rock and metal. Peter Criss has done a great job creating awareness for male breast cancer and because of early detection is fine. Dio did not get screened and sadly we lost him too soon. So do what you can to help yourself to keep rocking and best to all!

Comments

  1. It’s been at least two years since Wendy Dio said she will re-release the Hear N’ Aid sessions on DVD with bonus footage, etc… Any update on when that DVD might see the light of day? Haven’t heard a word about is since…

    • Next year

      • So glad to hear this. I had a copy on VHS but lost it in the divorce 20 years ago. I did get to keep the 12″ on vinyl. Haven’t been able to replace the video. Oh well put me down for one DVD. RJD music still lives on in my house.

  2. Amazing story Eddie and as usuall a great read! Sadly i never got to meet Ronnie but i know many who did and they all say Ronnie thanked them more than they thanked him. a beautiful person for shure and his music will live forever! R.i.P Ronnie

  3. Alex Psyllos says:

    I had the honor of seeing many of Dio’s shows over the years. The last three I was lucky enough to see were his shows with Heaven and Hell at the Jone’s Beach Theater (along with Priest, Motorhead, Testament and others), Radio City music Hall with Heaven and Hell, and at the Roseland Ballroom as Dio. I am a true fan of a remarkable musician with an amazing stage presence. As a fan of your show for too many years to count, I remember each time that you had him on. I remember the story you just wrote about as if it was yesterday. He will be missed. Eddie, keep up the great work. I’m a 55 year old man that still enjoys this genre of music and I listen to your show faithfully. I once wrote to you many years ago stating that your show was on too late for me and I would record it on my mp3 player and listen to it the following day lol. Thank you for many years of listening pleasure, especially the heated debates about “Who is better, Priest or Maiden?” lol .

  4. If there were a Mt. Rushmore of metal vocalists, the Man on the Silver Mountain would be amongst them. Glad I saw him live, if only for that one and only time, 11 years ago on my birthday, as part of a triple bill with Iron Maiden and Motorhead. No other show I’ve ever attended since has topped it. Always remember the man, the music and the memories.

  5. Mark Ellis says:

    Thanks, Eddie. That must have been one of the most challenging rewrites ever. On the program BIO a day or so ago they rebroadcast the episode about Black Sabbath, and Henry Rollins was talking about how the first Sabs with Ronnie was one of the most amazing rock records of all time. How true that is, and what a stupendous role Dio played in the Sabbath renewal.

  6. You’re so right about who Ronnie was as a man. Growing up, I was a huge Rainbow fan and Dio was my favorite singer. I only got the chance to meet him once, but it was one of the highlights of my days in the music business. Here is the story – http://bit.ly/10ajdNj

  7. Eddie I was at the memorial, it was very emotional,it was like we lost our anchor in the metal world. I interviewed him once in ’94, for a reality cable TV show, and so I wore my BOC shirt, having no idea the history between those two, you should’ve seen Ronnie’s reaction. He thought I was being some kind of wise guy! I said something really dumb to him to before the interview, “I could talk to you forever.” He says to me, “Well, I’ve got a show to do.” I know, what an idiot huh? So, when I interviewed him I got in this zone, I just impersonated this sports anchor I watched, and I was very professional, which impressed Ronnie, and then he warmed up quite a bit. And then I think he figured out that I had no idea about the BOC thing, .. I thought Joey Belladonna’s tribute was just incredible…Love how you said “rejoined Sabbath.” Damn straight, Ronnie was Black Sabbath.

  8. How time flies. I saw Heaven & Hell three times in the couple of years before his death. Seems kind of weird that the last time I saw him in CT, he was very ill and had no idea. So sad. We lost a giant 4 years ago. And kudos to you for all you’ve done in his memory, Eddie. We really miss you, Ronnie. RIP.

  9. The music world just isn’t the same without Ronnie. We miss you, rest in peace and thank you for your incredible body of work. On a bigger note, thank you for your kindness and appreciation for your fans.

  10. Your memories of him are so lurid. I recently created a page on the Sanctri Facebook app for Dio because he was such an inportant person in music history.

  11. Beth Milligan says:

    Eddie, you bring Ronnie alive for all of us and I would say he was also lucky to have known you. There’s no one who could be a better friend than clearly you were and are to so many. I lost my Mother to Pancreatic cancer and there was never a chance to stop it. You are so right that we must do everything in our power to stay ahead of this scourge on humanity that is cancer. If there is a screen, Damn it, take it!

  12. Hard to believe it’s 4 years already!!!

    My thoughts and best wishes to all of Ronnie’s family and friends.

    Gone but never forgotten……

  13. Gary B. says:

    I got to see The Man twice as a teenager. Both times with Ritchie Blackmore in Blackmores Rainbow.The man had pipes that cut through the mix like a knife.True showman.RIP Mr. Padavana.

  14. Doug Reichenbaugh says:

    Eddie i think you should talk to Wendy about writing Ronnie’s biography. You would be perfect person to write it.

    • Agreed!

      • Christopher says:

        Definitely!!!!
        Everyone in Central New York (Ronnie’s hometown area) miss him. I got to meet Ronnie briefly at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in the hallway. Just a simple wave and acknowledgement of his fans was good enough for many of us. Ronnie’s introspective lyrics meant a lot to a teenager growing up in the early 80’s and was a major influence upon my own writings. Eddie, many of us here have a lot of faith in you and you are the right man to do the job. Good luck!!!

