RIP – Ronnie James Dio

Sad news that the legendary rock vocalist Ronnie James Dio has passed away aged 67 after battling with stomach cancer.

I first saw Dio at Donnigton Monsters of Rock and he was superb. Since then I have seen Dio  (the band) three more times including a rammed London Astoria where he performed all of the classic ‘Holy Diver’ album. The Birmingham NEC gig  was also memorable if only to witness guitarist Vivian Campbell battling with a dragon robot (nicknamed ‘Denzil’ if I remember correctly). This was a real Spinal Tap moment! I was also lucky enough to catch him fronting Black Sabbath on their ‘Dehumaniser’ tour which also featured the late, great Cozy Powell on drums.

I always remember ‘Kerrang!’ interviews with him back in the 80’s gave the impression he was a prickly character but that is far from the real Dio who got together the Hear ‘N’ Aid project for charity and ran a charity with his wife Wendy Dio to help get children out of prostitution. We have many great songs to remember him by from his days in Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio.

Below is a video for ‘Push’ featuring big Dio fans Tenacious D…

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