Today a Legend Lost…..The Only True Heavy Metal God…….

Earlier today I learned of the passing of Ronnie Jame Dio……..A legend…….The only true Heavy Metal God……In 1995 I had the honor of being out on Ronnie’s “Strange Highways” Tour mixing their opening band Atomic Opera and doing Monitors for Ronnie’s set after His Monitor Engineer got injured and had to leave the tour (another long story for another time)…..Ronnie was a true performer and a gentleman thru and thru…….I will never forget one night on the tour when we were playing Syracuse, NY and when we arrived at the Venue (a large club date), for some reason our truck with the monitor system and FOH rig and lighting, along with all of the backline, had not shown up earlier in the day due to a breakdown and somehow we never got the word (welcome to touring before cell phones with only pagers)……….we all assumed that the date would just get cancelled for the night…….but Ronnie wanted to play……..after many rushed phone calls we managed to round up some half way proper backline and decided we would use the house sound system……….It was a large Peavey sound system with a Soundcraft 200B 24 channel mixing console at FOH and a Peavey 16X6 Monitor Console…….Angelo Acuri and I just figured that after this night, we would all just be fired as we just knew this was going to be a dismal evening for all involved and we were just waiting for the gig to end as to endure what we expected as the rath of Dio afterwards……..We just Knew that the tour was going to be over for all of us……..but, Ronnie took the stage and took it all in stride and belted out his set, and afterwards he rounded us all up for what we figured was going to be the ass chewing, and Ronnie said, “Great job under the circumstances everyone……..Strange Highways indeed……but tonight was as good as it gets because we rock”………at the time, I am sure we all thought we had dreamed the whole nightmare evening and would wake up soon……..but thats the way it went down and the tour continued……….But that is the kind of guy Ronnie was…..take no prisoners, and rock out hard no matter what……and that is why Ronnie James Dio set the Standard for all metal bands and Metal vocalists that came afterwards…..

We all had known for some time now about Ronnie’s battle with his Stomach Cancer and Tumor, but he never let it slow him down …..for years now he fought the good fight and continued to tour and perform to the very end…..Today the music world lost a legend……but I will always remember how he lived as he performed his art and craft with passion and grace and a love for what he did……….

I am honored to have known him and will never forget the summer we spent on tour and getting to watch this master of metal perform night after night……..RIP Ronnie…….because of guys like you……”WE ROCK” !!

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3 comments on “Today a Legend Lost…..The Only True Heavy Metal God…….

  1. Blake, Thank you for so eloquently writing about the passing of one of the most influential musician of our time. I too, feel fortunate to have spent even a small amount of time with him. I first met him in the late 70’s when he played at an MMA/Hells Angels party held in a huge barn in Byron CA (East SF Bay area). I was 15 when I rode in on the fender of my Dad’s Panhead and he pointed out a stack of hay bales and told me stay put. I did and waited for what was soon to be a moment that changed me forever. There was a small stage directly to the left of me no more than 3 ft. in height and the rowdy crowd soon began to simmer when the lights dimmed. Fog machines went on and out of the mist stomped this 5’3″ man with a giant voice. I was mesmerized, completely blown away with what i was witnessing. He walked up to me during the performance, took my hand like a King would, and sang to me while looking me right in the eyes. He had such kind eyes, it was polar opposite with the lyrics…almost as if he was saying ‘it’s just a song, no need to be afraid’. He smiled, released my hand and finished off 3 more songs before leaving. My Dad introduced me to him after the show and all I remember saying to him was “Thank you” about 9 times. 25 years later I did a short leg of Metal Masters and unbelievably, he asked me if we had ever met, that i looked like someone he remembered at a Hells Angels party outside of Frisco. I just about lost it and said yes, I was the girl he held hands with in the barn during his performance. We sat on lawn chairs for an hour or so outside of his tour bus talking about that party and other things that have been influential in both our lives. I’m still, to this day, in awe of the man….a Golden Soul indeed.

  2. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the awesome work Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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