At approximately 7:45 am on May 16, 2010, the rock and roll world lost a legend. Ronnie James Dio passed, and left an immediate gap in the feelings of this writer.
I can first recall hearing Dio when I got Rainbow’s Rising album, and being floored by the power of his voice in all ranges. Being a devoted Deep Purple fan, I was wondering who could accomapny Ritchie Blackmore after Ian Gillan did such a superb job for so many years. Well, Dio exceeded my expectations, and he continued to do that when he put in devastating, landmark performances on Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules albums. To this day, Mob Rules ranks amongst my top all-time favorite albums, and Dio continued his mastery after leaving Sabbath with Vinnie Appice to form Dio and release the epic Holy Diver.
Unlike so many other rock stars who have passed because of personal excesses, Dio’s ending was because of a mortal enemy beyond his control, cancer. I have been reliving Dio’s prowess with Tarantura’s issuance over the past few years of legendary Rainbow concerts blessed with his vocal skills. Although he may have moved on to the big band in the sky, he will forever please my ears through the many, many passionate performances he delivered for his loyal fans. RIP, Ronnie James Dio.
July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010