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Ronnie James Dio

The word "legendary" is used far too liberally, especially in the music business, but I can think of no better way to describe Ronnie James Dio. We all know the story. The golden voiced front man shows Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow the promised land and not soon after pulls Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath out of the grave, before starting his own band. Of course Dio, the band, has released a wealth of classic material, and they have been touring relentlessly behind their best album in years, Killing The Dragon. They have also just released the first Dio DVD, Evil or Divine. I had the chance to speak to the "living legend" while Dio is in the middle slot of perhaps the best traditional metal touring package to hit the U.S. in years, sandwiched in between Iron Maiden and Motorhead.

Any chance you think you'll do that Rainbow reunion? The internet rumor keeps popping up every year or two.

It seems to be a lot of people's wish. That's always very wonderful but it's been such a long time now, I think I would say no at this point.

Really?

I've said yes for so many years, that it could happen. I'm going to be very truthful. I don't think it will happen. I think the opportunities have been there and Ritchie has blown those opportunities. I don't want to do it anymore.

His heart doesn't seem like it's in rock music anymore.

Well, I have no idea where his heart is. I can't speak for him. The only thing I've said about Ritchie is, how much fun it was to play with him, and how much I've learned from him. And how productive we were as a band, and what a damn shame it was that when we have had the opportunity to give these kids who have been dreaming and wishing for this for so many years, that there was never a yes coming from his end of it. Now he has other agendas and I've said yes too many times and I'm going to say no now.

It really is shame it never happened.

Again, I just want people to know it's not because of my lack of trying or my lack of caring for wanting that to happen. I did want that to happen but it's been too many years now and I'm not in the position anymore for people calling me up and saying, "Let's do Rainbow again." Well, I'm sorry. You had your chances. I make up my own mind these days and I apologize to all the kids but I'd like them to know I have tried but it just hasn't come about but they'll have to position Ritchie for getting some other form of Rainbow back. I'm sorry it didn't happen. But at least the music has always been there.

Well at least we'll always have Dio to play some of the Rainbow classics.

Absolutely. If it weren't for us, you'd never hear these songs again. We've tried to do the same with Sabbath. Without us, without me, there wouldn't be those things but it's so important to the kids that they hear those things. Not only have they been close to my heart, but hey, most of them grew up with it and I want to try to please them. That's why we do this.

Chris Alo, The Electric Basement 7 October 2003 (edited)

 

 

You can read the complete interview here: