Rockbrat Remembers: The Great Ronnie James Dio

Ronnie James Dio recently passed away. Although he can no longer record new music, the recordings he has left us will forever be a reminder of his great talent. His voice was – and forever will be one of the most distinguishable in the world of rock n roll. I saw him in September of 1986 on Dio’s Australian Tour and boy what a show. You gotta remember, hard rock/metal bands hardly ever toured Australia back then – unlike nowadays. After Kiss in 1980 there was who ? AC/DC in 1981; Iron Maiden in 1982 and 1985; Twisted Sister also in 1985; Motorhead as well. I had nearly worn out my Dio ‘Special From The Spectrum’ video tape and knew that show backwards. Local outfits Boss and White Widow opened the show, and although I can’t remember much about either act that night – I do know that Boss had pretty much ran their race in terms of whatever success they might have. They would however resurface a couple of years down the track with the Def Leppard sounding outfit BB Steal. For this tour Dio had released a mini live EP called ‘Intermission’ and I think I nearly wore the grooves out of that thing as well ! Former Giuffria/Rough Cutt guitarist Craig Goldy had replaced Vivian Campbell in the line-up but that was fine with me. I was just content to see Dio live. I remember they were very loud and I think I spent the whole show grinning in appreciation. Down the track I would also see Dio at the Hammy Odeon in London in 1993 – and also the Heaven and Hell re-union. However time will never diminish the buzz and excitement of Dio back in 86. I hope teenagers of today and in future generations will discover the stunning anthems he wrote with Rainbow, Sabbath and Dio.