Sunday, May 16, 2010

R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio

Ronnie James Dio died today. Apart from being one of the greatest vocalists in rock music, he was also by all accounts a great guy. I can attest to that as I met him back on March 5th 1997 at a signing event before a concert with his band DIO. That's where the above pictures come from.

I saw him live several times after that, and while his brand of cliché-laden fantasy metal might not be everyone's cup of tea he blew everyone away with his powerful voice and engaging stage presence.

The last time I saw him was a few months before he was diagnosed with the cancer that would eventually claim his life. He was playing with Heaven and Hell, which is really the Mob Rules-era version of Black Sabbath. That's where the video in the below link comes from. It was taken with an old Blackberry and has been compressed several times, hence the poor quality. Even through the pixel soup you can tell what a fantastic singer he was.


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