Heavy metal singer, songwriter and guitarist Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona on 10 July 1942) passed away on 16 May 2010 from advance stomach cancer he was 68 years old . This one hits home because I’ve always dug the overly theatrical overly produced music of Dio, it reminded me of Meatloaf on steroids.

Dio had a long career dating back his days in high school. It was in ’61 when Ronnie Padavona was lead singer for the group Ronnie and the Red Caps that he decided to start using the name “Dio” on stage. Ronnie chose the name as tribute to mobster Johnny Dio. For most of the 60’s Ronnie bounced around the music world as a writer, guitarist and back up/studio vocalist and front man for various bands. Dio didn’t start to make a real name for himself until 1969 when his band Elf became the opening act for Deep Purple. In ’75 Dio and Deep Purple Guitarist Richie Blackmore created the band Rainbow and that’s when Dio became DIO!

Rainbow made Dio a household name in the metal world and lead to him getting the gig as front man for Black Sabbath when Ozzy left ’79. Dio went on to revitalize Black Sabbath, and in my opinion, it was a lateral move both Ozzy and Dio were great as the lead singer for Sabbath. As lead singer Dio is credited with popularizing the use the famous “devil horns” power stance on stage.

After leaving Black Sabbath Dio went on to form the self titled band Dio and here is where he had his greatest musical success. His legacy songs, Holy Diver and Rainbow In The Dark, are probably his biggest hits and what he will be remembered for. That and the band’s album covers because they were always controversial but damn they were really cool.

I know this tribute isn’t much and pales in comparison to the great ones that Abominable Snowcone does on Ain’t It Bale News and it will look entirely ridiculous compared to the fantastic one Abom will write about Dio, but I thought somebody here should say something. Personally I want to thank Mr. Dio for making great music that was part of my teenage years. Here’s to hoping there is a rainbow in the dark and you are at the end of it sir.



About Xiphos0311

Sporadic genius but mostly IDGAF.


  1. Jarv says :

    An obit!

    Cor- we’re adults now.

    Not taking the piss, but I can’t think of a single non-Rainbow/ Sabbath tune that Dio did. This stuff was never really my bag.

    Stomach Cancer is a bastard, and have you noticed that the “wrong” rock people keep dying while McCartney goes on eternally becoming more of a nobhead by the year?

    RIP- Rock dude.

  2. Continentalop says :

    Jarv – Holy Diver, Rainbow in the Dark, The Last in Line. Rock N’ Roll Children, etc. He had a number of hard rock hits in the 80s (although maybe they weren’t played on UK radio).

    I don’t think Dio was a great or important singer, but I don’t care. He was definitely part of the sound track of my teens.

    • Jarv says :

      Probably not. Music in the 80’s was fecking horrible here.

      • Continentalop says :

        Truthfully American music wasn’t that great either. Nostalgia makes you remember it as a great period, but for every Replacements there was also a Hall & Oates or Rick Springfield or Eddie Money.

      • Jarv says :

        No, I remember the 80’s as New Romantics, Designer Misery, and Stock, Aitkin and Waterman’s (s)hit factory.

        Late 80’s-90’s was when music became much better here- and the Smiths aren’t good and I don’t care what anyone says.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        Conti you’ve never told a women to Take You home tonight and Hold on and in the morning Let’s be lovers again because I wanna go back and if she does that you have Two tickets to paradise for her? No, never? Sad to hear.

      • Tom_Bando says :

        See here’s where the different strokes concept comes in. I think the ’80’s were better than the ’90’s–and I like both Hall and Oates AND Eddie Money.

        Music has an awful lot to do w/ who you were and what age you were when you heard it, for me-the ’80’s where my HS and college years (’80-88), so there ya be.

        Dio was never my thing though. Didn’t he write one for Johnny Cash?

      • xiphos0311 says :

        Dio could have written a song for Johnny Cash its possible he worked for a lot of people.

