Ronnie James Dio--for many, the greatest heavy metal singer of them all--was this writer's very first interviewee. We met in London in 1986 when Ronnie was promoting his band Dio's third album, Sacred Heart. I was then a nervous 18-year-old, on assignment for Sounds magazine, and Ronnie could not have been more patient, warm and easy-going with me. Before we parted, he signed a photo with a favourite catchphrase: "To Paul, We Rock!" He understood.
A star of three iconic bands--Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio--Ronnie was legendarily tiny (officially: 5'4"). But in inverse proportion to his physical stature was that mighty voice, described last month in a tribute from former Rainbow leader Ritchie Blackmore as "unique and wonderful".
Born Ronald James Padavona in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on July 10, 1942, Dio began his lengthy career in music as a teenager in the late '50s. He played trumpet and then bass in his earliest, rockabilly-influenced bands before graduating to lead vocalist ofRead More »from Ronnie James Dio Remembered