Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ronnie James Dio: Rest In Peace

I just read the news on Twitter, right after the NASCAR race was over and I settled down to get my homework done, but not before checking out my tweets...

Ronnie James Dio, one of my lifelong heroes, and one of the few celebrities I ever had the fortune to meet (who signed my copy of his first Dio album), passed away today at the age of 67.

For those of you who don’t know who he was, heavy metal lost a giant today. And for me, a lifelong fan of the music he helped to shape and symbolize, this is worse than Elvis or John Lennon dying.

Not only that, he was simply a nice guy. I knew that from the few minutes I spent talking to him one day in a music store 30 years ago, when he signed my record. Despite the hundreds of people clamoring for a pictures or autographs, Ronnie took the time to talk with every one of us, answering our questions and agreeing to pose for pictures. When I talked to him with my well-prepared questions, he was congenial, enthusiastic, and generally seemed happy to talk to me, even though I must have been the hundredth or so fan waiting to meet him. In a genre filled with more than its share of arrogant rock stars, the man had total class

Right now, as I write this, I’m listening to “Heaven & Hell,” arguably one of his greatest songs Black Sabbath ever recorded, and it’s hard not to cry. I gotta crank the volume in his honor, which makes me even sadder. He died before his time, and considering he and his Sabbath bandmates (now called Heaven and Hell) were gearing up for a summer tour, I can’t help but mourn the loss of more music to come.

I need to stop writing now. All I want to do now is listen to his songs, since there won’t be any more.

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