      • Jarv says :

        Was 2 tickets to paradise Dio by himself?

        I always thought that was Rainbow. In which case, I take it back- I have heard some of his stuff.

      • M. Blitz says :

        Replacements rule! When I was in middle school I found a copy of Let It Be at the record store, but didn’t have enough money on me to buy it. I was haggling with the dude at the counter, when another guy walked up, saw the record, got really excited and slapped the difference down on the counter.

        Figured it was the Replacements, so he was pretty much doing a public service and facilitating essential musical knowledge. He was like, just remember me when you are in love with this record…so awesome.

      • Continentalop says :

        Xi, I will admit Eddie Money’s duet with Ronnie Spector absolves him of a lot of sins.

        But “Shaking”? That is the song that guarantees abstinence.

  3. Continentalop says :

    Btw Xi, don’t feel bad about not being as good as obit writer as Abom, no one is. I sometimes wish I would die so he could write my obit.

    But still a very good obituary Xi. Rock on.

  4. Bartleby says :

    Xi, this is the only obit I bothered to read on the guy because I felt I had gotten all the info I needed, and I think it’s terrific. Nice job!

    It’s odd because I had just come across some odd Celtic group that Blackmore is heading up these days and tracking back, came across Dio and forgot how wonderfully cheesetastic his stuff was back in the day. Fun stuff. Didn’t expect to read his obit a week later.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Yeah Dio can be cheesy but in a good way. Sure the songs are bombastic and chocked full of goofy imagery but the music is solid and for being around 5 feet nothing tall Ronnie had a mega watt voice.

  5. Tom_Bando says :

    You know who used to write decent obits over there at Harold’s? the entity known as Chicken George. That hadda be either Harold or Drew. It was a frighteningly obvious sock puppet.

  6. Stuntcock Mike says :

    RIP you glorious man.

    Enter The Gates of Babylon:

  7. DocPazuzu says :

    I’m with the Bando. Jarv is mistaken (no doubt due to his tender age). The Stock, Aitken, Waterman offal didn’t really hit its stride until the very late 80s, spearheaded by the Rick Astley/Kylie Minogue shitblitz. Early to mid 80s is where it’s at. I was never a genre zealot and enjoyed music over a wide range of styles at the time, but yes, there was a torrent of garbage then as well (just like during the 90s). Most of the bad music of the 80s is made even worse by how dated some of the videos look today (unless one is very, very drunk).

    I love that bit in Spaced when our heroes have a party at their house and it starts out with trendy music but as the night progresses more and more of the guilty pleasure shit comes out, until Spandau Ballet’s “True” is blasting from the speakers at 3AM. Ha! Come on, we’re men of the world here… We’ve all done it, right?… Right…? Err….

    • Jarv says :

      Come on- how aside from the occasional Spandau Ballet/ Duran Duran effort were the New Romantics any good at all?

      Not to rubbish the late 70’s/ early 80’s because you can’t knock a time that produced The Clash, The Jam and The Specials, but there was a whole mountain of shit jammed out.

      Anyhoo, regaradless of which, I reckon you only really become musically “aware” when you’re coming up on your teens, and for me, that’s the late 80’s- so The Stone Roses et al (not to mention Britpop) were a fucking blessed relief from SAW and the miserable bastard brigade.

      PS- music now sucks balls for the most part.

  8. DocPazuzu says :

    Early Ultravox, ABC (Lexicon of Love era), Heaven 17, Icehouse, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, Talking Heads, Lotus Eaters, Berlin (pre-Top Gun) — all good, clean musical fun, much like many of the disposable/questionable films we enjoy on this very site.

    Early 80s was also a good time for heavier bands, like AC/DC, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Accept, etc.

    You are right about the teen/music dynamic, though.

    • Jarv says :

      DM aren’t new romantic.

      No way.

