Remembering Ronnie James Dio

Remembering Ronnie James Dio

Last year at this time when I heard if Ronnie’s passing I posted this picture of Ronnie and my son Matthew and did not write anything about the picture because I could not bring myself to express what I felt about his passing.

Growing up in a not so good environment like many, music was my best friend. Besides for my brother, music was all that I had. I found strength and solace in music. Heavy metal in particular. If you are an old school heavy metal fan you know where I’m going with this, so enough said. Simply put the music bleeds through you.

With that being said, the picture was taken at the T.LA., in Philadelphia, PA on Fathers Day 1997, during the Angry Machines Tour. It was a general admission show, and we were in the front. We stood to the right of the stage because we saw a whole in the gate and thought if the crowd should start to push, my son could safely go through the whole and the security could take him.

Being this took place over ten years ago I can not recall the set list. As you can guess the staple songs were played along with songs from the album Anger Machines. During the song ‘Rainbow In The Dark’, my son went through the whole in the gate. It happened so quickly no one, not even security noticed him until he was standing in front of Ronnie. I guess Mathew didn’t think Ronnie saw him so he reached up and tugged on the bottom of Ronnie’s pant leg. Ronnie looked down and waved. By this time the guard let me over the rail to collect my kid. I was so embarrassed that I could let that happen. As we walked away I looked back Ronnie was standing on the floor in front of the stage waving for us to come back. The band was still playing the song. Ronnie wanted me to take a picture of him and my son together. And this is the picture.

Ronnie had us stay after the show and came out to speak with us and he spent awhile talking with Mathew. I have no idea what they had spoken about I was just sat back and watched. I was in awe. This man one of my childhood hero’s would come out and spend time with a kid that interrupted his performance. A few singers would have had a temper, most singers would have ignored him and others would have pointed at him and or us to be removed. Not Ronnie, The look on his face when this happen was all smiles and it was not fake. That showed as he was talking with my son.

Before we left my wife Katie gave him a hug and said “Happy Father’s Day” and he said “No, thank you for sharing your family and son with me“.

This is a true testimonial to the way Ronnie James Dio treated his fans. In my opinion he is not just the greatest singer /performer to walk the planet but he is also one of the kindest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet in the music business. He will live in the hearts of his fans as long as the music plays on.

We had the opportunity to talk with Doug Aldrich about the 1st anniversary of Ronnie’s passing, right before his performance with Whitesnake at the M3 Music Festival 2011 in Columbia, MD, May 14. Being pressed for time we we’re asked to keep it short. That was ok, because we only had one question for him.

RN: ‘We wanted to know your thoughts, since this is the first anniversary of Ronnie’s passing?’

DA: ‘It’s been a hard year for everyone who’s been around him. His family, his band members, his fans. I got a lot of inspiration from Ronnie from the time that I knew him. You can’t really say more than we miss him, you know. He still drives me, and I think about him all the time and he’s looking down on us. He definitely is, and was the greatest heavy metal singer.’

To wrap up this one quote from Doug sums up the feelings of all metal heads around the world. Ronnie will always be ‘The Man On The Silver Mountain’.

One thought on “Remembering Ronnie James Dio

  1. Dude, you know who I am, a headbanger just like you and I am not ashamed to say that your tribute to Ronnie brought me to tears. Ronnie has a bigger than life voice but even a bigger heart and that will always be his legacy. Thank you for sharing such a great story.

    Bill McG
    (my wife was reading right next to me and she was in tears as well)

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