Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ronnie James Dio: Putting the sword to the dragon of cancer, still defying the ravages of time

—The best steel goes through the fire

Ronnie James Dio, Hide in the Rainbow

If you’re a fan of heavy metal music, you’re probably aware that legendary frontman Ronnie James Dio, 67, is in the midst of a grim battle against stomach cancer. On November 25, 2009, Dio’s wife broke the news and announced that he was starting immediate treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Her message: Dio was ready to fight back, tooth and nail, to achieve victory against this dreaded disease:

After he kills this dragon, Ronnie will be back on stage, where he belongs, doing what he loves best, performing for his fans. Long live rock and roll, long live Ronnie James Dio. Thanks to all the friends and fans from all over the world that have sent well wishes. This has really helped to keep his spirit up.

Fortunately for metal fans, it’s a battle Dio appears to be winning. The latest news according to Dio’s web site is that the man who made the sign of the horns a household symbol recently had his seventh chemotherapy treatment, and that the main tumor in his stomach has shrunk considerably. I hope it’s a fight he ultimately wins and that one day we’ll see him back on stage, belting out Holy Diver while wielding a two-handed sword.

At this point you may be thinking, that’s cool and all, but why write about Dio on a web site devoted to the works of Robert E. Howard, J.R.R. Tolkien, and other authors?

To which I would answer: Have you ever listened to Dio’s lyrics? They’re fantasy fiction set to music, man.

To read the rest of this post, visit The Cimmerian Web site.


ze bulette said...

hell yeah : - giddy up.

Scott said...


I was saddened when I heard about Dio's cancer. I, like so many, grew up listening to him in his various bands. I'm with you on the Sabbath thing-I prefer the Dio era as well. Ozzy's stuff is great, but Dio is simply a better singer, and his influence made sabbath a whole new band.

On a metal/cancer related note, Into Eternity's latest CD, The Incurable Tragedy, was inspired by the band losing several loved ones to cancer that year. When I saw them open for Symphony X, they led the crowd in a chant of "FUCK CANCER!!!"

Taranaich said...

Dio's one of those guys that just shouldn't succumb to some mere mortal phage like cancer. He's like Mr. T: beyond the ken of such ailments. I dearly hope he, like the T, makes a strong recovery.

Ryan said...

Rock on, Dio.

"He has songs of wildebeests and angels/He has soared on the wings of a demon."

Tenacious D, "Dio"

Brian Murphy said...

Ze bulette: Thanks for the link!

Scott: Thanks for sharing, cool story. Hopefully one of these days the scourge of cancer will be wiped out.

Taranich: I agree, and I'd put Chuck Norris in there to round out the holy trinity :).

Ryan: Dio was totally on board with that song ... at first blush it seems to be a plea for Dio to hang it up, but it's more of a light-hearted tribute than anything.

Chris T. said...

Brian, did this come about because we talked about Dio the other night? Or was this already percolating in your noggin?

Brian Murphy said...

Hey Cyrus, thanks for stopping by.

No, I actually had this post up on Thursday, three days prior to our D&D game. Just chance, I guess, that our talk turned to Dio!

juwe82 said...

long live dio with the great spirit... we all love u,we all love u,we all love u...