Some of the biggest names is rock and metal have commented on the tragic passing of Ronnie James Dio.
Gary Holt (Exodus):
“What more can be said about Ronnie that hasn’t been said by so many others. He was the kindest, most humble metal god I’ve ever had the pleasure and honor of touring with.
“I first met him at Foundations Forum about two to three weeks before our tour with them during the Dehumanizer tour, for about ten minutes while he waited outside for his cab. I introduced myself, said it was an all time honor to meet and tour with him and said see you soon. Fast forward to the first day of the tour, and he sees me and says, ‘How are you doing, Gary?’ I would not have been offended if he never knew my name the whole tour, but he remembered it from a ten-minute chat around three weeks earlier.
“We had many golden moments hanging out with him, while he allowed me to relentlessly badger him for stories about Richie Blackmore and the time spent singing for my favorite band, Rainbow.
“R.I.P. Your impact on me won’t ever be forgotten.”
Nikki Sixx (Motley crue):
“Ronnie was one of the kindest souls I have ever met and his talent was beyond inspirational to so many of us. I still have this image of him standing on stage in front of 100,000 belting out Man on the Silver Mountain and remember the shivers it sent up my spine. He will be missed by all of us.”
Robb Flynn (Machine Head)
“Dio was a true gentleman.
“Machine Head had the opportunity to open for Heaven & Hell in May of 2007, and having never met or toured with Ronnie James Dio, it was a HUGE honor for all of us.
“On the first night of the tour in Phoenix, Arizona we celebrated, uh, quite heavily, and though the Dio dressing was heavily fortified with an army of security, I somehow managed to bullshit my way in and say hello. He had no idea who I was, but acted like we were old friends. After that, he always made a point to poke his head in our dressing room and say ‘hi,’ or give Dave shit about ‘his San Antonio Spurs choking,’ or sometimes just to give us a $100-dollar bottle of wine they were going leave in their dressing room. All class.
“He was a powerhouse singer. Incredible tone, and grit. His voice onstage was FUCKING LOUD!! Shockingly loud!! We were lucky enough to watch from side stage almost nightly, and all of us were blown away by how loud his voice was.
“His memory was staggering. He remembered my wife’s name almost a year later, after only a brief one-minute introduction, and it charmed her to no end. He remembered my name a year after touring with him, in a crowd of people, without missing a beat, and asked how my kids were and kissed me on both cheeks when we said goodbye. I turned to my friend and was like, ‘Dude, Dio just remembered my name and kissed me on the cheek, fuckin’ High 5!!’
“When my parents moved to Fremont, California as I began the seventh grade, it was a pretty lonely time for me. I became friends with a girl named Lori Kibby who played me the first heavy metal record I would ever hear. It was Black Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell. It terrified me, enthralled me, captured me entirely. The imagery, the name, the title, it made me want to listen over and over and over again, in particular the songs Heaven And Hell, Children Of The Sea and Die Young. My first garage band, (the awesomely-named Inquisitor) covered Stand Up And Shout.
“Would I have found metal without him? Maybe. But man, I feel so very fortunate to have had Ronnie James Dio as my first guide into the awesome world of metal.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you’ve done for music, Ronnie.
David Ellefson (Megadeth)
“Of course our bright beam from the tour’s glow was dimmed today when we learned of the passing of Ronnie James Dio. He was truly one of the ‘good guys’ in this business and a consummate pro, someone we can all take a que and learn from. We are all fans of his and he did many great things for Megadeth and its members, starting starting as far back as his Dream Evil North American tour in which we were the support band during the So Far, So Good… So What tour. . . I’m very thankful to have gotten to know and tour with him in both Megadeth and with Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens. Wendy Dio looked after Ripper’s European tour where we played several shows with Heaven & Hell and we got to have many good moments with Ronnie during that tour. He is missed by us all.
“Our prayers go out to him and his family at this time.”
