I am thankful Ronnie James lives on in his music. Whenever I find myself in heaven or hell, his voice becomes my escape.

It’s hard to believe it has been nine years since Ronnie James Dio passed away. Despite this time, his loss is still fresh in my mind. When I think about Dio, I think about how many lives he touched with his style and music. He is the father of the sign, throwing of the horns, a gesture that will be forever associated with heavy metal. His lyrics and vocal delivery were powerful but at the same time uplifting. He offered a message that made you believe…

I’ve seen Dio live many times in my life but by far the most memorable was on the Dream Evil (1987) tour in 1988. We slept out for tickets and had third row for the event. Although I’d come to see the openers: Megadeth and Savatage, it was the headliner who took the show. From the opening track “Stand Up and Shout” to his final encore “Don’t Talk to Strangers” the crowd was won. I remember looking back at the mass of fans during the song “All the Fools Sailed Away” and I was completely awestruck by the number of people singing along. I’ve never seen a heavy metal group so entranced. It was a magical night and I will never forget it.

As we move on with our own lives I urge you to remember the past. Those days long ago are the ones that made us who we are now. The music and the message will never change. Take the time to recall and embrace it. I am thankful Ronnie James lives on in his music. Whenever I find myself in heaven or hell, his voice becomes my escape.

We are all children of the sea and as we wade through the oceans of life remember there’s an anchor out there in the form of music. Heavy metal may not hold the stature it once did but that will never change its impact. \m/

DIO (1987):

Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Craig Goldy – Guitars
Jimmy Bain – Bass
Vinnie Apice – Drums
Claude Schnell – Keyboards

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