RONNIE JAMES DIO - Dio Biographer Martin Popoff Expresses His Condolences
by Martin Popoff

HardRadio's Martin Popoff, author of biographies on RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH and DIO had this to say on the passing of immense metal legend Ronnie James Dio.

"Heavy metal has just lost its king, Ronnie James Dio. Sure, there will be more famous figures in hard rock that will pass, and the mainstream media will write about it and get it slightly wrong. But metalheads pride themselves on sussing out who is authentic, hard-working, pure of heart, creative and just the best to hang out with in any headbanging situation. And that was Ronnie. Despite his unparallel legacy, he was one of us, a headbanger.

One quick find memory of many. I remember being backstage with ( and BW&BK's) Tim Henderson quite a time ago, one of the first times I met Ronnie, and through he comes, there he is right in front of us. A quick few words later, he's off, and Tim and I just look at each other stunned and say, "OK, did Ronnie James Dio just ask us if we had every thing we needed, and could he go get us a beer?!" It's a little thing, but that was Ronnie. Time and time again after that, he made you feel like we were all in this together, the subconscious undercurrent being that we were all warriors defending a maligned music and given that we were all part of this embattled army, we had to treat each other with respect.

But as Henry Rollins would say, it's the work. Once Ronnie had worked his way through 45s in the late '50s and the Electric Elves and Elf, well, he bound onto the metal scene and never stopped impressing a demanding heavy metal audience, yes, with his down-to-earth, upstate New York kindness but also with his regal voice, authoritative songcraft and lyrics of comfort for the misfit and downtrodden.

RONNIE JAMES DIO - Dio Biographer Martin Popoff Expresses His Condolences Page 2