Monday, November 23, 2009

Get Well Dio!

Is there any cooler venerable rock wizard than Ronnie James Dio? He's like a weird uncle that breezes into town, hands you some arcane trinket, and imparts upon you some classic pearl of wisdom ("Don't talk to strangers.") And while Ozzy dodders and slurs himself into a charicature of rock excess, Dio ages with the dignity and refinement befitting a true monarch of rock. Dio visits me in my dreams and guides me through barren landscapes rife with metaphor and subconscious meaning, he is the Virgil to my nocturnal Dante, and often I awake with some song from the rich tapestry of his work in my head, and I am ready to take on any dragon, malevolent tyrant, or comely gypsy woman that seeks to impede my path. Most often it is a song from this album, Rainbow's 1975 debut, when the band still had to use Ritchie Blackmore's name on the cover to generate interest. Now I understand that this isn't some rare limited edition cassette, and you probably already have this classic in your collection, but this isn't about bulking up your hard drive with more files, this isn't about you one upping the dudes down at your local record store with a superior knowledge of obscure shit, this is about paying respects to one of rock's most loyal and long standing enigmas, motherfucking Dio. Sometime around 2003 I had the supreme pleasure of meeting the man himself backstage at The Regency in San Francisco, he was every bit as kind and attentive as I imagined and then some. He was class and poise personified. This is precisely why I love Dio, and just about every album he lent his powerful voice to. I guess it doesn't hurt to have Ritchie Blackmore on your side. This album, and the song "Temple of the King" without any doubt inspired the career of Tenacious D, the difference being Dio and Blackmore did this fantasy wizard rock before there was an ironic value, they did it with a steely seriousness and the chops to back it up. And Dio has almost four decades of staring down wyverns and dark knights under his belt. Word has it that Ronnie has recently been hospitalized (rumors are he suffered a stroke) and a tour has been cancelled. I am worried. So here I would like to wish Dio a speedy recovery. Long live Dio, Long Live Rock n Roll.

34 comments:

Grk! said...

This entire post needs to be carved onto a hundred foot obelisk. Hope Ronnie's standing tall again soon.

z said...

Dio has never stood "tall".. he just stands

Robert said...

Extremely well said, Aesop. Thank you.

Lorne said...

Man on the Silver Mountain is an all-time jam

"standing tall" made me laugh

Anonymous said...

Amen!

Voluspa9 said...

Agreed! Long Live Dio and "Long Live Rock n' Roll". A true metal warrior..er, I mean wizard? I hope he gets well soon.

abw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
east kansas banger said...

Once again, amazing album choice backed with an amazing write up. You are the KING. As much as anyone Dio guided me through my teen years in the 80's. Long live DIO!

iSapien 1956672 said...

ahhh frick! I'm getting the Temp Unavailable. I have no Rainbow.

Mike Desert said...

Awesome record! We used to cover MOTSM...I thought you were a fellow Rapidshare hater? I can't download.

Anonymous said...

Having met him twice, however briefly, I can say he's a class act. He's been meeting fans for decades and still is enthusiastic. I love how he signed off both of my backstage passes with MAGICK! Get well soon you bad motherfucker!

Shelby Cobras said...

Is there any other heavy metal dignitary as regal and wise as the almighty Dio? I say nay -- He is the antithesis of stereotypical rock and roll degeneracy, a king amongst fools and a warrior amongst cowards. Here's to his speedy recoverty, indeed.

PS: If you're ever feeling down, just print out and frame this photo. By placing it next to your bed, you will be guaranteed success and happiness forevermore.

Well spoken (written?) Aesop.

Anonymous said...

Blimey Annie comment deleted that must have been bad and I should know.

Ronnie James saw him with Sabbath at Hammersmith on Mob Rules big smile and even bigger voice has his own (much copied) signature way of harmonising with himself a true pioneer of metal.

Get well soon RJD

Mustard Relics said...

Your poetry has done Dio justice and it's nice to read a first hand account of how down to earth the man is. Thanx for that.

Aesop said...

I had problems uploading this to mediafire and megaupload, so Rapidshare it is.