      NR was bands like Duran Duran, Spandau ballet, Ultravox, Visage, Culture Club, Haircut 100, Heaven 17, Those cunts that sang Don’t You Want me Baby who’s name is slipping my mind temporarily, and other suchlikes and as a rule sucked.

      Ultravox! Really Doc? Ultravox?

    • Tom_Bando says :

      I remember from the early 80’s:

      Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes, all those ‘Hooked on Classics/Stars of 45’ medleys, the Cars, Air Supply, the Dazz Band, and of course, Sheena Easton.

      I did not say I was a fan of all of them-Easton still gives me hives-but it was a fun era if you were in the mood and had the proper mind-set.

      Today’s music in one word: Rihanna. Easy on the eyes, much less on on the ears.

    • ThereWolf says :

      Doc, you have an excellent taste in music.

      My musical awakening was late 70’s/ early 80’s – excited by punk, propelled by synth. The fucking Buggles!

      Went to see Ultravox last year. They were good. They’ve always been good. I do find Vienna a bit of drag now though. OMD were also top.

      Human League – Empire State Human is a tune. I like Seconds as well. And don’t forget The Circus Of Death!

  9. DocPazuzu says :

    “Monument” is a great album. Even if Midge Ure is a tit.

  10. DocPazuzu says :

    Hating on Human League now? Fucking hell… What’s wrong with kids these days?

    • Jarv says :

      Actually, I like Don’t you Want Me- in a sleazy kind of way and feel obliged to defend them as a side effect of being from Sheffield, but really aside from Don’t you want me, they weren’t very good.

      Midge Ure is a ginormous greater crested tit. The product of generations of tit breeding to produce an uber tit.

      And Ultravox were still rubbish. Albeit all I can remember is Vienna now, but I suspect my brain has done a stalinist style purge on the offending memory.

  11. DocPazuzu says :

    “I suspect my brain has done a stalinist style purge on the offending memory.”

    And left the worst song?

    Sheffield, eh? Do you feel equally loyal to Heaven 17 and ABC? hehehe…

    • Jarv says :

      Yup. Vienna is the one I keep seeing on ads and therefore keep being reminded of it.

      Sadly, the list of crimes against music/ awesome stuff from Sheffield is enormous- I frequently have to justify:

      Joe Cocker, Human League, ABC, Heaven 17, Def Leppard, Pulp, Babybird, The Arctic Monkeys, and so forth.

      I have a quite unreasonable attachment to lots of them, but am pig-sick of the Arctic Monkeys.

      • Droid says :

        Arctic Monkeys were great for about 3 seconds.

      • Droid says :

        Pulp is good.

      • Jarv says :

        Pulp are GREAT!

        Fucking love Pulp- and I met him in the pub a while back.

        I also live in Camden, so know many of the wankers he’s directly referring to in Common People.

      • Jarv says :

        AM= big ball of overrated meh. Good on the Dancefloor is OK, as is Sun goes down- everything else is utterly meh.

      • koutchboom says :

        Hahahah Joe Cocker is a blimey? Always thought he was a yank for some reason. Though all I really know of his stuff is Felling Alright.

      • Jarv says :

        Joe Cocker is one of the few people that has done a cover version that is not only more famous than the original, but also better.

        Other ones include: Dr. and the Medics, Whitney Huston (debatable whether or not it’s better) and so forth.

        A difficult trick.

      • Continentalop says :

        I like Pulp and I love their song “Common People” but I am probably going to get ripped into for saying I prefer Shatner’s version. And no I am not saying that to be ironic, I am saying Shatner actually does a kick-ass cover of that song.

        Pulp sang about the hypocrisy of rich people wanting to be like the working class, Shatner made it about a common person talking about the hypocrisy of rich people wanting to be like the working class. He sang it with the voice that a working class person have – with anger and righteous indignation.

        Common People by Shat is a great song.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I love that Shat song.

      • Tom_Bando says :

        I like Def Leppard. No that comes as no surprise.

  12. DocPazuzu says :

    I thought he was Welsh. Sheffield, Wales… same thing.

  13. Stuntcock Mike says :

    Koutch, that poster is the tits.

    I’ll agree, I’ve been blasting that Inception music in my car on the way to work the last few days.


  14. Stuntcock Mike says :

    Brit pop begins and ends with The Smiths for my tastes though.

    Kinda dug The Seahorses for the five minutes they were together as well. John Squire fulfills his secret Jimmy Page fetish.

    • Jarv says :

      The Smiths= hopelessly overrated designer misery crap. Invariably worshipped by middle class wannabe art student neo-socialist douchebags with a propensity for terminally dull conversation and hidden self harm.

      The Seahorses are good, ditto The Stone Roses, The Mondays, Suede, Blur, Pulp, Definitely Maybe but nothing else Oasis have done, and so forth.

      hopelessly overrated and actually quite shit from that period: Radiohead- used to be good, but are now atrocious- a real case of the emporer having his schlong out.

      Hopelessly underrated: The Fall.

      • Droid says :

        You forgot to mention your love of The Spice Girls, Take That, S Club 7 and East 17.

      • Stuntcock Mike says :

        But Jarv, back then “hopelessly overrated designer misery crap” was exactly what the doctor ordered for my formerly depressed ass.

        O.K. Computer was one of those records that I listened to every day for a year and never listened to again after that. You nailed their later stuff right on the fucking head Jarv.

        My message to bands like Radiohead is, “Cunt, if you hate the music business so much and it’s such a laborious chore….quit. Stop fucking whining.”

      • Jarv says :

        You know what?

        This current rehabilitation of take that is fucking mystifying. It’s as if fat whores don’t remember how shite they were first time.

      • Jarv says :

        As may be, but they’ve been dragged out of well-earned oblivion by annoying socialist hipster cunts as being some sort of messiah, rather than music for masturbation-addled teenagers hunched in a bedroom waiting for their zits to reach critical mass.

      • koutchboom says :

        Ehhh its just like New Kids on the Block Over Here.

        Just those girls that loved then in the early 90’s are all stay at home moms with nothing else to give a shit about anymore except the bottom of the bottle and fucking dinner.

      • M. Blitz says :

        Bahhahaha…..I like the Smiths. But I won’t say that your description is wholly inaccurate. So funny how much scorn they arouse from non-fans.

        The Fall is definitely underrated at this point.

        Radiohead?? Zzzzzzz…….Sick of ’em. Been sick of ’em for over a decade now. Not that they’re bad, I just can’t listen to them is all. Makes me grouchy for some reason.

      • Jarv says :

        We used to joke at university about disastrous “pulls”.

        You’d go out, pick up a woman in the student bar, go back to her place and spend a bit of time flicking through her CD collection while waiting for her to do whatever it is that women do.

        If you find a Smiths CD- especially Meat is Murder, then RUN FOR IT. Don’t think about getting laid, just FUCKING RUN.

        Because if you don’t then you’re doomed for post coital chat along the lines of “Thatch ruined everything” for a few hours, coupled with long and mournful references to her parent’s divorce.

        Doubly so if you also find an Everything But The Girl CD.

      • M. Blitz says :

        Well Thatch DID ruin everything, right? Everything but the music? Kind of like her buddy Reagan over here… 🙂

        Ha ha, hate all you want……the guitar lines are lovely. Never liked Everything But The Girl…kinda boring.

      • Jarv says :

        Not to the extent they make out- and bear in mind that these are all middle class fuckers who were completely unaffected by shit like the Miners’ Strike.

        I loathe champagne socialist hypocrites. It’s so condescending that little Tamara, the Lawyer’s daughter, from Islington thinks she “understands” the working class and that through listening to a few shitty Smiths tracks “can relate to them” and even worse “knows what they need”.

        Fuck. Off. Cunt.

      • M. Blitz says :

        I don’t associate the Smiths with working-class anything, honestly. I associate them with disaffected art school kids in photographs and pretty songs for early autumn.

        Rich kids who romanticize “the working class” (always referenced as if a homogeneous mass of undifferentiated nobility or, even worse, authenticity)…..bah. To put it into University terms, they are rich kids and the poor are “the other” onto which they project their fears and fantasies. Very irritating.

        The “knows what they need” types are the worst. But again, I don’t really associate that with the Smiths.

      • Jarv says :

        To be fair- any band as overtly political as the Smiths are always going to attract their share of wankers.

      • ThereWolf says :

        The Smiths, great guitarist, great lyricist. I don’t find them miserable at all. I can see why some do though.

        Britpop/ Madchester. Overrated.

        Radiohead – The Bends/ OK Computer, fine, after that fairly impenetrable.

        The Fall – now there I agree. Underrated.

    • M. Blitz says :

      What about Jesus & Mary Chain, or My Bloody Valentine….

      • Continentalop says :

        My Bloody Valentine is awesome. One of the best things about Lost in Translation is them on the soundtrack.

  15. Droid says :

    Greatest British Band of the past 25 years?

    Morris Minor and the Majors

  16. Droid says :

    Jarv: The Early Years

  17. Pete says :

    I’ve got a Dio obit over at

    I concur that we tend to look at the past through rose-colored glasses. Or at least I do sometimes. That said, I think the 80s were a fertile musical period. There was enough diversity to allow all kinds of artists to prosper–even if many of them only yielded one or two hits. I like Rick Springfield and Eddie Money and Hall and Oates. Are they in my top ten? No, but I dig ’em. You don’t hear positive upbeat pop-rock like that anymore. It’s all chugga-chugga “I’m angry and forlorn” nu-metal. Granted, I’m old and jaded.
    Along with those pop-rockers, the 80s also made room for new wave (Cars, Men Without Hats, Flock of Seagulls) and metal (Judas Priest, Dio, Ozzy, Quiet Riot) and acts who danced somewhere in between (Billy Idol, Adam Ant, etc). Great times. Even bands now known as “one hit wonders” are at least remembered today. I wonder how many people will remember Static X or Linken Park in 25-30 years.

    BTW I just saw Colin Hay (Men at Work) in concert again last week. He’s still out there doing it, better than ever. Asia are on tour. As are members of Yes and Toto, and many other so-called 80s groups, including Scorpions, Styx and Foreigner.
    RIP DIO, I salute you with my devil horns.

    • Jarv says :

      Flock of Seagulls

      Fuck. Me.

      FoS flashed across the radar extremely briefly, mostly due to that tit’s incomprehensible haircut. Nobody can actually remember what the tune sounded like and they sank without trace.

      Adam Ant was definitely New Romantic, and has suffered a tragic decline that you wouldn’t wish on anybody.

    • Jarv says :

      Flock of Seagulls:

      Flock of Seagulls

      What. A. Massive. Wanker.

      • Continentalop says :

        Of fuck! What a massive spit take I did thanks to you and that pic, Jarv.

        I believe it was the great Abominable Snowcone who said “Coffee, meet keyboard.”

    • Continentalop says :

      I’m not trying to rip into Springfield, Eddie Money and Hall & Oates, but I was hard pressed to come up with horrible American bands who made more than one hit (I really hated the new Romantics Movement save for a couple of bands but didn’t want to rip into the Brits). I guess I should have gone with Toni Basil of “Mickey” fame.

      And I think Eddie Money was pretty bad (“Shaking”, ugh) but I think the duet he did with Ronnie Spector, “Take Me Home Tonight”, is pretty damn awesome and instantly absolves him of all rock-and-roll sins.

      • M. Blitz says :

        Hey man, don’t slag on Toni Basil. She showed real promise in the 60’s……shit, she even worked with Bruce Conner.

