Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ronnie James Dio

[Note: The following has absolutely nothing to do with books, but it’s something I had to write.]

I just found out that Ronnie James Dio died. It’s strange, in a way. I’ve never met Dio; I’ve never seen him perform; I’ve never heard his normal voice; and I’ve only seen a few pictures of him. And yet, I feel like some of the color has the left the world forever, and it’s not coming back.

I’m listening to Rainbow’s Rising as I type this, and I think it’s the twenty-fifth time that I’ve heard it, but now the real world’s seeped into the album. The music’s the same as it always was: the chorus of Starstruck I can never stop myself from trying to sing along with (The Lady’s starstruck; she’s nothing but bad luck!), the epic journey of Stargazer, where Dio’s voice draws the listener into his own visions and where the listener beautifully bleeds for each laid brick alongside the narrator (Where is your star? Is it far, is it far, is it far? When do we leave? I believe, yes, I believe, I believe!).

Now, though, an extra note has entered the album; it’s a quiet note, inaudible compared to the rest, but it’s there all the same. The album’s highs and lows have something else added to them: the knowledge that the man enveloping us in his world is never going to sing again. That he’s gone, and that something as iconic as Stargazer, or Children of the Sea, Heaven and Hell, Holy Diver, The Bible Black, and so many others, can die.

But can they? No, I don’t think that they can. Dio’s gone, and the man of 67 that stood in front of crowds and sang with Heaven and Hell, the man that had to cancel shows to try and fight his stomach cancer, he will never sing another note. The man that stood in a recording studio in 1976 and sang A Light in the Black, though, he’s still here. The man that jammed with Tony Iomi in 1980 and made up the lyrics to Children of the Sea on the spot, he’s still with us. Just because he’s not there to lead us doesn’t mean we can no longer give him the horns.

In the misty morning, on the edge of time
We've lost the rising sun, a final sign
As the misty morning rolls away to die
Reaching for the stars, we blind the sky

We sailed across the air before we learned to fly
We thought that it could never end
We'd glide above the ground before we learned to run, run
Now it seems our world has come undone

Oh they say that it's over
And it just had to be
Ooh they say that it's over
We're lost children of the sea, oh

We made the mountains shake with laughter as we played
Hiding in our corner of the world
Then we did the demon dance and rushed to nevermore
Threw away the key and locked the door

Dio the man is gone, but his music is still here, and it’s the most incredible legacy that any of us can aspire to leave behind us. As long as his work is still with us, Dio is too.

1 comment:

  1. Well said dude.