Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I'm kind of surprised by how sad I feel about the death of Ronnie James Dio. I can't act like I'm the biggest fan, and I hadn't listened to him at all for about two decades, up until he rejoined Black Sabbath (aka Heaven & Hell). 

I was moved by the tributes by his Sabbath/Heaven & Hell bandmates Tony Iommi, Vinny Appice and especially Geezer Butler. I say "especially" because Geezer, a lyricist, is a sensitive soul who expresses himself really well with the written word. Also, because I think he and Dio had problems at first: when Ozzy Osbourne was Sabbath's frontman, Geezer was the lyricist.  When Dio came, he wrote his own lyrics, and I think that may have led to tensions.

I was also moved by a tribute written by, of all people, Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield. Sheffield is a kitch-loving hipster (as far as I can tell) but also a very good writer.  Still, I was like, "Not now!" when I saw his name next to the headline "Farewell, Dio: You Got To Bleed For The Dancer."  It was actually a moving tribute that pointed out that Dio's song "Invisible" in which he empathized with gay teenagers, which was unusual, not to mention risky, for a straight heavy metal icon in the '80s. There's tons of great Dio tributes out there, but that one really stuck with me.

Even Ozzy Osbourne issued a brief statement.  Who knows, maybe this will hammer home the point that life is so finite, and inspire Ozzy and Tony to end their dumb lawsuit.  I'm not saying they need to reunite, they should just go back to being pals. But I'm glad that in Dio's final years, he got to play to huge crowds with Tony, Geezer and Vinny. We should all be able to go out doing what we love.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dio's death is an end of an era in my opinion!