Rock the Heavens Ronnie James Dio!

Ronnie James Dio

Ronnie James Dio, rock god has died at 67. Dio, the man who fronted Rainbow as well as Black Sabbath after Ozzy’s departure and later, his own band, Dio, lost his battle to stomach cancer yesterday. As one of the most respected gentlemen of heavy metal, he will be sorely missed.

For you youngsters out there who don’t remember Dio’s music you will certainly recognize his legacy at every concert you attend – the devil horn hand gesture. Dio has often told the story of his old Italian grandmother using this hand gesture as a superstitious way to ward off the evil eye. He started using it during concerts and before you knew it the hand gesture became synonymous with heavy metal rock n roll.”

Dio was an innovator. His style was displayed more in lyric than in heavy metal costumes. He sang about fantasy and myth; demons, and the struggle between heaven and hell. You never heard him sing about partying all night or pretty girls. He wasn’t one for glam and makeup although he did love the theatrics of heavy metal.

Holy Diver was one of my first heavy metal albums and something completely forbidden for a Catholic school 8th grade girl. I knew who Ronnie James Dio was because my older brother had a Black Sabbath record. I loved his music and lyrics but unfortunately my young teen hormones made me much more interested in cute rockers with tight pants than metal gods with deep messages.

I seen him in many interviews and have heard all of his songs and what I’ve experienced, I liked.  Dio seemed a warm and intelligent person with a deep love of music and people. My heart goes out to his family. Rock the Heavens Ronnie!