Monday, May 17, 2010

Ronnie James Dio: R.I.P.

Ordinarily I try to keep this blog focused on 1966 or earlier, but today I'm going to make an exception and revisit my early metal-head days (the 80's) to pay respect to a true metal legend, Mr. Ronnie James Dio, who passed away at the age of 67 early Sunday morning after a 6 month battle with stomach cancer. Before forming his namesake band, DIO, he was the front man for a couple of metal icons, Rainbow, featuring Ritchie Blackmore, and of course, he replaced Ozzy Osbourne as the singer for Black Sabbath, in which he helped re-create their sound and sang on two of their best studio albums, Heaven & Hell and Mob Rules. I went to a lot of concerts back in the day, but I regret that I only got a chance to see him live one time, at the Portland Memorial Coliseum in July of 1984 with Whitesnake (before they went all poofy) and Portland's own Black & Blue. My sincere condolences go out  to his wife and best friend, Wendy Dio as well as the rest of his family and friends. Rest in peace, Mr. Dio, and thank you for all the great music.

This is a great version of the first DIO song I ever heard, Rainbow in the Dark, recorded for a late night TV show in 1983. So, it must have been from the first tour when the Holy Diver album was brand new.

This is Neon Knights from back in his Black Sabbath days.

This is a more recent version of DIO (2002) perfoming a song he originally recorded in his Rainbow days, Man on the Silver Mountain.

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