Heaven & Hell Members Pay Tribute To Ronnie Dio
The members of Heaven & Hell have now issued their own individual tributes to Ronnie James Dio, who died from cancer on May 16.
Tony Iommi – “I’ve been in total shock, I just can’t believe he’s gone. Ronnie was one of the nicest people you could ever meet, we had some fantastic times together. Ronnie loved what he did, making music and performing on stage. He loved his fans so much. He was a kind man and would put himself out to help others. I can honestly say it’s truly been an honor to play at his side for all these years, his music will live on forever. Our thoughts are with Wendy Dio who stood by Ronnie until the end, he loved her very much. The man with the magic voice is a star amongst stars, a true professional. I’ll miss you so much my dear friend.”
Geezer Butler – “It’s impossible to express in mere words the relationship Ronnie and I, Wendy and my wife Gloria had. He was much more than a friend, fellow musician, band mate. If I have a soul, then he is part of it. I truly believe God, fate, destiny, whatever it’s called, brought us together again in 2006, after not seeing each other for 14 years, to do one final tour, which turned into three major tours and an album. We were having a blast together, enjoying each other’s company more than we had ever done before, talking about maybe doing one more album, when fate intervened again.
“Wendy Dio has been a true saint through all this. She has been with Ronnie every step of the way. Her courage has amazed us all. Even as I write, she is ensuring Ronnie has the finest send-off possible. God bless you, Wendel.
“Most people who were there for those last days chose to keep their thoughts private. I wanted to keep my thoughts private, too, but I’ve been overwhelmed by emails, and requests from the media and fans for comments.
“I can truly say I’ve never known anyone to have such loyal, loving friends, fans, and family as Ronnie. He really was a special person, blessed with a unique voice and presence. He loved his fans — he would stay meeting and talking to them until the early hours of the morning.
“One of my fondest memories of him comes from last year, at the Sonisphere Festival, Knebworth. He noticed my sister and her husband at the side of the stage. During our opening song, he took the time to go over and hug them. Just a little thing like that made him special to me.
“Of course his music will live on forever, as will his influence.
“I have never seen so many tributes from so many musicians and fans, so many good wishes, no cynicism, just pure love and appreciation for a great man.
“God bless you, Ronald — thank you so much for the wonderful memories.”
Vinny Appice – “Hey, Ron, I never thought the day would come so suddenly.
“Ronnie was everything to me. He was my best friend, he was my brother. I sat behind him on my drums each night and played, watching him sing, hearing his roaring voice through my monitors. Every night he sent chills down my spine with his singing, inspiring me to push it further and play the best I can to the limit.
“I always knew how lucky I was to be in a band with him, but to become friends was even more special.
“When I met Ronnie I was a kid, 21 years old, eyes wide opened. He took me under his wing, he showed me the way, he was the greatest teacher and inspiration in my life and most of all, the greatest rock singer in the world!
“My heart is so broken. We are now in a world without him and I will miss him so much. I can only think of how fortunate I was to make music with him that was in his heart. Music that will remain to be listened to by all his fans all over the world, whom he adored and loved!
“Ronnie, I love you, man!”
It’s also been announced that the Bloodstock Open Air Festival is to rename the main stage the Ronnie James Dio Stage. Heaven & Hell were due to headline the final night of the event this year, on August 15. This follows the announcement that the second stage at the Download Festivalisi to be similarly renamed in his honour. And Sweden Rock are to have a Dio stage this year, with plans in hand for a tribute ceremony.