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Ronnie James Dio: Missing the Metal Master

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He was born Ronald James Padavona on July 10, 1942 and would have turned 70 years old today.

The rock world lost an enormous force on May 16, 2010, when he died of cancer.

He was the renowned vocalist of many bands, including of course, Black Sabbath after Ozzy left, Rainbow, Heaven and Hell and his own band, Dio.

He was caring as well as talented and successful and helped raise a million dollars for famine relief in Africa with the heavy metal Hear ‘n Aid project in 1985.

Rolling Stone magazine wrote:

“It wasn’t just his mighty pipes that made him Ronnie James Dio — it was his moral fervor…what always stood out was Dio’s raging compassion for the lost rock & roll children in his audience. Dio never pretended to be one of the kids — he sang as an adult assuring us that we weren’t alone in our suffering, and some day we might even be proud of conquering it”.

And no mention of Dio would be complete without commenting that he popularized the sign of the horns, which he learned from his Italian grandmother.

In Dio himself said:

“I was in Sabbath at the time. It was symbol that I thought was reflective of what that band was supposed to be all about. It’s NOT the devil’s sign like we’re here with the devil. It’s an Italian thing I got from my Grandmother called the “Malocchio”.

It’s to ward off the Evil Eye or to give the Evil Eye, depending on which way you do it. It’s just a symbol but it had magical incantations and attitudes to it and I felt it worked very well with Sabbath. So I became very noted for it and then everybody else started to pick up on it and away it went.

But I would never say I take credit for being the first to do it. I say because I did it so much that it became the symbol of rock and roll of some kind.”

It pleases me that the sign of macho heavy metal was borrowed from an old Italian woman. ha

Ronnie, you are missed, and we salute you!  \m/

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