Shawn Drover (Megadeth)
“I am at an absolute loss right now upon hearing that Ronnie has passed away. I had the pleasure of touring both Canada and America in 2007 when Megadeth toured with “Heaven and Hell” (Black Sabbath in my eyes) and I swear to you he is 1 of the nicest human beings I have ever met, period. Many a night on that tour, Glen and myself would have amazing conversation’s with Ronnie about his career, etc. fully knowing he had probably told these stories 10,000 times to people and yet he answered every question I had with a big smile. I can recall so many times making eye contact with Glen sharing the exact same thought – “Dude, I can’t believe we are hanging with RONNIE JAMES DIO!!!!!” If you are lucky enough in your lifetime to actually meet 1 of your idols (let alone tour with them) and they turn out to be even nicer than you could have envisioned, that is something you would truly treasure. Lucky for me, I will cherish those memories forever……………….”
Lars Ulrich (Metallica)
“I just got off stage in Zagreb. I was met with the news that you’ve passed on. I’m kind of in shock, but I wanted you to know that you were one of the main reasons I made it onto that stage to begin with.
“When I first saw you in Elf, opening for Deep Purple in 1975, I was completely blown away by the power in your voice, your presence on stage, your confidence, and the ease with which you seemed to connect to 6,000 Danish people and one starry-eyed 11-year-old, most of whom were not familiar with Elf‘s music. The following year, I was so psyched when I heard the results of you joining forces with my favorite guitar player. You guys sounded so right for each other and I instantly became Rainbow’s #1 fan in Denmark.
“In the fall of 1976, when you played your first show in Copenhagen, I was literally in the front row and the couple of times we made eye contact you made me feel like the most important person in the world. The news that you guys were staying in town on your day off somehow embedded itself in my brain and I made the pilgrimage to the Plaza Hotel to see if I could somehow grab a picture, an autograph, a moment, anything. A few hours later you came out and were so kind and caring… pictures, autographs and a couple minutes of casual banter. I was on top of the world, inspired and ready for anything. Rainbow came to Copenhagen a couple more times over the next few years and each time you guys blew my mind, and for a good three years were my absolute favorite band on this planet.
“Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to run into you a half dozen times or so and each time you were as kind, caring and gracious as you were in 1976 outside the hotel.
“When we finally got a chance to play together in Austria in 2007, even though I may not have let on, I was literally transformed back to that little snot-nosed kid who you met and inspired 31 years earlier and it was such a fucking honor and a dream come true to share a stage with you and the rest of the legends in Heaven & Hell.
“A couple of weeks ago when I heard that you were not going to be able to make it to the Sonisphere shows that we would be sharing this June, I wanted to call you and let you know that I was thinking of you and wish you well, but I kind of pussied out, thinking the last thing you needed in your recovery was feeling obligated to take a phone call from a Danish drummer/fan boy. I wish I’d made that call.
“We will miss you immensely on the dates, and we will be thinking of you with great admiration and affection during that run. It seemed so right to have you out on tour with the so-called ‘Big Four’ since you obviously were one of the main reasons that the four bands even exist.
“Your ears will definitely be burning during those two weeks because all of us will be talking, reminiscing and sharing stories about how knowing you has made our lives that much better.
“Ronnie, your voice impacted and empowered me, your music inspired and influenced me, and your kindness touched and moved me. Thank you.
Richie Blackmore (Former Deep Purple, Rainbow)
“Ronnie had a unique and wonderful voice. He will be sadly missed in the rock and roll world.”
“We mourn the tragic passing of the great Ronnie James Dio. In addition to his powerhouse vocal ability, Ronnie was a true gentleman who always emanated great warmth and friendship to us and everyone around him. We will miss him.”
“We are filled with great sadness at the terrible news about our friend Ronnie James Dio.
“Our condolences and love go to Wendy and Ronnie’s family.
“Ronnie was a wonderful man and will be sorely missed.”
Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater)
“Rest in peace, Ronnie James Dio… one of the greatest of all time.
“Looks like Dime, Randy, Cliff and Bonzo just scored the ultimate singer.
“This is one of the saddest days in metal ever.”
Also, Andy Copping, organiser of the UK’s Download festival, has announced that the second stage will be renamed the Ronnie James Dio Stage in his memory.