        Check out “I’m 28” on Rhino’s girl group box set…Soooo much better than Mickey.

  18. Abom says :

    That link of course is I fucked it up in the prev post

  19. koutchboom says :

    You ever notice how muscicians back then always had the “Came from a working class family” background about them?

    Not so much any more. Probably why music sucks these days, no one knows what hard work is anymore.

    • Jarv says :

      They also were daftly over-politicised (I’m looking at you Morrisey, you cunt).

      Music sucks now, because they’re all about the quick sale and nobody tries to build for longevity. There’s no craftsmenship, just a formula.

      It’s Ikea music.

      • koutchboom says :

        Whatever Ikea last a fucking lifetime!

      • Jarv says :

        Sure it does.

        Not really the point, though.

        The point is actually that it all comes with instructions, is all totally bland and all completely interchangable.

        And I say this as someone who’s flat is Ikea furniture heavy.

  20. M. Blitz says :

    Dio!! Damn… Great write-up, Xi….

  21. Droid says :

    Dons back.

    2033 review. A special message for Jarv.

  22. M. Blitz says :

    The Replacements, Tom Waits, Husker Du, The Cramps, Pixies, Redd Kross, Sonic Youth, DNA, Talking Heads, a slew of awesome punk bands, GnR, Jesus & Mary Chain, Big Black, etc., etc. All had great records in the 80’s. And there were a lot of decent pop singles as well.

    It’s true, though, that when I think of the 80’s it tends to be bands that started in the late 70’s and bled into the early-mid 80’s, and bands that started in the latter half and bled over into the early 90’s.

  23. M. Blitz says :

    OH yeah, and Devo too!!!!

  24. Abom says :

    Koutch, yeah I tend to agree (about new musicians NOT coming from low-mid-class backgrounds and not paying their dues).
    Sting lamented some time ago that people like the American Idol singers are thrust into a HUGE spotlight without starting out small. They’ll end up ruined, and frankly IMO we’ve nothing to gain from being introduced to the fact that they can sing, because so many others can sing, and yes sing well.

    • koutchboom says :

      Also they get WAAAYYYY to famous before their drug habbit? You need to get MEGA famous right in the middle of your drug habbit! That’s when you are the best.

  25. Abom says :

    Jarv / Conti

    I looked up Adam Ant a while back. He had a minor comeback in the 90s, but sadly he suffers from mental illness and that was a major career-buster. Not sure of his present condition right now. If you search his name on youtube there’s a couple docu films about his ailment.
    It wasn’t I who said “coffee meet keyboard.” Must have been another professional / Changian either here, AIBN or Gingertown

  26. Abom says :

    I love Human League’s “Dont You Want Me” and “Fascination” but freely admit I never exposed (heh exposed) myself to their music beyond that, so I cannot say whether they suck–or rock–as a rule. Gun to my head, because of those songs, I’d give ’em a thumbs up
    DEVO are still around. Mark Mothersbaugh had (has) a good career as a soundtrack / score guy, and the band itself still does the occasional gig together

    • koutchboom says :

      DEVOs backtogether. They were on Kimmel the other week I think they got a new record coming out soon.

  27. Abom says :

    Ha! You’re in for a treat! Fifty movies whose sum critical praise warrants only 1.5 stars at amazon! I’ll wait to hear a professional review–namely yours
    All hail Christopher Lee

  28. M. Blitz says :

    For true 80’s-style trip down memory lane, got to drag out Heavy Metal Parking Lot. Filmed at the beloved Caps Center!! (ignore the annoying title cards on vid 1)

  29. Abom says :

    I wonder if that DC 101 host guy is in prison now
    That “hell yeah” girl is probably a 47 yr old single mother of three now…the baby daddy is probably in jail. With the DC 101 guy.

    • M. Blitz says :

      Hahahahah……Alas, I couldn’t find the clip with the wasted guy in the zebra-print jumpsuit who keeps calling Madonna “a fag.”

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