I'm of Italian-American heritage and my grandmother used it to ward off the evil eye or to give the evil eye to someone who was messing with her grandchild.
--Ronnie James Dio, on why he can't stop throwing the fucking goat.
Question: If you put all the current and ex-members of
Answer: Tony Iommi
Question: What if Ronnie James Dio could somehow transmogrify into that red-eyed devil beast swinging the huge chain on the cover of Holy Diver and pretending not to jack off outside the bedroom window on the cover of Dream Evil? Then who'd win?
Look out! He's evil but he's pretty. You can feel his heart but you know he's mean. I'm pretty sure he's the Man On The Silver Mountain (you know that one is autobiographical, right?), and he's definitely got a fucking song called "Overlove."
Say it like you fucking mean it, already: Ronnie Jamesah!
Now show me your cigarette lighters. Oh, wait... wrong dude. Woops.
RJD is the love-gun pumping, goat-throwing, horn-tossing, garden-gnome-battling King Of Heavy Metal and if anybody says any different, I will fight you. Not in a steel cage--or to the death, or whatever--but I'll definitely slap you around a little and maybe give you a good talking to. Just so you know who's boss. And I'm not talking about me, either. I'm not the boss, dude. RJD is the fucking boss. So
Question: Who is the only person in the entire universe to play in bands with members of
Sensing a pattern here?
Any pop psychology assessment of RJD will inevitably include the words "Napoleon" and "complex," but you gotta figure the dude has a sense of humor about his size: The first band he was in was called
Question: How many times does Dio say the words "We rock!" in the song "We Rock" from 1984's The Last In Line?
Question: Is there any doubt in your mind about whether, in fact, they "rock"?
I feel like maybe you're getting the hang of this.
Like a rainbow in the dark, or whatever, Ronnie James has been left out on his own. Shunned by Sabbath, Ritchie Blackmore, and most of the 40-year old mullet squadron who abandoned him for inappreciable pursuits like gainful employment, a wife & kids, and/or Nickelback concerts, RJD has been forced to resort to Lord Of The Rings-style fantasy-concept albums like and Magica and Killing The Dragon just to maintain some sort of aesthetic cohesion and fill his garden with those conniving gnomes that insist on falling over unexpectedly to sever the tip of his thumb, like that one particularly insidious gnome did back in 2003. If I ever see that lawn statue, I will smash it with my cast-iron Mjölnir replica. And then I will blow a hot, smelly asparagus piss all over the pulverized remains.
As if it weren't totally obvious, I have listened to "Holy Diver" and "Rainbow In The Dark" approximately 25 times on nonstop psychotic repeat mode (they're back to back on The Very Beast Of Dio) in the last three hours. And that's on top of the approximately 9000 times I've heard those jams since I first saw the videos on Headbangers Ball back in the '80s. And they never get old. Ever. In fact, I'm gonna stop typing now so I can do some push-ups as the power of The Diver courses through my veins like nitro.
I think you know what I'm trying to say here: Ronnie Jamesah!
Now that's a truth as hard as steel. Like a never-ending wheel.*
Rest in peace, Ronnie. You were a true gem.
This bullshit originally ran in the May 2006 issue of Decibel magazine.
*Ronnie actually said, "Life's a never-ending wheel." But I know our man is cool with artistic license.