I think about Dio every day
Simon Wright admits he still thinks of Ronnie James Dio every day.
The iconic Dio, Heaven and Hell, Black Sabbath, Rainbow and Elf singer died three years ago today after a battle with stomach cancer.
But Wright – who left AC/DC to join Dio in 1990, left in1991 then returned from 1998 until the band’s end in 2010 – says he’ll never forget his old boss.
He tells Metal Shock Finland: “I always found him to be a real gentleman: really smart, a really funny guy. When I got the opportunity to join his band I jumped at the chance.
“He was a fantastic person. Not only a brilliant singer and songwriter, but as a person, considerate and humble. He was the boss as well – he could crack the whip when he wanted to.
“It just got better every year. I think about him every day.”
Wright is a member of the Dio Disciples, the tribute band officially sanctioned by the singer’s widow Wendy. Meanwhile, the original lineup of Dio – Vivian Campbell, Jimmy Bain, Vinny Appice and Claude Schnell – have formed Last In Line with singer Andrew Freeman, and will tour the UK in August.
A Dio DVD, Finding The Sacred Heart – Live In Philly 1986, will be released on May 28.
Dio was 67 when he succumbed to cancer on May 16, 2010. In a tribute article Classic Rock said: “The death of Ronnie James Dio has had a profound effect both on those who knew him and those who simply loved his music.
“He sang so many great songs: Man On The Silver Mountain, The Temple Of The King, Stargazer, Kill The King, Long Live Rock’N’Roll, Neon Knights, Children Of The Sea, Heaven And Hell, Die Young, Stand Up And Shout, Holy Diver, Rainbow In The Dark, The Last In Line, We Rock.
“But if there is one song, above all others, with a lyric that best captures the essence of Ronnie James Dio, it is Sacred Heart: ‘Whenever we dream, that’s when we fly.’ He dared to dream, and he flew high.”