(Cross-posted at Viewed From The Right)
Ronnie James Dio, whose soaring vocals, poetic lyrics and mythic tales of a never-ending struggle between good and evil broke new ground in heavy metal, died Sunday, according to a statement from his wife and manager, Wendy Dio. Ronny was 67.
The man who first threw the fingered sign now known as “horns” (quoted from Dee Snider: “…Ronnie was the first ever to throw horn “with intent…”) passed away as a result of stomach cancer. Ronnie’s voice and stage presence had a profound impact on rock music. Bands such as Rainbow, Deep Purple, Back Sabbath/Heaven and Hell, and his self-named band Dio sold millions of records and entertained similar numbers in live shows worldwide. Ronnie can also be seen in bit parts on several music-related movies, the latest being Tenacious D with Jack Black.
A man whose physical stature did not correlate to the power of his voice (if you know Ronnie’s singing, you’re aware that even Shaq couldn’t match that voice), in person he was the most hospitable and engaging guy you would ever hope to meet – quite contrary to his quasi-demonic stage character. Ronnie’s voice graces some of my favorite albums of the genre. The music world will miss his contributions.
Typically, one would wish the departing soul “Rest in Peace”. For Ronnie, we’ll instead “throw horns” and pray he either minimally corrupt Heaven, or enjoys ruling Hell. And for a send off…