The truth about Ronnie James Dio, whose facts were myths for a long time
Ronnie James Dio left us in 2010 year, however, he is still a cult metal legend... He became famous for his strong, divine vocals, and not only: even more vocalist Rainbow, Black Sabbath and project leader Dio famous for its mystique. From the alleged worship of the Devil to the true meaning of his name, the myths about this musician have long been formed into a dense halo! Yes, they only cemented his reputation as a heavy metal titan, but...fans need to know the truth. In fact, Dio was a lot more prosaic than his music suggested. Myths and misconceptions surround the legacy of the late singer to this day, and it is they that overshadow his real personality - the personality of not only an influential vocalist, but also a simple positive guy from an Italian family born in New Hampshire ... So what was Ronnie James Dio really like? Let's find out together!
He didn't worship the Devil
The biggest misconception about DIO was his association with Satan himself… Vocalist Black Sabbath and inventor of rocker "devil horns" (we are talking about the famous gesture that today personifies rock music) - it is not surprising that the fans associated the vocalist with the Devil, or rather with the worship of the latter! However, the reality is completely different...
Dio's religious beliefs were complex, but they were definitely not centered around Satan. In an interview with a magazine Heavy Metal Dio spoke about his Roman Catholic upbringing and faith in God:
“Some of the songs I wrote caused religious upheaval… Yes, I never agreed with the message of the Catholic Church and still don't. There are things that are really good, and I consider the moral education of youth very important! But I mean, you can send people to church for stupid walks, but why?”
He never used substances
Most hard rock bands 60s and subsequent years, actively indulged in illegal substances, this is especially true for Black Sabbath! Surprisingly, despite his status as a cult metal legend, Dio has confidently abstained from substance use throughout his career... When a journalist asked him why he chose not to imitate his fellow members of the scene, the answer was straightforward:
“Because I saw how devastating it was for my comrades. It dulls your senses, consumes your talent and your life…”
In the same interview Dio talked about never being embroiled in any rock 'n' roll scandals, unlike many of his peers:
“I was raised by wonderful parents, whose respect I never wanted to lose,” he said.
Sport was his passion
In one of the interviews, the wife Dio — Wendy - said that in addition to music, the metal legend had another passion, and this is sports!
“He was an avid sports fan!” Wendy Dio told Loudwire magazine. “He often wrote songs about sports, and one of his favorite football teams he watched on TV while writing songs was the New York Giants…”
He was heavily influenced by the opera singer Mario Lanza
As mentioned above, Deal grew up in an Italian family in New Hampshire. Already being a famous vocalist, he noted that from an early age he admired the work of an opera singer Mario Lanza, which ultimately had a great influence on his vocal style.
In his interview 2002 of the year Dio said:
“As a child, I listened to a lot of opera, and I was especially influenced by Mario Lanza. I couldn't believe his incredible voice... I wanted to use that aspect of the vocalization in a rock and roll context. I think people see the connection between my operatic style and the music being as heavy as it gets!”
He never studied vocals
For a man with such a legendary and surprisingly beautiful voice as Dio, it's rather strange not to have formal vocal training... But it's true. Ronnie James Dio never studied vocals and his wife Wendy confirmed this in an interview with Loudwire. The woman also added that her late husband learned to sing correctly by doing breathing exercises. Well: this fact is really capable of shocking, especially when listening Holy Diver:
He didn't always play metal music
Some fans might not know this, but Dio hasn't always been a charismatic metal performer. He started his musical career playing trumpet and bass in a pop band! Yes Yes! Moreover, Dio started playing the trumpet at the age of 5, and already in 1957 he founded his first band Vegas Kingswhich launched his singing career...
“It was not my plan at all to lead a band and become a vocalist! It’s just that no one else wanted to sing ... ”, Dio recalled about the decision to take up vocals.
In later years, Dio was part of bands such as Ronnie & the Red Caps, Ronnie Dio & the Prophets & Electric Elvesbefore forming in 1975 Rainbow with Ritchie Blackmore from deep purple.
His stage name did not come from the word "God"
Contrary to popular belief, Dio didn't get his legendary stage name from the Italian word "God" ("il Dio"). This is a little misleading ... In fact, the name comes from an Italian mafia Giovanni Ignazio Dioguardiwho was simply called Johnny Dio.
He didn't cheat on his Black Sabbath co-stars
At some point the participants Black Sabbath accused Dio of allegedly sneaking into the recording studio in the middle of the night and turning on his vocals behind the back of the rest of the bandmates ...
The incident allegedly took place while the band was mixing their live album. live evilreleased in 1982. Fortunately, Wendy Dio denied all accusations:
“They really thought so, but it’s not true! Ronnie didn’t do that and never would have done it ... ”, she said.
Despite his bright personality, Dio was one of the most simple and kind guys.
Although Dio exuded a dark stage personality and an image that embraced the aesthetic of heavy metal, he is still remembered after his death as one of the nicest guys you could ever meet ... From the memoirs of a rocker Scott Ian:
“Ronnie was the sweetest and kindest person in metal. Every day on tour, he spoke a kind word, smiled, and patted his back. It is a great honor and privilege for me to even shake hands with Ronnie, not to mention the opportunity to say that we were friends ... "
This opinion was supported by other musicians after Dio died of cancer at 2010 year.