RIP: Ronnie James Dio

05/18/2010

So on Sunday, March 16th Ronnie James Dio died of stomach cancer.

Most people don’t know of Dio as he’s not one of the biggest names in music, but he’s part of the original set of heavy metal musicians, being the first replacement for Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath and following that with several bands (Elf and Rainbow) before settling with his self-named band Dio.

Overall, he was an amazing singer and one of the greats in the metal world. He was the one who popularized the “devil horns” sign that has become a staple of metal concerts everywhere, turning the Italian folk superstition into the international symbol for metal fandom.

He may have been before my time, but my one time seeing him live (opening for Iron Maiden in San Diego) is part of my favorite concert of all time.

He left behind many friends and the entire metal world is completely heartbroken and thoughts of consolation go out to his manager and wife Wendy Galaxiola who chairs “Children of the Night” which is an organization devoted to trying to rescue American children from careers in prostitution.

She said on his official site: “Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.”

On a much more personal note, his passing is definitely felt very deeply. Not many people know this, but his song “Rainbow in the Dark” is my own personal Pride song. It’s what I turn to when I’m frustrated about some sort of LGBT fight not going well or when I want to swell up with pride about being a member of a community that always gets back up no matter what.

It’s for all outcasts really, but to me, it’s been more of a queer anthem than any light-hearted disco piece could ever be (though I fully appreciate that this is a very peculiar personal taste).

In a very odd way, the song is home to me.

But that said, there’s only one song that’s at all an appropriate send-off for the man.

Thank you so much for what you gave us, your music will carry on for eternity and continue to inspire those who come after you. May you rest in peace.

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2 Responses to “RIP: Ronnie James Dio”

  1. megan said

    I used one of Dio’s songs (“Invisible”) as a personal Pride song, too. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I always thought that the second verse of that song was about a young trans person. His music meant a lot to me, and I think that the world has lost a little bit of wonder with his death.

    R.I.P., Mr. Dio. You will be missed! \m/

    • cerberustheasexual said

      I can definitely see that. Hell, the first verse after the intro bits and the last verse as well can definitely fit that as well.

      I think many trans people have had that experience of just hating their own picture or appearance and then something clicks or in my case, the third verse actually oddly mirrors what happened with me. I was reading Julia Serrano’s Whipping Girl and just a bit on how being trans didn’t necessarily mean ultra-femme and that clicking with me and “the only way to stay was to walk right out of that door”.

      And yeah, it’s definitely sad to lose him, but it’s almost hopeful in a way. His creations, the things that gave us strength in darker times will long outlive him, touching people far into the future. It reminds us to do the same, trying to do our little bit, wherever our talents lie so that our positive accomplishments outlive us and aid those who come after.

      And that can be in such unexpected ways.

      We’ll mourn and miss him, but then we’ll carry on the torch.

      \m/

      Stand up and shout.

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