DIO: God Comes To The Masquerade
DIO: The RONNIE JAMES DIO-Vocals. Simon Wright-Drums. Scott Warren-Keyboards. Rudy Sarzo-Bass. Craig Goldy-Guitar.
I love The Masquerade, but when I see an advertisement that says ‘The Last Masquerade Halloween Party Ever,’ -I know my favorite place in the world is moving on and changing into something different. I only have two wishes before The Masquerade takes a nosedive into the shitter. 1. I get to see Glen Danzig in Heaven. 2. I get to see Ronnie James Dio in Heaven. -So I get one of two. Fifty percent will fucking do when it is Ronnie James DIO for fucks sake! Touch your middle finger and your index finger to your thumb. There you have the sign of the horns. Every fucking show you go to has SOMEBODY sticking the horns in the air. Ronnie James Dio did that. He introduced the one hand signal that is UNIVERSAL to every fucking metal show in the world. Not Ozzy. Not Glen. Ronnie. -He probably should have got the thing trademarked. -I remember the early eighties, when a whiny little fat-boy preacher used to be pretty famous with a thing called The Moral Majority. That whiny little fat-boy preacher was Jerry Falwell. One late night, I was up flipping through channels and WITNESSED his ATTACK on Dio. Shit-It was lame. Anybody from fucking New York knows Dio means God in Italian. However, DIO in the eyes of the whiny little fat-boy, was trying to replace God and was SATANIC because the HORNS were the SIGN of the DEVIL and there was a great picture of Dio’s logo. This led me to some questions-how does Jerry Falwell know what the sign of the devil is? Who did his research? -Did one of his cousins hookers tell him about it? -Is Jerry Falwell a closet fan of the DIO because he SECRETLY wants to be as cool as Ronnie? -Does Jerry Falwell want to be God? -Is Jerry Falwell JEALOUS of people like Ronnie James Dio and Larry Flynt because they get a lot more out of life then he does? -Yes kids, Falwell went after Flynt for an ad that he ran mocking him (The famous Campari ad-the was a REAL VICTORY for FREEDOM OF THE PRESS and we OWE Larry Flynt here at Music Incider). Falwell went after Dio-so Ronnie James is in excellent company, but you didn’t see any big public lawsuit where Dio went after Falwell for slander. Dio was too fucking classy for that. -Ah but that Falwell thing was the final hook for me loving Dio. I know that little religious kids all over the Midwest went in search of Ronnie James Dio thanks to Jerry Falwell. So here is what they probably fucking found:
-He was born in New Hampshire on July 10th. Is New Hampshire even a real state? Was it just Mr. & Mrs. Dio and family there? Does it take more that five minutes to drive across it?
-In his first band, he played bass and trumpet (I wonder if the man can still toot his horn?). The band was called the Vegas Kings.
-He played in a band called the Electric Elves-Later just it became Elf. Elf went on tour with Deep Purple in 1972. Did somebody pick that band name to MOCK Dio’s height? Why do people make fun of the shorties? When I do a shoot, I wish I was eight feet tall. -Dio’s height doesn’t make him any less sexy. Dio sang on Roger Glover’s ‘The Butterfly Ball.’
-From 1975 to 1978, he sang with Rainbow. Remember Smoke On The Water-that was Ritchie Blackmore. Somebody has to sing, and DIO did it brilliantly. Most of the band ELF wound up in Rainbow.
-From 1979 to 1982, Dio fronted Sabbath. There would be NO Heaven and Hell or Mob Rules without Dio. -This summer, every time Hagar opened his mouth with Van Halen-David Lee Roth got paid. I wonder if the same thing happens when Ozzy opens his mouth for Ronnie James. -Dio wrote Children of The Sea during his first session with Black Sabbath. -Dio left when Butler and Iommi accused him of sneaking into the studio to up the levels on his vocals-who gives a fuck if he did? He should have. He is fucking Ronnie James Dio.
-In 1983, Dio released the famous Holy Diver. This brought us Rainbow In The Dark-the song Ronnie closed the set with at The Masquerade.
-Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard) was in Dio until he was replaced with Craig Goldy.
