Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rainbow in the Dark

I was saddened by the passing of Ronnie James Dio, who died of stomach cancer on May 16. He was the current frontman of Heaven and Hell and his namesake group, Dio.

I don't know how many of my readers are into rock or hard rock, but Dio was a grand old man of these genres. He started off in the 1950s and 1960s in different doo - wop groups (Ronnie and the Rumblers, Ronnie and the Redcaps, Ronnie and the Prophets, etc), and later became the lead singer of Elf, who produced three foot - stomping, bluesy rock albums in the '70s. Later, he fronted Rainbow with Richie Blackmore, and Black Sabbath. And he made ten albums with the group named for him, as well as participated in a host of disparate side projects.

If you've ever heard him sing, then you know what a powerful set of pipes he possessed, and how his voice remained strong with the passage of years.

To my mind, his songs had moral clarity that few rock songs reveal. He often wrote about the war between good and evil, and portrayed evil as just that, with no sugar - coating or lipstick smeared on outright sin. That's refreshing, in an era of moral relativism.

Anyway, I just wanted to spend a moment remembering him. His music has affected and entertained me over the years, and, unlike with most music stars, I'm actually sorry that he's gone.

I hope he's with the Lord. Who knows? None of us goes to Heaven on personal merit, after all.

Rest in peace.

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