One year ago today one of Rock's most phenomenal singers passed away from stomach cancer. Now rather than go over his long and illustrious career with bands such as Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, as well as his own solo projects, I will just say that when I hear a song comes on with Dio at the helm, I have to stop and listen.
I don't think I have ever heard a bad Ronnie James Dio song, I have heard songs that have been perhaps poorly written, but his voice, the powerful bolt of metal fury would always come to the rescue. As a kid I had always assumed he was plain evil, it wasn't until later when I began to read the mags and hear him give interviews, did I realize he was a down to earth individual, who understood what it meant to be a rock star.
I remember when he gave his interview with Eddie Trunk on That Metal Show (something which I catch from time to time in the country where I live), I was really glad to hear him "call out" certain people on the behavior towards fans, he understood the importance of fans. During a time when another well known figure in the metal world blames the fans for ruining the music industry, he didn't, he kept an air of humility about him....as if he understood exactly how special a life he had and who were the people partially responsible for allowing him to enjoy it; what is an extraordinary voice without people to appreciate it?
I also think much of what the world knew of Dio was from the persona built around the bands he was in, often seen in dark imagery, which is the norm for metal, he spoke as if he was anything but. There are few who I would say that I felt bad for when they passed, especially if they lived long and fruitful lives, I view death as something inevitable, something which awaits us all and is the moment in which the final mystery of life is revealed to us...not something to lament or fear (only when it's someone who has yet to live their lives), but when I heard Dio passed away, I did feel a pang of grief, because man, in today's day and age singers like that are hard to come by.
In a world of prefabricated B.S. and usurped, repackaged musical styles safely packaged for the machine, Ronnie James Dio was one of the last true "Rock Gods".
What did you think of Dio's music, the man, his singing style?