It's hard to write these words people. Very hard, very emotional and very real is the news that Ronnie James Dio has agreed to one last date. May 16th, 2010 found him performing in Heaven and I'm sure he nailed it.
It's hard to lose a musical influence. It's even harder when that person has been there for you since day one. I cannot even begin to speak of the importance of RJD to those not in the know. His music, his words, his voice and his strength got me through some of the toughest times in my life. There were moments in my journey where it seemed like his voice was the only one that made any sense and that was OK with me. He had a Fatherly tone about him that caused his words to mean much more than vehicles for his craft.
When Ronnie sang everything was right in the world. Time stood still and problems vanished because he had this way of including all of us in the moment. Be it on record or where he truly shone during live performances, we were never alone. For a man so gifted and talented he could have sang any style of music, but he choose to sing an under appreciated form known as Hard Rock/Heavy Metal. I like to think he wrote/sang and performed not for himself or his non-existent ego, but for all of US!
I "met" Ronnie once in passing, it was backstage in Dallas on the Heaven and Hell/Machine Head/Megadeth tour. He was slowly walking by surrounded by his road personnel, there was no way on earth I was going to interrupt, but he looked over nodded to me and smiled. Something so simple meant the world to me. However the things that will never leave me...his presence, his aura and the multitude of gifts he leaves behind. The man with the voice of a God now sits alongside the Angels. Thank you again for the magic Ronnie, anytime we need to hear you we know what to do.
Photo: Harald O.
The second name on God's guest list is a person I'd never met, yet touched my life in ways both big and small. Debbie Abono might not have been a name on the tongues of the Heavy Metal media since forever, but what she did for an entire movement in heavy music cannot be underestimated. Her influence and guidance are responsible for assisting/launching some of the biggest names in Metal and her loss is devastating. My thoughts are with those who lost one of the good ones.