Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ronnie James Dio, RIP

I was never what you'd call a Dio fan, but by all accounts he was a very nice guy, in contrast to the subject matter of most of his songs. He did a lot for charity over the years, and was a pretty big figure in raising money and awareness for music therapy programs (my wife's profession). He died of cancer this morning.

I have one Dio story. Several years ago my wife (then my girlfriend) got free tickets to a triple-bill of Deep Purple, the Scorpions, and Dio at Lakewood Amphitheater in Atlanta. Since the price was right, we went down there, stopping on the way to pick up a friend of hers from work. This girl, a prototypical Southern Sorority Princess, bounced into the car all excited. "I can't wait to see Dio, " she said. "I really love Dio!" The future Mrs. and I exchanged glances and shrugs--the SSP really isn't the Metal type.

So we got to the venue, and Dio opened the show. SSP was intensely confused for the first two or three tunes, then finally turned to me and asked, "Are they going to play 'Whip It?'"

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