-The evil Ronnie James Dio and his band organized Hear ‘N Aid to fight world hunger. What the fuck does Falwell do to fight world hunger? I will bet he can sure as fuck give them bibles, but who cares about a fucking bible when you are hungry?
-In 1992, Dio fronted Sabbath for Dehumanizer.
-In 1993, Dio reunited his band. Thank God.
This is by no means all there is to know about the Dio, but it is probably what the kids found when they went looking. -What is Dio’s music like? Fantasy. Dungeons and Dragons-but most importantly it is about how good kicks evil’s ass. Leave the fantasy shit and the dragon killing out for a minute-good wins in Dio’s music. We need more of that, especially today. Dio knows that deep in the heart of every metal head lies the will to win, and he knows we WANT to believe that doing the right thing will land us there. If you think about if, fucking Dio is a better preacher than Falwell and carries a much better message to the masses. -Let’s talk about Dio’s voice. Three-quarters of the young singers that I interview count Ronnie James Dio as a vocal influence. -Why? Because Dio has a unique voice. He doesn’t try to sound like ANYBODY else. You can even hear the influence of Dio in such singers as Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, and Tim Owens. -The Man In The Silver Chair fucking rocks-and he did that for us at The Masquerade. DIO did the entire Master Of The Moon CD and mixed in several of the older brilliant songs. -What fucking impressed me is that the crowd KNEW the lyrics off of Master of the Moon (in particular-One More For The Road), and in some cases better than the songs off of Holy Diver. My favorite off of the Master of The Moon set list was a tie between Eyes and In Dreams. Dio has a following. A big one. -We can’t forget the show. Dio puts on a fucking show. The lighting was probably the most elaborate that I have ever seen in The Masquerade, and he had this smoke thing going the whole time that gave the show that spooky Wolf Man thing. The lighting invited you into Dio’s vision of his music-you got to see what Dio sees in his head. -Then there are these weirdly brilliant musicians in the band, and by weird I mean you haven’t really seen anything like them ever. A voice like Dio’s needs a really good support system, and music like Dio’s needs brilliant fucking musicians to carry it off. -Let’s discuss that cute bass player with the big ass smile on his face. I saw Rudy Sarzo when he came to town with Yngwie Malmsteen. Rudy Sarzo was in Whitesnake, Quiet Riot, and guess what? -Ozzy Osbourne. Rudy Sarzo rocks for a fucking bass player-now he is in Dio. Oh yes. You will enjoy Rudy on stage, I know I have. -Then there is Craig Goldy on guitar. Craig Goldy co-wrote Lady Luck with David Lee Roth, and we all know how much I love Diamond Dave-so I would have liked Craig Goldy if I had NEVER seen him live. Craig Goldy is a unique creature on guitar-he plays that thing like he is a drummer. The guitar sound is different, not packaged, not pre-recorded and definitely excellent. You can tell that this guy has spent years perfecting his sound. -Then there is Scott Warren on keys. Scott is a good looking bastard who probably could have played Lestat in the Anne Rice vampire movies. He has this mysterious thing going on stage. He definitely enhances that Dio vibe of mystery. -Last but not least, we have Simon Wright on the drums. We ARE discussing the Simon Wright who was with AC/DC children. Simon played on Fly On The Wall, Who Made Who, and Blow Up Your Video. Simon is a famous fucking monster. He was in AC/DC from 1983 to 1989 replacing Phil Rudd (back in AD/DC as of 1994). Simon is a classic drummer like John Bonham and Tommy Aldridge. -For Ronnie James Dio, I guess nothing but the best will do.
This show was one of the best that I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of shows. If you ever get a chance to go see Dio-run, don’t walk. Run with fucking scissors if you have to. Dio has influenced almost EVERYBODY in some way and puts on a show. A real show, with the lights, the incredible musicians, and his totally unique voice. A Dio show won’t cost you seventy bucks a ticket. You will only see the best at a Dio show as openers. Classics will be mixed in with newer material, and you will never be left pissed off about that song you just had to hear live. -Over the years, Ronnie James Dio has never lost that mystery about him. He still has it, and he is still in touch with the metal community. He may not have that TV show, or have a big music festival named after him-but every time you see Ronnie James Dio it is a new and fucking beautiful thing. I look forward to covering THE Ronnie James Dio, ALWAYS.