Asa said...

One day, I will make slow, beautiful love to woman while "Catch the Rainbow" plays on the stereo. Hails, Dio. Get well quickly!

Aesop said...

Maybe it's too much information, but I usually put on Deicide's first album for that.

Anonymous said...

LONG LIVE Ronnie James!! I hope he is back on his wizardly feet soon!!--jt

Anonymous said...

Man, that is sad news to hear, hope Ronnie is back to health soon! My very first "Real" concert experience was Rainbow with 4 out of 5 Doctors and two other acts ( I think The Outlaws was one of them) followed a year or two later by Black Sabbath Mob Rules tour, brings back good memories thanks for this one!

chrisc said...

this is the best write up i've read in quite some time and it is honestly doing justice to the man.total respect for Dio and for you Aesop.thank you very much.

brandi said...

great post, aesop. I love this album and I love dio! I hope he is all right soon!!!

Dan said...

I love this record and the live one they did shortly after.

Turn Up the Night Dio man!
Get well soon brother

Jon said...

Although I could never really get behind any Rainbow other than "Rising" and "Long Live Rock & Roll", I do agree RJD not only "knows how to talk to a king," but in fact is one. I met him at the Osaka airport, and HE actually approached ME and introduced himself (as if he needed to). At the layover in Dallas 13 hours later, he still remembered my name. What a guy. Get well, get well soon, we want you to get well.

Aesop said...

Stomach cancer. Beat that shit, Ronnie.

Phil Vas said...

Rapid Share won't share. If you're so inclined to re-up it, much appreciated.

Get well, Ronnie!

Anonymous said...

Fuck I love Dio - especially the Rainbow years. "Catch The Rainbow" is probably my favorite RJD performance. It is so fucking smooth. Stomach cancer? Shit. Slay that shit Ronnie!

john/milwaukee

jabladav said...

Dude! If there is Jake/Dio demos out there I MUST find them!


About Jake E. Lee
In San Diego he joined a band called Mickey Ratt in 1980, which later became the popular glam metal band Ratt. They released a single "Dr. Rock"/"Drivin On E", which they gave to fans at their shows. RATT also released the song "Tell The World" on the first metal massacre album which also featured Metallica's first song "Hit The Lights".

Above is a picture of Jake playing at an early RATT gig.
Lee soon left RATT to join Rough Cutt which was produced by Ronnie James Dio and managed by Wendy Dio at that time. After hearing Lee in Rough Cutt in 1982, Ronnie James Dio invited Lee to join his band and Lee accepted. The other member was former Black Sabbath drummer and former bandmate of Dio, Vinny Appice. According to Appice there were rehearsals with Lee and Dio. Appice also has said recordings of those rehearsals exist. Lee also claims to have written the riff to "Don't Talk To Strangers" and that Dio wanted him to play "simple block chords that wouldn't trample on his vocals

Wes said...

I'm pretty sure some measly sickness can't kill Dio. You can't fucking kill Dio. It's fucking DIO.

Krumbled Kookie said...

Stomach cancer. Dio will conquer it, and then will conquer us all with his monstrous awesomeness.

kingpossum said...

I became a Dio fan just last year, and wish him a speedy conquering of his ailment. I'd never really cared for his voice, but I saw Heaven & Hell last year and was sold immediately. The guy (and the band) played like a monster, and Dio's genuine affection for his audience is palpable.

He loves what he does, he loves the people he does it for, and he's bloody, bloody good at it. Thanks for the great writeup and the post.

Phil Vas said...

Gracias, Aesop. I'm listening to this alongside Demons and Wizards. Makes me wanna smoke dirtweed and thumb through the old Monster Manual.

Wooderson said...

Fucking cancer...

Anonymous said...

Awesome post - thanks! And a speediest recovery to RJD - a diminutive but most stout and sturdy pillar of ROCK!!!

the gay ocean said...

i wish everything i ever read on the internet could leave me with the feeling i have right now after reading this, instead of wishing i had secret powers that i could create the feeling from a distance of getting punched in the asshole