Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ronnie James Dio: Saint In The Dark

This article is dedicated to Kartik Chandrasekhar, who is passionate about Heavy Metal.

“RIP Ronnie James Dio! I cannot believe it! You left behind great work and you fought valiantly! Some day, we will slay Cancer ONCE AND FOR ALL!” –Kartik Chandrasekhar

In 1985, many musicians came together to raise money to fight famine in Africa. They sang a song called, “We Are The World.” Not many Heavy Metal musicians were involved. Ronnie James Dio led a group of 40 Heavy Metal artists to make their own song to raise money to fight famine in Africa. They were known as Hear ‘N Aid and their song was, “We’re Stars!” Some may view this as Heavy Metal trying to stick it to the mainstream artists. I view it as Heavy Metal saying, “You’re not going to prevent us from helping the people of Africa too!” They raised $1 Million for Africa.

The song began with Ronnie James Dio singing, “Who cries for the children? I do.”

Ronnie James Dio will be remembered for many things. He will be remembered for replacing Ozzy Osbourne in the group Black Sabbath. He will be remembered for the songs “Holy Diver” and “Rainbow In The Dark” which he released with his own band, Dio. He will be remembered for making the Devil Horns hand gesture. But the man was a saint. The money he raised saved many lives.

I want him to be remembered for the good he did in 1985. The Heavy Metal musicians could have accepted not being a part of the “We Are The World” song, but they proved that they have the heart to do good things for others as well. Heavy Metal may play off the image of evil, but the genre of music is filled with people as caring as any other genre of music.

Heavy Metal as a genre has singers with excellent vocal skills and guitarists who write solos worthy of their predecessors in Rock and Jazz. Ronnie James Dio actually turned down a scholarship to Julliard because he wanted to focus on his style of music.

Heavy Metal reached its peak of popularity in the 1980s, but many of its fans want to see it continue for decades to come with new musicians who are inspired by people like Ronnie James Dio. Now that it is 2010, we have entered the third decade since the 1980s. It is expected that some of the legends of Heavy Metal will pass away. I hope that the genre can live on without its founders. I don’t want to think of Ronnie James Dio as irreplaceable. I don’t want to think that we’ll never have another Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Metallica, or Megadeth.

Normally when people write about musicians who have passed away, they say that the person is irreplaceable. I don’t think that Ronnie James Dio would want that. I think that he would want Heavy Metal to live on and grow with new musicians who are inspired by him. To have Heavy Metal fade with the passing of him would be tragic. I hope to hear another singer who I can compare him to. I hope that his amazing vocal abilities inspire another singer to make Heavy Metal music.

Right now, I am thinking about those in Africa who were saved by Ronnie James Dio. In Africa, there are probably people who have never heard of Ronnie James Dio, and never heard Heavy Metal, but they were saved by him in 1985 because he helped to raise money to feed them. Does it matter to me that people living today were saved by him and they probably don’t know his name? No. I am satisfied with the fact that he is up there in Heaven and he finally gets to look down on Africa and see the people who he saved. For those people who were saved by him, he has been their rainbow in the dark.

Ronnie James Dio (1942 – 2010)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets cross the bridge when we come to it........................................

4:55 PM  

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