R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio

R.I.P. heavy metal god Ronnie James Dio, dead at 67.

Dio had an amazing run in hard rock and heavy metal, both as a solo artist and during stints in Rainbow and Black Sabbath. Amazingly, even at this late age he was fronting the star-studded Heaven and Hell with Sabs Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler.

Dio was diagnosed with stomach cancer last year and although chemotherapy was helping stall and reduce the aggression, it recently escalated and he finally lost the battle Sunday morning.

I was fortunate enough to have first encountered Dio in my college days as part of the band Elf from Cortland, New York, just south of Syracuse. If you have never heard the band, you need to get the self-titled album right away and marvel at the guitar work of Dave Feinstein (Dio’s cousin) and especially the piano of Mickey Lee Soule.

Listen to clips from ELF.

Elf’s album caught the attention of Deep Purple and they opened many shows for DP in the early 70s. Purple has many connections to the band; Roger Glover and Ian Paice produced the record and Ritchie Blackmore used the nucleus of the group for the first Rainbow album. As recently as last year Dio was talking about an Elf reunion tour and new album; sadly that will now never happen.

Condolences to his family and friends; fans all over the world feel your loss.

Ronnie James Dio website.

Wendy Dio asks that you leave your thoughts on Facebook

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4 Comments

Filed under Editorials, Music

4 responses to “R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio

  1. SueBeeDoo

    :*(***

  2. I can’t say I was ever a huge fan, but Dio was responsible for at least a handful of hard rock/metal classics, and he was by all accounts a really nice guy. 67 is too young for a guy still firing on all cylinders. May he rest in peace.

  3. GiGiGo

    Thanks for the listen link! Great to hear a bit of Elf again. I remember seeing them at the storied Country Tavern. They were very loud hah! in an era of very loud bands and just wonderful. Always grateful to have experienced all that music live!
    Coverage of Dio’s passing on late local news (abc Syracuse affiliate ch9) included a quote from cousin Dave Feinstein and referred to Elf and early days in Cortland and CNY. It was heartwarming to have those times mentioned even though delivery by a twentysomething Sunday night anchor was a bit disconcerting.
    While not a fan of all his work, I was glad for his success. Too few of our talented local lumes have been able to turn their 15 minutes into 24/7.
    Shine on.

  4. drbristol

    True that – I wasn’t really a fan of Sabbath beyond their 4th album (so that’s cutting out the bulk of their work) and what small fandom of Rainbow was in the Joe Lynn Turner era. But you don’t have to like someone to appreciate their success, and I always found Dio to be one of the more well-spoken rockers. Music might have been fairies and dragons and serpents but he was a smart and approachable person.

    And hell yeah on the number of 315ers who deserve more fame, even if it sometimes (Flashcubes) comes much later than it should have.

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