  15. Jerrold says:

    I just turned 39 years old, and I admittedly didn’t become a Dio fan until much later in my life. I grew up as one of those “Ozzy only” Sabbath fans. I wanted nothing to do with anyone else who sang for Sabbath. My own ignorance prevented me from ever even attempting to willingly listen to any other versions of Sabbath. I remember hearing Eddie’s show when Dio, Iommi, Butler and Appice were guests. They started talking about the Heaven and Hell relaunch. They were also talking about the recently released “Dio Years” Sabbath collection. I just remember thinking what a great person Ronnie came across as. I became a big fan of “The Devil Cried” when it was played that night. I later listened to some Dio era Sabbath online and instantly became a fan. I couldn’t believe that I went my entire life without exposing myself to his brilliance. I also would learn to appreciate his solo work as well as his work with Rainbow. My main regret is that I never was able to see him perform. But I’m so happy that I was able to call myself a fan before he passed away. He not only became my favorite Sabbath singer, but he became my favorite singer of all time. And I have you, Eddie, to thank for helping me appreciate his true brilliance.

  16. On this special day I will listen to the music and lyrics of Dio. Anyway, my dad had 1st stage prostate cancer a few years ago and since then he gets screened via radiation about every several months. And, he’s fine, too. Still, I wish Dio was still living today and making music. RIP

  17. David C says:

    Ronnie James Dio was a great voice, not only in rock/heavy metal, but across all music genres. Pipes like his come along once in a generation…we should all consider ourselves fortunate to have been able to hear him sing.

    But more than his voice is RJD as a person. While never meeting him, from all accounts I have ever heard or read he was a genuinely good man. Four years he has been gone, yet his legacy lives on.

    Thank you Eddie.

  18. So sorry for the loss of your friend Eddie…and the loss of our rock legend. Ronnie was metal/Rock music. Eddie, you knew him best & was very close to him. IMO, Ronnie loved you like a brother…..Joe in The Cuse

  19. Colonoscopies, yes go. I survived rectal cancer, I’m lucky and blessed to have made it, very rough road to go. Do NOT be embarrassed to get checked out, it may just save your life! Long live Rock-n-Roll!

  20. Mike M. says:

    Eddie (and all Dio fans),
    Just got back in the house from picking my sons up at a “Magic-The Gathering” card-gaming tournament. and was blasting Dio in the car (H & H “Devil You Know” on the way there, and Rainbow “Rising” on the way back). Came in sat down at the computer clicked into your site, brought up the Trunk Report to read your thoughts on the 4 year anniversary of Ronnie’s passing, which I didn’t realize was today.
    Chills ran through me as I told my wife that I had just been listening to Dio minutes ago, and then shared with her what I was now reading. Now THAT’S magic! I could’ve picked any one of a thosand CD’s in my collection before leaving the house tonight, but as I stared at my CD wall, these two jumped out at me. Long Live RJD!

  21. thanks eddie for getting me into Sabbath , purple, rainbow, etc. rest in peace, Ronnie.

  22. You gotta love Ronnie..he replaces Ozzy, and he’s got so much confidence, it actually works..that was one of the greatest feuds in history. Rock and roll is so boring now. But Ronnie upstaged Ozzy even in death. ..He dies right when Oz was releasing his new record…

  23. Blaize Marino says:

    Ronnie thanx for helpin MANOWAR meet on English ground, inna backstage room they heard the sound and we all knew what we had to do!!! All Hail DIO & MANOWAR, Forza Italia!!!

  24. Don,GQ called…..they want their jacket back (hearing aid sessions)

  25. Kevin Thompson says:

    Eddie, every year I hear talk of who should be in the hall of fame. I don’t hear much said about Ronnie James Dio. Let me say this, RJD IS rock and roll and should have been in long ago. I can’t think of any one more deserving. No disrespect to Maiden, Priest, Deep Purple, and many others, but Dio has to go in first. KISS has always been my favorite band, but even I have to admit, Dio should have gone first.

  26. I saw Dio once at the Cow Palace. Dokken opened. This place is not exactly known for its acoustics. It is very large and cold. Even though, the energy, the sound, that night was incredible. Ronnie, Vivian, and Vinnie were in fine form.
    In an interview, Ronnie James Dio, not a particularly large man, was asked where his powerful vocals came from. He pointed to somewhere south of his belt buckle.
    RIP Dio.

  27. Corey Taylor’s version of Rainbow in the Dark rips because of Satchel!

  28. Do you remember the song that was playing when we were let in to pay our respects to Ronnie’s casket? Yep, “Heaven’s on Fire,” you just can’t escape them can you?

  29. shawn reilly says:

    Yeah, i saw Heaven and hell on their last tour at the mohegan sun in ct. My friend could not make it so i drove a hour each way myself. i wanted to see them so bad. I missed them on the dehumanizer tour and was to young according to my parent back in 81. I stood there in heaven watching dio and the band up close for 90 min or so. Little did i know that they came out for a meet and greet around midnite. I missed that but did get to see one of my fav bands ever. Right up there with the born again tour which i saw in new haven. the trash cans were litterally on fire around the colliseum at that show back in 83. different times than today!

  30. Harry Taint says:

    Amazing read Ed, thanks for posting.

  31. Joe Pensanti says:

    I had the honor of interviewing Ronnie once for a video release about Dee Snider. He was gracious, kind and a gentleman. Him, Rob Halford, Brian May and believe it or not, Gene Simmons are the nicest rock stars I ever met. But within 30 seconds of sitting down with Ronnie, he made me feel comfortable. Just an all around normal guy.

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