Ronnie James Dio: Man on the Silver Mountain
By Brett B.
He was something different in rock & roll. He was a man who was loved and respected by everyone. From other musicians to fans who had listened to him for over 40 years, he was the true personification of “heavy metal”. He was Ronnie James Dio and this past weekend the world lost a true star.
Not a star in the sense of fame or popularity, though he had all that and more. Dio was a star in that he was a beacon of light that all true astronauts of rock aimed for in their journeys through the heavens of music.
Ronnie James Dio. The name itself is as inseparable from metal as Paris Hilton is from skankdom. No matter what he was doing he brought that Dio quality 100% ever time. Whether it was the classic album days with Blackmore’s Rainbow or his days as Ozzy’s replacement in Black Sabbath or his own illustrious solo career, the man stood as an ambassador of power chords and testicle-vibrating bass.
In the few days since he has passed, I have noticed something. I’ve noticed that everyone has had something nice to say about Ronnie James. Professional musicians have given tear racked eulogies describing how it was Ronnie that they wanted to be when they were starting out. Fans on every type of music forum from jambands to jazz have shared their own stories of how seeing Dio growing up left such a lasting impression on them.
There isn’t a teenage boy out there who can stop himself from beginning to bang his head when those first notes of “Holy Diver” begin to play. You will never see an over the top metal arena show with fire, lasers or giant animatronic demons that aren’t a pale comparison to the original blockbuster shows that Dio first brought to the world.
If you ever had the chance to see Dio perform, you know what I am talking about. When the man stopped singing and spoke to his audience, you knew he meant every word. His smile and those eyes glinting with all those tales of dragons and wizards behind them made you never take your own eyes off him while he was onstage.
At barely 5 feet tall, Ronnie James Dio proved one very simple thing: Height does not make a man a giant. It’s in the size of his heart and the love that fills it.
And Ronnie James Dio was a giant.